MRAA: Obama remark was a ‘slap in the face’

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The Marine Retailers Association of America recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama regarding comments he made during a speech in New Hampshire where he equated buying a boat with irresponsible behavior by consumers.

MRAA noted the remarks were both unfortunate and inopportune and told the President that he should not have singled out boat buying, just as he should not deride consumers for buying a watch, a coat or a car or truck,” the MRAA said in a statement. “MRAA strongly believes his remarks is a slap in the face of boat dealers and other marine retailers and come at a crucial interval in the business recovery.”

In the letter signed by association president Phil Keeter and chairman Ed Lofgren, the MRAA notes that boat dealers and marine retailers provide thousands of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.

“Many are struggling in this down economy with reduced sales, problems obtaining necessary financing to operate their businesses and to retain their valued employees,” the MRAA said in the letter. “There is absolutely no good reason to single them out and to discourage boat purchasing.”

The association reminded Obama that by his own admission, small businesses will lead this country out of the recession.

“May we count on you to counter these disparaging remarks with some strong and positive remarks that will enhance our industry efforts?,” the letter asks.

Shortly after President Obama made his remarks, the National Marine Manufacturers Association also sent a letter to the president, asking him to clarify his statement.

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Comments

71 comments on “MRAA: Obama remark was a ‘slap in the face’

  1. Chris Foster

    Unfortunately OUR White House is currently occupied by a community organizer bent on governing to acheive social justice. As James Carville so eloquently put it to G.H.W. Bush, “It’s the economy stupid!”

  2. Media Cycle Over

    Great Job by the MRAA to address this issue –
    AFTER it has been out of the media cycle for almost two weeks – which in this era of instant media is only about 13 1/2 days too late.
    Way to be on top of things

  3. Jim

    Give me a break!  Things must be really slow in the MRAA offices.  This is not an issue!  Thousands dying in Haiti is an issue!  A luge competitor dying on the Olympic track is an issue!  This is not an issue!

  4. Arch

    We’ve already rehashed this.  It’s unanimous.  He wasn’t trying to single out us or any industry, just trying to make a point.  I regret that he is our president, but not because he made this comment.
    Everybody needs to just RELAX.

  5. brian schneider

    Obama hates the United States and what we stand for. He is hell bent on destroying this country as fast as he can possibly get away with it. We all need to wake up and stay on our elected officials and stop obama before his plan is fulfilled. The only jobs this man wants is goverment jobs so we become a welfare nation instead of a welfare state.

  6. L. Kramer

    So, may I understand it to be the position of the Marine Retailers Association of America that Americans should go “buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage”?  I rather suspect it is an over reaction to a serious message delivered in serious times.  Let’s keep our eye on the fine work the MRAA  has done over the years to encourage responsible boat ownership.

  7. Florida Sailboat Dealer

    Let’s not hold our breath waiting for a retraction on that one!
     To quote the Mayor of Las Vegas who also received disparaging remarks in that statement.”This president is a slow learner”.
    Another example of how he is void any understanding of how business works in this country as he continues to demonize the private sector at every opportunity.
    Let’s face reality. Any recovery of our industry will come from our own efforts in spite of the pathetic government response to the recent market conditions. 
     

  8. Jim EZ

    Oh come on, is this the best the NMMA and MRAA can come up with. This is a non issue.
    The President was right, you shouldn’t be buying a boat if you can’t pay your bills.
    Does the MRAA or NMMA really think anyone was hurt by this comment? Do they really think anyone was dissuaded from buying a boat because of the comment. Take the comment in contex, and he was right.
    This sideline sniping at any perceived wrong is just plain childish. We have bigger problems in the marine industry.Go ahead and poke and prod, when the marine industry needs an open ear in Washington do you really think they will get it. For a perceived slight the NMMA and MRAA are cutting off their noses in spite of their faces. But boy ‘O boy I bet they feel better this morning, they really told him off! Get real.
    Get off your high horse and address the real problems, instead of wasting your time on a real non-issue.

  9. JABO

    This is just great, MRAA, quit your whining…Stop trying to blame the President.  He was talking about FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, you don’t have to be a Harvard graduate to figure that out…I have been involved in the Marine Industry for over 35 years…Maybe changes are needed at the MRAA.  What if he singled out a Bread company, would you stop buying bread…I didn’t single out any particular bread company if you noticed…He is probably sitting back laughing at the MRAA….I am sure there are more important issues the MRAA, and the NMMA should be addressing…..

  10. J. Mieoff

    the sooner we get this clown out of office the better it is going to be for everyone..
     
    he bails out the auto industry and then says its a bad decision to buy a boat? seems real fair doesnt it..

