Our Company takes 2 Steps Forward; Our own Government Puts Us Back 3!

Posted by: David Schwedel on Monday, January 25, 2016

Capitol Hill

As we enter into the 2016 political race, we are all faced with some difficult decisions.  Republicans fret over the fact that Trump and Cruz are in front, and behind closed doors, others lament the choices for Democratic candidates for President.  In the end, they all seem to come to the same conclusion, “We just have to vote for who would defend our political beliefs and choices.”  These days I am not so sure it matters on some levels.

The larger problem we face is not who is running for President, but who sits in Congress and the Senate.  Our political system is completely broken, and frankly, it does not seem to matter which party runs the White House.  This is based simply on the fact that the ability to negotiate a compromise for the benefit of the American people is no longer present.  After all, if progress for the American people were measured similar to a company by its enterprise value, we would be below water.

Former Presidents Reagan and Clinton were terrific examples of being able to reach across party lines to get things done.  Today, our politicians rely on ultimatums, and a willingness to shut down the government at the drop of a hat.  In fact, this brazen approach to politics has forced some of our own businesses to suffer at the hand of what is known as the House Freedom Caucus. 

A large part of our business relies on our ability to sell our products and services in foreign countries.  We work hard for many years to secure new business to sell American-made products and our services to overseas customers.  This comes at great expense in time and money.  There are always other foreign companies competing for the same business.  Most of the buyers we work with are inclined to award the contract to our group because they appreciate American quality and reliability. 

However, those two key things are just not enough to compete anymore.  We must be able to compete within a reasonable price framework, as well as the ability to help garner financing for that customer.  Every single major country in the world has an export credit guaranty program to assist in this regard.  When one particular customer more or less said to us last year, “You have the contract, as long as you can meet the ECG terms of the other nations”.  But guess what happened? The House Freedom Caucus Members effectively shut down our US Export Import Bank in 2015, by not renewing their charter.  Their position was that it was a form of “corporate welfare”.  They cited companies like Boeing and GE were taking advantage of the US taxpayer by using the US EXIM Bank for foreign customers for their multi-billion dollar deals.  It killed nearly two years of work and a large investment on our part.

They effectively killed of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of foreign sales, and forced us to wait “until D.C. could get their act together”, and renew the EXIM bank’s charter.  They finally did, but we lost out on what was a multi-year work effort with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line.  Not only that, during that period the world economic environment slowed, oil prices plummeted, and what was once a “great opportunity” will most likely be stalled indefinitely.  My own US Government’s incompetence cost our business tens of millions of dollars of certain profit due to partisan politics, with little regard for American jobs and expansion.

When government interferes with our ability to conduct business on par with every other major country in the world – it must be time to rethink what we are doing in Washington.  It made me wonder, who are these people?  To be sure, I will not be voting for them in the future:

MEMBER                                DISTRICT                   TERMS                       

Amash, Justin

MI-3

3

Blum, Rod

IA-1

1             

Brat, David

VA-7

2

Bridenstine, Jim

OK-1

2

Brooks, Mo

AL-5

3

Buck, Ken

CO-4

1

Clawson, Curt

FL-19

2

Desantis, Ron

FL-6

2

DesJarlais, Scott

TN-4

3

Duncan, Jeff

SC-3

3

Fleming, John

LA-4

4

Franks, Trent

AZ-8

7

Garrett, Scott

NJ-5

7

Gosar, Paul

AZ-4

3

Griffith, Morgan

VA-9

3

Harris, Andy

MD-1

3

Hice, Jody

GA-10

1

Huelskamp, Tim

KS-1

3

Jordan, Jim (chairman)

OH-4

5

Labrador, Raúl

ID-1

3

Loudermilk, Barry

GA-11

1

Lummis, Cynthia

WY-At large

4

Meadows, Mark

NC-11

2

Mooney, Alex

WV-2

1

Mulvaney, Mick

SC-5

3

Palmer, Gary

AL-6

1

Pearce, Stevan

NM-2

6

Perry, Scott

PA-4

2

Posey, Bill

FL-8

4

Rothfus, Keith

PA-12

2

Salmon, Matthew

AZ-5

5

Sanford, Mark

SC-1

5

Schweikert, David

AZ-6

3

Stutzman, Marlin

IN-3

4

Weber, Randy

TX-14

2

Yoho, Ted

FL-3

2


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