I apologize for being absent from the blog for most of the past six weeks. I guess I got wrapped up in Republican primary politics coverage.
That's a joke. I also was engrossed in "Storage Wars" and "American Hoggers" on A&E.
But it's kind of hard to ignore the political proceedings that are taking place all over the U.S. An election year means some sort of change is coming, and metal fabricators are no different from any other voters: They hope the change is consistent with their own political beliefs. To say that there is a little interest in this upcoming election would be a grand understatement.
So like everyone else, I've been paying attention off and on. However, one thing really caught my ear during the Iowa primaries. Rick Santorum was discussing his corporate tax strategy and suggested that the tax rate for manufacturing companies be reduced to zero. It's a startling idea at first, especially in the face of the enormous U.S. deficit that undoubtedly needs some sort of incoming revenues to reduce it. But maybe it's not that crazy.
The leading GOP presidential contender, Mitt Romney, thought otherwise. "I think the idea of choosing a particular sector of the economy to provide extraordinary resources to is a mistake. I also recognize, having been in business, that if you create a special deal for one type of business, what it tends to do is cause everybody else to pretend they're that type of business," he said during a campaign stop in South Carolina this week.
It's a valid point, but hard to support wholeheartedly when you consider the subsidies thrown at the U.S. agricultural community and the support other countries give to their favored industry segments. U.S. manufacturing deserves favorable treatment too.
Want an idea of how manufacturing is treated as a second-class citizen in the U.S.? Read this. This country has taken manufacturing for granted for several decades, and that attitude has to change.
Maybe a 0 percent corporate tax rate for manufacturers is not the answer, but it's a good starting point for discussion. Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and author of the Armada Business Intelligence Brief, argued that the manufacturing community is actually more concerned with issues such as regulatory burden and taxation than labor costs. He contends they can use relief as soon as possible.
Given how manufacturing is playing an integral in leading the U.S.'s economic recovery, it deserves special treatment.
If you are interested in joining other metal fabricators to discuss issues such as dealing with regulatory officials and tax burdens, please consider attending The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit, Feb. 29-March 2, in Scottsdale, Ariz. You won't be disappointed. For more information, visit here.