  11. jim m

    As usual, the people that hate him anyway will take something out of context to further agiatate people who are unable or unwilling to think for themselves (as witnessed by some of these ugly posts). In the context of what he was saying his remarks were absolutely correct and the premise of this article is bogus.

  12. really?

    “This isn’t how responsible families do their budgets,” Obama said. “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices. And it’s time your government did the same.”
    What exactly does MRAA need clarification on???  If you cant keep up with your bills, dont go spending beyond your means.  Period.  Its as clear and simple as that.  Enough people have been irresponsible with their money that unfortunately the President has to them them things they should have learned from their parents.  There are way too many Americans living beyond their means and everything of the past few years has exposed that.  Im all about living the American dream and I make my living from the marine industry, but in no way would I agree that someone should ever buy a boat that cant afford it.  Everyone needs to get over their hypersensitivity!!
     

  13. AnonymousBob

    I sincerely hope the MRAA didn’t take the speech by Obama out of context, as the tone of the article seems to indicate. If that is the case, they did not help our cause by sending the letter.
    While I agree it was unfortunate that Obama “singled out” the boating industry, he did NOT indicate a boat purchase, in and of itself, was a bad thing. He DID say that people in financial straits should not be purchasing a boat if they could not afford to do so, much like they should not be taking a gambling trip to Vegas. The Obama message on this topic needs to be seen and understood in its full context and not in a sound bite clip. I guess I give more credit to the intelligence of some our so-called industry leaders than they deserve.
    The marine industry is in a funk not of its making and is adjusting where necessary to reduce losses, financial and personnel, while manufacturing a product far superior in quality and value relative to the past. Taking a comment like Obama’s out of context shows a hypersensitive trigger finger instead of calm and reason that is needed to lead us out of this swamp. Besides, with Obama’s approval number where it is, do you really think too many people are listening to him?? Focus on what our industry brethren do best: design, build, market, and sell the best product out there in an industry that represents one of the most fun lifestyles available.

  14. WL Coleman

    What happened to the old saw, “any news is good news”. He didn’t say boats were bad, just that you needed to be able to buy milk and pay the mortgage before you went to Las Vegas or bought a boat –
    He inherited a country brought to it’s knees – give him a break!

  15. Positive vs. Negative

    This is a very positive and strong move by the MRAA and it was needed.
    In being the leader of this Great Nation the President should and could have handled this much better.  The point could have easily been stressed by saying that during tuff times such as these watching our budget is a must and no excess spending should be done.  ***AND should be followed by Washington as well** It is not needed to bring in and make points at the expense of any industry.  Our country is in need of POSTIVE support for every industry.  
     
     

  16. Hollywood

    I did not vote nor do i agree with the current president, i think the comment was taken out of text, however i do agree that he should not single out an industry that is already struggling with lost sales,  massive unemployment and business’ closing weekly.  Really think about it he has a entire staff writing for him you would think they would have enough sense to help the American People and be an encouragement to them.  He could have said “If you are struggling with debt be more frugal with large purchases and ask is this a need or a want”, you dont have to single out the boat industry in a speech.  How about encouraging people to buy American instead of foreign that would be a positive thing that could and i believe would help stabilize the unemployment problem and create a need for more people in the work force.

  17. Nonnie Thompson

    Get over it!  Don’t we all know that boating is a luxury?  Isn’t it irresponsible spending, in ALL sectors that has gotten us into this mess?   Without credit and credit cards, would our spending be different?
     Afford it and have a good time, but don’t deny that it’s a sport for the rich.  I’ve worked as broker, boater, and writer, and have seen the excesses.  America’s Cup, case in point…
    Much as I LOVE my 50′ sailboat, I’d sell it in a heartbeat to pay for medical, educational, housing or grocery bills.

  18. MSM

    Jim: While the recent events in Haiti and the death at the Olympics are tragic, these are examples of things out of our control.  The President of the United States taking aim at an industry that employs tens of thousands of people at a time when it is the most vulnerable is something that can and should have been considered before make the statement.

  19. Pete Hosemann

    MRAA should not have sent the letter. Since they did the MRAA owes the President an apology. His remarks were right on the mark.
    Someone should not buy a boat if they are struggling to pay their mortgage.

  20. Garret Anglin

    During economic times such as these currently being experienced within our industry I hardly believe it is appropriate for the President of the United States to be singling out any industry or product.  There has been a string of these type comments used as examples of irresponsible consumer practices, this is yet another example.  I compare this to screaming fire in a darkened theatre and not being concerned about the consequences of creating panic.  We do not need this kind of help.

