Meg Whitman Sells McCain's Plan for Small Business

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on September 03

As national co-chair of John McCain’s campaign, Meg Whitman has championed the Republican candidates’ ideas for small business owners. During her convention speech Sept. 3, she continued to promote a McCain/Palin administration as the best bet for small American entrepreneurs.

“They will push Congress to reduce business taxes so that entrepreneurs and especially small businesses have the money they need to create jobs,” said Whitman. “Higher taxes encourage wasteful spending… and destroys your prosperity.”

MegWhitman2.jpg

Whitman, herself, has a mixed record with small business owners. As CEO of eBay for 10 years, Whitman helped millions of would-be entrepreneurs become full-time online retailers. Under her tenure, eBay expanded from a small U.S. Web site on which sellers auctioned off several million worth of collectibles each year to a global e-commerce powerhouse on which more than $14 billion in goods are sold each quarter.

At eBay Live, the company’s annual event for its seller and shopper community, many sellers often speak fondly of how the company has helped them launch successful home-based businesses and provides much needed supplemental income.

But, in the last five years of Whitman’s eBay career, she angered many small business owners who make their living selling merchandise on eBay. Many argued that Whitman bolstered eBay’s bottom line at the expense of their businesses, raising eBay’s commission and forcing them to close shop. “EBay has over the last year done everything they could to put me and everyone else out of business except for themselves,” says Scott Grunin, an eBay seller who described himself in an email with a BusinessWeek reporter as a stay at home dad and full time eBay seller with two little kids. “Rich get richer, poor get poorer.”

Democratic nominee Barack Obama is arguing that McCain’s economic policies will do just that: aid the rich at the expense of the poor. During his speech last week at the Democratic National Convention, Obama maintained that tax cuts for businesses and wealthy individuals have constituted a policy of “your own your own” that has hurt the middle class and small business owners.

Whitman and other Republican supporters counter that Obama’s plans will handicap businesses with higher taxes to support bigger government programs. “Republicans understand that government does not create wealth or prosperity, individuals do,” said Whitman Wednesday night. “America is all about the inspired individual.”

Whether Whitman’s speech inspires individuals to vote for John McCain may depend on how much they trust her view that he is, in fact, the best candidate for American business owners.

Reader Comments

Ron Silverman

September 4, 2008 12:01 AM

I am a republican. But somehow I am getting tired of the taxation policies adopted by the republicans. George Bush's tax policy to relieve the rich of taxation has not created the jobs in our country, but has let the big corporations pay less taxes here, while moving the work to be done to China and India. I do not see anything in McCain's plan that will bring technology and IT jobs back to the USA. When technology companies do most of their work offshore there is less incentive for American students to get a degree in science & technology. The best they can dream off is working as a cashier in bank, or in McDonalds or as drug dealers on the streets.

Brian Bullerman

September 4, 2008 02:03 PM

I agree with Ron's comment. I would classify myself as a "conservative independent" who generally favors less government & less taxes. However, there is a balance between Keynesian and laissez-faire policy, and I believe we have swung too far to the right. Government-sponsored programs and goals can create new markets, job classes, and improve our national competitiveness. The Apollo program, internet (ARPANet) and nuclear engineering were tremendous success stories that inspired generations to study science and created massive wealth for our society. They were not necessarily born of the "invisible hand" of the market. What I have yet to see from the Republicans is any sort of vision for the America of tomorrow and how we'll get there. It has to start with a vision.

Jim Harter

September 4, 2008 02:08 PM

This is the same tax philosophy that started with Regan's 'voodoo economics' and has continued in every Republican administration since. I wonder how many jobs Meg Whitman created with her own personal tax cut from Bush? Maybe hired another housekeeper? How far did it trickle down?

I doubt that Meg Whitman, John McCain, or anyone I've seen as economic experts in the Republican campaign have had to worry about making payroll or providing heath care benefits to their employees in a long time - or more likely, never. To hear the Republicans continue to yammer on about tax relief for those who need it least while the other 95% of the country is trying to deal with devastating falls in real estate values and ballooning food,energy and health care costs is simply absurd.

Carol Eblen

September 4, 2008 02:51 PM

I like McCain and Palin, personally, but I am pro-choice and would like to see National Health Insurance for ALL Americans.

Neither McCain or Palin are attorneys and that speaks well for their integrity. They are not devious by nature and are good human beings who want to do their best for the "people."

The Small Business AGENDA of the Republican Party has often disguised the SUBSIDY of BIG BUSINESS by government, both parties, as in the FRANCHISISE industry.

The Republicans have allowed the Corporations to capture the rule of law and the Bill of Rights to the advantage of Corporations and to the disadvantage of individuals, the people.

Since Neither McCain or Palin are attorneys, are they smart enough to9 know what is going on and to fight the Corporations and big interests who use the Small Business Agenda and franchising to further the BTG BUSINESS agenda?

Where have all the good jobs gone ---? these past eight years?

Carol
KCMO

rick

September 4, 2008 04:57 PM

“Republicans understand that government does not create wealth or prosperity, individuals do...”

Oh really! Tell that to our friends at Halliburton and KBR. Gee... I wonder how much HP, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, L3, Booze Allen, etc., have made off the government.

Not that there is anything wrong with this, these companies perform a valuable service to our country, but the statement is just too simplistic to be true.

E

September 5, 2008 01:27 AM

I think it's a pity that Meg was passed over for a VP shot but maybe there was something the rep's didn't want let out of the closet. Regardless, she is a class act (there's some journalism opportunities in evaluating what exactly these forlorn ebay sellers were adding to the economy -- arbitrage opportunities between Amazon prices and eBay bidding is not as constructive or deserving of reward as stay at home dads may think).

Sadly, despite Meg's endorsement, Palin is not a class act by any stretch of the imagination. That a VP candidate could deliver (what we have to hope was an unintentional) factually incorrect speech is disconcerting to say the least. She took baloney to a new a political high which is saying something. As a result, my synopsis is this:
- Alaskans are not so great a judge of character given that she was elected by them
- Palin doesn't care much for the facts, her constituents, or her nation; she cares about her candidacy
- single moms might relate to her daughter but they won't relate to Palin & co's policies. Expect to screwed again young mom's to be because if you vote republican, your kid is going to have an even steeper hill to climb.

At this point, the only protection those single moms and their clans have is to vote dems. I hope they have the sense. You ignored protection once -- don't do it again just because Palin's kid has a belly like you.

K

September 7, 2008 10:47 AM

Meg Whitman's involvment with the McCain campaign is one of the primary reasons I will not vote, as I am registered, Republican this time.
I own a small business offering a product that made it's debut on eBay and until the 4th quarter of 2007 had been enjoying growth and slow but steady acceptance in the market.
However, in September 2007, under pressure from trade associations claiming we and other small businesses in our market were doing something fraudulent, eBay changed it's policies. As a result, those on eBay trying to sell my product were notified that they were in violation of eBay policy, and implied that my product is counterfeit, merely for using my business name in their listings. Also, keep in mind that this policy went into effect during Meg's tenure at eBay.
My question to the Republican party, please explain to me why I should support someone who by virtue of proximity would accuse me and my business of a criminal act? And how Meg and Carly Forina, released by HP for her inability to run that company, have the "answers" to our economic problems?

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.

 

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