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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Business Looking for the Defibrillators

Keith R. Schmitz

There is an automatic assumption on the part of some that business people walk in lockstep with the Republican party.

That notion of course has always been wrong, and lately more wrong. The US Chamber of Commerce is pressing for passage of the Senate version of the stimulus package. The reliably right wing National Federation of Independent Business is saying that the current version of the bill is not enough.

Guess there are no free market capitalists in economic foxholes.

Below is a copy of a letter (with some edits to keep the writer anonymous) from a friend a mine in which he emphatically pushes Senator Kohl to support the stimulus. My friend makes a lot of sense and with the vote in the Senate pending, lays out real business world reason why we need this plan to pass.
I am a small Wisconsin business owner. I am writing specifically to comment and note my support for President Obama’s stimulus plan.

Because of the current economic conditions and the slowdown my company has experienced, I’ve had to trim my work force in one plant from (12) employees to (6)—letting my Production Manager, a Draftsman, our Secretary and (3) shop employees go. In Wisconsin, I’ve had to eliminate (6) jobs on the manufacturing floor and fire my second Mechanical Engineer.

While times are very tough, I’m encouraged that we have as many projects quoted and pending as we do. We’ll continue to do what’s necessary to persevere and weather this storm.

But I’ve written about the stimulus package. The suggestion by Republicans that it’s more of the “tax and spend” ways of the Democrats is ludicrous. In these difficult economic times, this is exactly what the country needs—programs that will put people back to work, while working toward long term goals such as alternative energy. As well, the package will help those currently out of work by extending unemployment benefits and healthcare.

The Republicans do NOT speak for this business owner. The suggestion that the stimulus package needs more tax cuts is preposterous. First statistics show that providing tax cuts to businesses will not increase employment rolls. As a business owner, I can attest to this. I will not employ anyone else because of a tax break I might get. Why? Because we DON’T HAVE WORK! If our business is down, I cannot afford to hire anyone whether I get a tax break or not. We’re talking survival and cash flow.

As for individual tax breaks, how is a tax break beneficial for someone who is out a job?

Let’s put people back to work and get this country back on track. Please encourage our Democratic Senators to be more vocal in their support. I just read an article on Yahoo that suggested President Obama is “losing message war on stimulus plan”.

If I can help in any way, please let me know. I am very interested and energized as a result of President Obama’s election.

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