  21. arnie

    Vegas was a metaphor. So was boating.  If you have to sacrific your kids educstion and putting food on the table then don’t buy a boat or gamble.  Haven’t we seen enough repos in the last year?
    And I am also someone who makes a living in the industry. 
     

  22. Mark

    Nobody at MRRA would have even noticed the remark had it not contained the word “boat”. Not only is the issue “the economy, stupid”, it’s also “the bankruptcy, stupid”. Do you really want to sell a boat and have to repossess it in 6 months because the buyer had to walk away? Can you not get the message of personal responsibility here? The vilification of the President here seems a bit juvenile for what is supposed to be a professional business site. MRAA would be better served with efforts to make the industry more efficient and forward looking rather than whining.

  23. John D

    Good comments all around.  But the phrasing and the context ARE the issue.  In the process lecturing all Americans to make good personal financial choices and using “buying a boat” as a negative example, the man with the loudest microphone in the world is saying that boat buying is a luxury.  There are several things that are distressing about the imagery.
    First, this is an image that I think almost every entity in the recreational boating industry, from manufacturers to dealers to state boating officials has fought.  With one throw-away line in a lecture on the evils of over extension of personal choices, the President (and his behind the scenes speechwriters) undermine all those efforts.  I am pretty sure the vast majority of MRAA members don’t think of themselves as luxury goods retailers.
    Second, the use of this image of a boat as something to put off purchasing until better times may have very marginal current effect, but the IMAGE is planted in people’s minds.  This is especially troublesome when we consider who have typically been characterized as core Obama supporters – young educated people looking for change.  Their ideas of change will possibly see buying a boat sometime in the future – or ever -  slip a few notches.
    Finally lets think about the lecture in the first place. Talk about concentrating on important issues – as so many previous comments have suggested.  I think the President should spend his precious time fixing the problems rather than telling all of us and our customers what isn’t an important form of recreation.  That is NOT his job.

  24. Charlie Johnson

    This is an absurd position on a non-issue.  As other commenters have noted; the comment, in context, was a comment on personal fiscal responsibility, nothing more and nothing less.
    Let’s get on with the business of manfacturing boats and boating equipment and repairing and installing same.

  25. pedro

    Sometimes the less said the better; Obama’s stupid but accurate remark has long since been forgotten by the doodlebugs who listen to him – now one of the administration’s clerks may find a need to bring it back up and ‘defend’ it. You need to think a little bit ,  Phil;  tick off these guys and we’ll have another ‘luxury tax’ or fuel surcharge on marina fuel.

  26. boater51

    It used to be that to qualify for a mortgage you had to put down a 20% deposit and allocate 1/3 of your monthly income to mortgage, taxes and insurance. Good financial planners also recommed that one has at least 6 months worth of income in the bank for a potential “rainy day.”
    I think the first thing the President should have mentioned is: “Don’t by a house if you can’t afford it.”  Buying a boat or going to Vegas did not create the housing bubble and recession. Government housing policy,  greed and stupidity was root the problem. 
    The boating industry is on the receiveing end of this mess.  Dealers have a hard time with floor plan financing, customers with good credit can’t seem to get financing and all the downstream suppliers feel the pain of not selling product..

  27. Sunshine State

    In fact reports comming out of some boat shows report some enthusiastic prospective boat buyers say they feel guilty showing up in the neighborhood with a new boat in the driveway when neighbors are hurting.
    The MRAA and NMMA should not have pressed this and have in fact elevated a non issue. The action speaks more of selective political leanings within the industry.Legions of gun owners took Obama’s “clinginging” statement  in broad context and voted for him.Stay out of Social & Political Science 103.
    If the industry is widely misunderstood then that is our own failing and considering the Congressional slap in the face with the ‘Luxury Tax’ then this current episode is simply a repeat of history.We have some work to do.  

  28. Florida Boat Connection

    We should be concerned about any negativity towards boating ! It is easy for our potential customers to get the wrong message from what Obama said. It’s not Nautically Correct !!!!!!!!!! Read what JABO wrote, He compares a Boat Co. to a  Bread Co. Talk about getting a wrong message.

  29. David Hulett

    For any President to lecture Americans on how to spend their hard earned  money is absurd. In America we get to spend our money as we choose. For this President, who has racked up more debt than all previous Presidents combined, I find his remarks particularly ironic and insulting.
    Many members of the boating industry ( and I am one of them) have worked excrutiatingly long hours, taken tremendous financial risks and endured much heartache to sell boats during this difficult time in our economy. Fot the President to offhandedly disparage all of that is truly disappointing.
    True leaders are inspiring, forward looking and positive. This President is has only shown himself to be condescending and negative. We can only hope that he can learn a better way to lead or the next three years will be much longer than any of us could have imagined.

