[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;149253]The Jones Act, the oil and gas industry, and John McCain are not the problem. The tax and regulation environment in this country that makes businesses prefer to do business overseas is the problem. The problems being experienced in shipping and shipbuilding are no different than any other big business in the United States. IT DOES NOT MAKE BUSINESS SENSE TO DO BUSINESS IN AMERICAN WHEN IT CAN BE DONE CHEAPER OVERSEAS. When we incentivize shipping companies to work under the Jones Act at costs favorable to their clients through a forgiving tax and regulation environment, ONLY THEN will the Jones Act (and our jobs!) be safe from scrutiny.
C.Captain, I know the idea of helping big business in anyway is distasteful to you and your lefty cohorts but damn it, how the hell else are we supposed to maintain a shipping industry (or even an economy!) in this country!? I’m a big believer in mom-and-pop businesses, they’re what keep this country wholesome and strong. All good things start close to home, but not every job can be accomplished by small businesses. If small businesses are the glue and fasteners then big business is the planking of the hull. As long was keep letting toredo worms and termites (taxes and regulations) run rampant, the ship will never stay afloat.
The Jones Act is not safe as long as this country continues to punish success with tax and regulation.[/QUOTE]
You do not know what you’re talking about, unless you’ve been a small business owner.
I’ve been a small business owner, trading in steel and a sub-contractor to 2 of the top 10 defense contracting fabricators cos in USA. I’ve supplied Kiel Blocks, prefabricated fibreglass rebars for the Marine Corps officers swimming pool, fabricated rebars for some few gates, etc in Pearl Harbor. Not to mention some steel that were used to construct demo houses that looked like the mud houses in Afghanistan for the soldiers to train in and various other defense products. How I got these business without having to lobby, is something I alone know.
Taxes and regulations in this country heavily favor big businesses and NOT small businesses. The govt. subsidies, tax rebates etc that big corps get are not passed on to the consumer, but kept with themselves and thereby, at each and every stage, costs keep increasing. Name one subsidy or a tax rebate that a small business gets? Big businesses set up their own retail operations, which thanks to the lobbying done by the US Chamber of Commerce, is recognized as a Small Business. Take steel for example. Nucor, a prominent steel maker, has Harris Supply as its retail front and is a Small Business. Really! How does a small business mom and pop owner competes against that? If Nucor is the fastner, then Harris is the glue. And, if the volumes are good enough, Nucor will bypass you, raising their prices to you, go direct and offer a lower price to the customer. Oh, and no credit for supplying to you. Cash ONLY, please.
Loans: All these big corps get loans at an extremely advantageous rate with barely any collateral. As a small business owner, try applying for the govt. guaranted SBA loan. The SBA loans are all given through too-big-to-fail banks. Go to the banks and they want collateral, in spite of the loan being govt backed. Go to the US Chamber of Commerce for help, and they look you down their nose and just shrug. If you have collateral, why would you be approaching for a loan and increase your overheads? A fact that simply bypasses them. The reason why I had to close down my business and come back to shipping is that I was refused a loan, even when one big Air Force contractor was giving me a specialty steel supply job and I did not have the money.
I am a 1st Gen immigrant from one of the BRICS countries. Pray tell me, what can be done cheaper overseas that cannot be done in this country? If not cheaper, than at least better? It has become cheaper to manufacture overseas, simply because factories and industries have been systematically destroyed in this country. The only thing that makes it cheaper is the foreign exchange rate. China has deliberately kept her currency artificially lower and now that too is beginning to hurt. The Chinese are now setting up plants in Vietnam where is even more cheaper and looking towards India, provided India waters down her anti-pollution laws. Which, is not going to happen.
Jones Act: With a background in shipping, steel and some chemical manufacturing, I can confidently say that one BIG reason that makes ships in USA expensive to make is Steel. USA has everything from coal to iron ore and yet, why is our steel the most expensive in the world? E.G Rebar: Ex-factory, rebar in US is approx $39/lb compared to imported and landed, approx 28/lb. An oil co gets a billion in subsidy/yr. Before WW2, the steel industry wanted subsidies to set up plants. After the war, they again wanted subsidies to survive. Then, they wanted the govt to underwrite their pension funds to survive. Read this. Yet, everybody cries wolf, sheds tears, happily pocket all the money and then lobby against the Jones Act. Seriously!
Taxes: As a small business owner, there is ZERO tax relief and ZERO loophole available. My total taxes (Fed+State) came to approx 43%. Show me one big corp which pays that kind of tax. If anything, Obama has increased taxes on the small business owner (around 2011, I think) and added an indirect tax recently, otherwise known as the ACA. Do a research on the taxes paid in the countries where all these big corps have plants and you’ll find that they happily pay their share of taxes there and lobby for less and less taxes here, mis-informing the citizens of this country and pushing their share of tax burden on people like us. Chevron, GE, Boeing ALL have a negative tax rate, mister.
Ever seen the port waters in Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, etc? You want to do away with regulations which keeps this country pollution free?
The Jones Act is not safe as long as politician like McCain continues to punish the middle class with taxes and regulations and favors ONLY the big corps.