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Stand Up for American Business Interests in November VOTE!

Chairman's Column - July 2010

Bob Taylor, President and CEO, Do it Best Corp.
2010 NAW Chairman of the Board

Now that we’re a year and a half into the Obama Administration, we’re well aware of the policy objectives of this Administration and its allies on Capitol Hill — bigger and more expensive government financed by higher taxes and record deficits, and empowerment of labor union bosses.

Since President Obama entered the White House, the federal government has spent $1.8 trillion, our annual federal deficit has jumped to $1.5 trillion, and our national debt has surpassed $13 trillion. Taxes have increased $656 billion. We’ve already seen enacted a half-trillion in new revenue over 10 years to pay for a comprehensive health care reform law that will actually increase employers’ premium costs, national health expenditures, and government spending for health care. Included in this is an increase in the Medicare payroll tax for upper income earners and — for the first time ever — the collection of the Medicare payroll tax on non-payroll, unearned income.

And if that’s not enough, here’s just a sampling of the gigantic tax increases and anti-business, pro-union policies that are being sought by President Obama and the Democrat majority in Congress:

  • Tax increases that will cripple our economic recovery, including huge hikes in tax rates on upper income earners, dividends, and capital gains, and LIFO repeal — a mega-tax increase for countless wholesale distribution firms;
  • A so-called “cap-and-trade” (“cap and tax” is more like it) climate change bill that will increase the average household’s energy bill by just under $2,000 per year (this bill has already passed the House of Representatives);
  • The misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act” (“EFCA” or “card check” for short) that would dramatically increase the power of labor bosses to manipulate union-organizing elections;
  • An assault on the right and ability of employers to manage their workplaces by the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor — much of it designed to increase union membership.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that, fortunately for all of us across our industry, the political arm of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) — the Wholesaler-Distributor Political Action Committee (WDPAC) — is working vigorously to make the 2010 elections a referendum on these disastrous economic policies and to elect pro-business, pro-free enterprise candidates to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This is desperately needed to get our country back on a path of real and sustainable economic growth for wholesaler-distributors, our suppliers and customers, and our employees.

Of the 36 U.S. Senate seats that will be contested, 17 are truly competitive. Wholesaler-distributors need WDPAC to be involved in all of these competitive Senate contests. What’s at stake is the Democrats’ current near filibuster-proof majority (59–41); a net gain by the Republicans of just a few U.S. Senate seats can fundamentally affect legislative outcomes in Congress’ upper chamber.

Of the 435 seats in the U.S. House that are up for election, more than 110 are competitive or could become competitive, and nearly 70 of these are highly competitive. The Democrats currently enjoy a 255–178 majority; it will take a net GOP gain of 40 seats to alter control of the people’s house, its committees and subcommittees, and the legislative agenda.

Because both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are closely divided between the parties and pro- and anti-business forces, this year’s midterm election results across the country will have enormous implications for wholesaler-distributors and for the U.S. economy. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how crucial it is that all of us and our employees vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, if we want to ensure that a pro-business agenda is once again before the Congress.

Who is elected to Congress this November really does matter. With the election of pro-business Representatives and Senators, we can protect critical tax policies, defeat “cap and trade” and “card check,” and protect LIFO. If we aren’t engaged in the election process and if we fail to vote, we will likely see the continuation of the anti-business majority in Washington, and we will pay the price in the next Congress.

Today, it’s easier than ever to cast your vote even if you’re traveling or too busy to get to the polls. Many states now allow “no excuse” early voting, and all voting localities will provide absentee ballots that can be cast if you know you’ll be away on Election Day, November 2. Honestly, there’s no excuse today for not voting and for not encouraging your employees to vote.

Please go to http://www.naw.org/govrelations/vote.php to learn how easy it is to exercise your right to vote. All you need to know is your own zip code, and NAW’s site will provide everything else you need. It’s that easy!

Together we can make a difference this November.