What Will Re-election Mean for High Tech?

Opinion: It all depends on whether you're an entrepreneur or CEO, or someone who is just starting out in tech, claims technology and politics columnist Chris Nolan.

Is the re-election of President George W. Bush good or bad for high tech?

In strict business terms, its good. Very good. Seen from a longer-term economic policy standpoint, the benefits are less clear.

/zimages/2/28571.gifCheck out Chris Nolans column "Is Bush Good for the Tech Worker?"

If youre a high-tech entrepreneur, CEO or venture capitalist, Bushs re-election and his promise—made in his victory speech Wednesday afternoon—of tax reform and Social Security changes should put more cash in your wallet.

The details of the Bushs plans will probably have to wait until his State of the Union address in January. Hes been clear about wanting to simplify the nations tax system, which he called "outdated" in his Wednesday speech. Thats something that many self-employed people and small businesses—startups and their backers—have been urging Congress to do. Also, its generally thought that a tax code clean-up will mean changes in corporate tax structures, which are, again, good for the folks who run and back companies.

If youre reasonably well off—making $150,000 a year or more or in a household with more than $200,00 a year in gross income, the Bush administration will be good for you, too. Youve already had your taxes cut. Bushs "ownership society" is also expected to mean more tax relief for individuals who can defer income—in special medical savings, IRAs and other accounts—until retirement. Again, wealthier taxpayers do better because they are better able to find the money to set aside.

The theory is that these savings programs and reduced tax burdens will encourage investment and investment, in turn, will create jobs. Again, good for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and CEOs. And, of course, good for tech workers, who will have more work at more prosperous companies.

Next Page: What it means for new workers.