Another CEO has dared to explain to his employees that, yes, votes have consequences, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Mike White, the chairman and owner of Rite-Hite, a major Milwaukee manufacturer of industrial equipment,told employees in an email this week that all employees “should understand the personal consequences to them of having our tax rates increase dramatically if President Obama is re-elected, forcing taxpayers to fund President Obama’s future deficits and social programs (including Obamacare), which require bigger government.” …
In his email, White said neither he nor the company wanted to “prejudice any employee for their political views and totally respect your right to vote as you choose. I am simply trying to present the facts as I know them and to protect the business you have helped build! Please think carefully about your vote on Nov. 6.”
White of Rite-Hite wrote to his employees:
Rite-Hite is a Subchapter S corporation for taxes, meaning that our corporate tax rate is the highest personal tax rate. So what? Well, our RSP contributions are based on AFTER TAX profits. The tax rate we pay is not 17%, as Warren Buffet would have you believe; with state taxes it is roughly 45%. President Obama has announced that our planned tax rate would increase to roughly 65%, reducing our after tax income by 36% and dramatically reducing, if not eliminating, your and my RSP contributions.
Of equal importance, instead of the these profits being re-invested into Rite-Hite for future growth and profitability, the money will be sent into the abyss that is Washington D.C. So, on top of the burden of having your personal taxes increase dramatically, which they will, your RSP contributions and healthy retirement are also at risk all for the sake of maintaining an over-sized government that borrows 42% of every dollar it spends.
The other big impact on Rite-Hite employees, if President Obama is re-elected, is the good chance of losing Rite-Hite insurance and being put into Obamacare. Employers have the choice (though competition in the marketplace will dictate), to continue their existing plans or to pay a penalty and have employees go into the Government Plan. Our plan costs much more per family than the penalty and hence the possible competitive need to drop the Rite-Hite Health Plan. Every opportunity to make up for lost profits to taxes will have to be evaluated.
Someone who fancies himself an expert on election law began the comments on the Journal Sentinel page thusly:
Wisconsin statute 12.09(3):
No person may personally or through an agent, by any act compel, induce, or prevail upon an elector either to vote or refrain from voting at any election for or against a particular candidate or referendum.
Wisconsin statute 12.11(1M):
Any person who does any of the following violates this chapter:
(a) Offers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend, or endeavors to procure, anything of value, or any office or employment or any privilege or immunity to, or for, any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to:
3. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular person.
To which came this followup:
Please point out in that letter where he told his people how to vote or how to vote for. I guess in your world being honest and providing a forecast of events likely to happen should be illegal.
I commented about previous examples of this on WTDY in Madison two weeks ago. As far as I’m concerned, businesses have not merely the right, but the obligation to tell their employees about the consequences of what the politicians do to their business. Moreover, as long as government taxes and regulates business, business has the right to fully participate in the political process.
What is the Obama response to all this? A new Cabinet department, reports Investors Business Daily:
After assuring the public “the private sector is doing fine,” yet facing a strong challenger who’s championing the embattled private sector for real, what should our president come up with to bolster his flailing campaign but a hastily cobbled together new plan to create yet another government agency, this time for business.
Seems that with this president all it takes to revive the enfeebled U.S. economy and win votes is yet another new government department to layer on top of all the others. It won’t work.
“I’ve said that I want to consolidate a whole bunch of government agencies. We should have one Secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA (Small Business Administration) or helping companies with exports,” he told MSNBC. …
He’s already got a Secretary of Business in the Department of Commerce. And, say, isn’t “commerce” a near-synonym for business?
Whatever that agency does — and its missions are so sprawled out, no one knows for sure — it’s no match for the real problems burdening business in the Obama era: tax hikes, political blasts at outsourcing, demonizing individual companies for political purposes, new environmental regulations, uncertainty over health care mandates, a failure to open new markets abroad and government czars who say they’d like to “crucify” oil companies.
Because the reality is the problems troubling U.S. businesses and harming confidence and competitiveness aren’t the lack of such agencies, but the fact that government just keeps getting bigger.
National Review comments about Obama’s “economic patriotism,” an oxymoron as applied to Obama:
The president of the United States is charged with looking after the national interest, not the interest of specific persons who happen to live in a state that is politically important to him and who are useful as pawns in an embarrassingly low-rent political campaign.
President Obama speaks as though he believes, or does not mind appearing to believe, that there is wealth to be had from preserving underperformance, thus his pride in propping up such moribund corporations as General Motors rather than letting the firms go through a proper restructuring and emerge on the other side more competitive and profitable. This is of a piece with his eagerness to use taxpayer money to enrich unviable enterprises such as Solyndra, on the theory that he knows the power-equipment market better than the people who buy and sell in that market do. As investors go, Mitt Romney was a considerably more adept manager of his shareholders’ money than President Obama has been of the taxpayers’ precious capital.
The theory that we can somehow make ourselves better off by propping up uncompetitive corporations and industries is sometimes known as “economic nationalism,” and is very much in vogue on the left at the moment. …
Economic nationalism is a deeply anti-humanistic tendency. The division of labor is what makes human life possible at a level of civilization higher than that enjoyed by Robinson Crusoe, and trade is how labor is divided across communities and across countries. Mitt Romney is too busy engaging in China-hawkery to say so, but trade makes us better off even when the trading partner on the other side of the exchange maintains restrictive economic practices such as manipulating its currency or maintaining an oppressive police state, both of which are true of China. (And trade makes poor Chinese people better off, too, something decent people would be celebrating rather than despairing over.) Comparative advantage and gains from trade are facts of economic life; those who would deny them are the economic equivalent of flat-earthers. …
Calling a political rival a “traitor” marks a new low in an election season that has been full of them. The ironic thing is that all of this irresponsible and corrosive talk of “patriotism” and “traitors” suggests only that the Democrats love power more than country. “New Economic Patriotism”? We’ll take the old-fashioned kind of patriotism.
I’ll take a president who does not shoot off his mouth and denigrate success by saying “If you’ve got a business you didn’t build that. Somebody made that happen.”