  30. boatman

    Forget it .Everthing this joker says is just something to try to campaign with
     other than that he doesn’t know what is going on anywhere!!!!!
     

  31. Jim P

    Truth: Mr Obama, (which I can’t stand and did not vote for) did not say anything but the truth. Hi statement was: Do not go out and buy a boat, if you can’t even pay your morgage.” There is nothing more to say. Stop the media stupidity. Everyone in the MARINE Industry listen up. That is the truth. Mr. Obama DID NOT TELL EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES NOT TO BUY A BOAT.
    Enough of the stupid talk. Why waste time here..I read this paper online for good information. This is a waste. Get to work on the people in the US that can afford boating. Your not going to focus on those that can’t.
    Thank Mr. Obama for telling those that can’t afford boating to focus on paying their morgage..because the truth is when they do that..and the times get better..guess what…if they love boating they will be back..and they will now be financially able to buy..From you and I.

  32. upwindskipper

    I suggest that those of you who are up in arms about a metaphorical comment should take a tour through the repossession lots. They’re full and that inventory needs to go.  Some of it will go to your potential customers.
    Channel your mock outrage energy into customer service which is how you grow the sport. 

  33. DS Boater

    Again the MRAA disappoints our industry. The letter was disparaging, overly forceful and down right disrespectful to our president. There is a way to address our concerns as an industry – with facts and alternative solution possibilities that embrace our direction and hopes for recovery. The NMMA did a much better job of addressing the issue and our concerns as a boating industry, not to mention they responded after the comments, not 2 weeks later?.
    Are we going to focus on drama or are we going to find solutions to improve our industry? Ways to help our dealers and consumers qualify for financing? Yes we need qualified consumers that can afford the luxury of boat ownership, if we don’t were are just part of the problem and make credit even harder for all of us.
    No I did not vote for him or agree with his policies, but in this case I just could not let MRAA speak for me.
    Boater and Industry Enthusiast

  34. DC

    While I am no fan of the Jr Senator from Illinois, his comments on this topic, and a few others, remind me of the old saying ” loose lips sink ships “. However, he cannot be blamed for years and years of government meddling in the home mortgage arena, which bred coprruption, and near collapse of our banking system. There’s plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle, and it took years to create this global, multi trillion dollar, cancer. It will take years to correct itself.
    In the meantime, I know that many of my peers are focused on day to day survival, and it would be nice to believe that the powers in government were of the same mindset. But that borders on fantasy. Consider the fact that this current administration has hired close advisers, whereby 92% have no business accumen what so ever, and we begin to see where things stand in Washington. Couple that with the Pelosi’s and Reid’s of the world, who also have zero, real world business experience, and the picture gets even clearer. So we end up with huge wasteful spending, on fiscal and social engineering programs, all in the name of stimulus, brought to us by those who “know not what they do”.
    I for one, decided a long time ago to rely on the people I know and trust the most; myself , and my staff of associates. Together we will keep putting the perverbial one foot in front of the other, and trudge on, despite the hurdles created by the hand wringers in Washington.
    One thing I have come to know about the American people, we are resillient, smart, hard working, and when we smell a rat, we quickly stomp on it. There will be new blood coming to Washington soon, I only hope they are more real world savy than this current group of posers.
     

  35. Shame on the MRAA and the NMMA

    The NMMA and the MRAA should really listen to there members and as leaders of these associations MUST NOT hurt the industry any more. By sending letters to Washington about something that BO said that truely makes sense speaks volumes to our country about the marine industry and for those that disagree with BO comments about not overextending one self then you really need to get your head out of your “bleep”.
    The MRAA and NMMA position on this silly and will not help the industry at all. What do you want the president say ” go ahead and spend money on a boat. Don’t worry about the mortgage or our youths education, everything will be fine.” Would that help.
    Just remember the attacts that this industry lovers to dishout will come back to bite you on the foot later. Like someone said on this blog don’t cut off you nose in spite of your face.

  36. jabo

    Florida Boat Connection, evidently you missed the BOAT on what I said also….I see you’re not a Harvard grad either…..My point was about FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY…We all have to make changes in the way we spend our money.  Like I said, I have worked in the Marine Industry for over 35 years, I can’t afford a boat anymore, bye, bye boat.  I have a responsibility to keep a roof over my family’s head, before I play on the water…Do I miss it ?  Yes, dearly, but until I can afford it again, I must cut it from our budget…End of story…That is all President Obama was talking about….This will weed out the riff raff in our Industry, the strong ones will still be there.  

