Like it or not, a new era is dawning in Washington DC.  We've elected our first African-American President, which is a great, great thing.  But from this entrepreneur's perspective, the fact that our President-Elect is extremely liberal puts a damper on my excitement.

Consider Obama's stated position on entrepreneurship.  The President-Elect wants to give tax breaks to entrepreneurs.  Excellent.  But he also wants to raise taxes on the people who fund entrepreneurs by raising capital gains taxes and changing the rules on carried interest.  So is this a net positive or a net negative for entrepreneurs?

IMO the answer is that we won't know for quite awhile.  Sure people will continue working and innovating regardless of what the tax rates are.  But government policy can do a lot to discourage investment and perhaps redirect it into the hands of government bureaucrats.  I'm not sure this is a problem that needs to be fixed.  Anyone who has tried to apply for a SBA loan or small business grant knows that you can spend a ton of time learning the federal government's arcane application systems and formats… all for naught when you make a simple mistake.  Hell, I'd rather pitch to angels and VCs!

Now I am perhaps exaggerating to make the point that government intervention is rarely the panacea that our politicians want us to believe it is.  Think of it more as a game of whack-a-mole — solving one "problem" creates a variety of others that need attention.  I am hopeful that well-intentioned federal policy wonks will help entrepreneurs more than hurt them.  But I'm not sure you can help entrepreneurs by hurting the people who fund them.  Truthfully, nobody knows how it will turn out.

What I do know is that paying attention to DC is now far more important than I ever imagined.