Longtime actor and entrepreneur Joseph C. Phillips, a man you might recognize from "The Cosby Show" or "General Hospital," guest hosted the Glenn Beck Program Thursday night, where he discussed "the real" American dream and the difficulties of starting a small business in today's economy -- particularly in California.
The "unapologetic Christian and conservative" recently opened a restaurant called Daddy J's Wingshack, so he has first-hand insight on the subject.
"Given that small businesses represent the quest for the American dream, one might imagine that our governments, local and federal, would support and encourage those attempting to open small businesses. Well -- one would be wrong, at least if you live in California," he began.
"When we opened our doors a year and a half ago we were immediately beset by bureaucrats walking in carrying mountains of documents for us to read, lengthy rules, stuff for us to sign obligating us to this tax and that tax, writing check after check after check..." he continued.
Phillips said he has no problem with certain government regulations -- he likes to know, for instance, that the health inspector has certified that an establishment is fit for service -- but there is far more to deal with than the health inspector in today's industry.
"My problem with bureaucrats is...the rules and guidelines and statutes that are enforced are often a matter of who you're talking to -- whether they stayed up too late the night before, whether they got some lovin' from their spouse or their loved one, and quite frankly, whether or not they like the way you look!" he said. "The codes [are] written so that oftentimes they conflict with one another. You go down to the Health Department, the code says one thing, then you go down to the building safety department, the code says something completely different."
All of which leads to a state of perpetual insecurity, he said, since everyone knows it's impossible to be in a state of 100% compliance.
"If some bureaucrat wants to jam you up -- if some guy who's driving a city car, who's never risked anything in his life, never built anything -- if he wants to jam you up, wants to flex a little bit, you're going to get jammed up," he said. "And in the same way, if some inspector decides you look cool and wants to cut you some slack, you get to skate."
As an example of just one of the many taxes and regulations he has do deal with, Phillips said the county of Los Angeles sends him a county assessment bill every year, which is "a tax on everything in the store" that he owns, from the friers to the chairs.
"Didn't I already pay tax on all this stuff when I purchased it originally?" he asked, predicting the audience's question. "The answer is yes. However, now I must pay a tax on those same items, an assessment, and that assessment is paid in perpetuity."
And if that's not enough, Phillips added that the county "assess the items as if they were new," regardless of whether the refrigerator is eight years old or whether he bought the frier used.
"If my restaurant burned down my insurance company wouldn't reimburse me at that rate," he noted. "If I tried to sell it on the open market not one person would pay that price...But what does that have to do with the county of Los Angeles? The county assess me at that rate every every single year."
"Welcome to entrepreneurship," he said.
Watch more on the subject -- and an analysis of the minimum wage issue making headlines today -- courtesy of TheBlaze TV.
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