  37. Boats865

    Way to go MRRA Keep fighting for the men and women boat dealers we have all worked hard to build our business’s and be where we are today if we are lucky to be  still be open we have been hit hard by the finance companys, and push and squezed for money we have saved for years to keep our doors open of our small business;s, I have been in business 15-years and worked in a boat dealership for over 30-years this remark by a man chosen to lead us out of the recession, hits my way of life, I have known for 30-years, He has not walked in the shoes of a small business boat dealer. He should be thankful for the money we have put in the economey, and the jobs we created and having been  given no tax breaks and no stimulas money what so ever, We are not the big banks or car mfg, Just plain hard working American Boat Dealers.Just one Tennessee Boat dealer.      

  38. Wilson

    Sounds like the President was right.  Keep your priorities in line—housing, food, education then a boat.  If you have the others and can afford a boat, buy one.  If you can only afford a small one, don’t buy a big one.  If people didn’t need to be told this, we wouldn’t be in the state we are now.

  39. James

    I would find it more interesting if the President had said “it is irrisponsible to purchase a new car”, which it is, when your finances are tight. He is perfectly fine targeting an industry that is not heavily unionized. 
    I am not in the industry, but the reasons for purchasing a boat are many. My first boat was purchased with great sacrifice. I had to give up that extra dinner out or the purchase of a new car, but I did it because my sons were becoming teenagers and I knew that if I did not find something that would interest them and their friends, they would  not be with my wife and me on weekends, but would turn to other activities.I looked at boating as a way to keep my family closer and involved in an activity that would interest everyone.
    I understand that the President came from a disfunctional family and may not understand those of us who work hard to keep our marriages and our families together. I do find it telling that he again is telling us how to run our lives and spend our money while using Air Force One to celebrate his wife’s birthday in New York using my money. A nice dinner in the White House with her children might have been even more special!
     

  40. Rocky Flint

     
    Isn’t it ironic that what tipped us over into this mess was not people buying boats,l4a9 but spending beyond their means buying houses. Now, house buying is one of the key economic indicators of how well the economy is recovering.
      Don’t boat sales put people to work too?

  41. eddyboats

    i still cant undertand how the citizens of this country elected this inexperienced, non- us citizen in the first place and would love to see him resign. however , having said that, he is 100% correct when hes says someone who cant afford it shouldnt buy a boat, or go on expensive vacations or buy luxury cars or homes for that matter. i live on long island, probably one of the most materialistic, “keep up with the jonses” regions in the world and i have sold many a boat to people who i knew really shouldnt be buying one. its a double edged sword, do we make a living or change jobs ? the real root of the problem in my opinion is that the marine industry got way too big way too fast. too many manfacturers building way too many models way too quickly and then jamming them down dealers throats who in turn desperatly attend boat shows and the like and proceed to jam them down the consumers throats with come ons of low interst or low payments or NO payments until anyone who could get approved bought a boat. BO didnt cause that problem, greed did. greed of share holders, ceo’s, builders, dealers,  and on and on. the industry is in a correction which is badly needed and when we come out of it it will loook a lot like the 70’s !

  42. Capt Brett

    Be careful what you guys say in your comments or we will all have the IRS knocking on our door to do an audit.
    Commenter number 5 was right on the money.  That is why we are all up in arms about what the great annointed one said to make his point.  He shouldn’t have made the point using our industry.  All of my customers are responsible people who make responsible decisions.  They don’t need to hear a stupid socialistic comment like the one that was made.  The great Harvard Grad should have told the irresponsible Americans out there to stop borrowing against their homes, stop buying the most expensive luxury cars, and stop maxing out your credit card so you can eat in the best restaurants.  Use cash.  When you are out of cash, stay home and save money.  Target the irresponsible folks who have over-extended. 
    The responsible hard working Americans will still be out there boating and all of you fine boat dealers will still be selling and servicing. 
    Those of you socialists who agree with the great annointed one and who are bashing the NMMA should stay in your own lane.  There is no room for socialism in this industry nor this country. 
    Kudos to Phil Keeter and the NMMA.

  43. Boat Dealer

    1.  Without a teleprompter to keep things more centered, the Obama’s true colors as a socialist continue to leak out.
    2.   I applaud the MRAA for defending our industry and calling him on it!  
    3.  While I don’t believe he was attempting to single out any industry, he was attacking something many people work hard for to enjoy… fill in the blank.   Capitalism is at the heart of all successful nations, and he opposes that.  

  44. j.j.marie

    come one – does everything have to be politicized? any thinking person knows what Obama meant, and it certainly was not an attack on the boat industry but rather a comment about fiscal responsibility addressed to the ” masses” – who judging from the MRAA letter and many of the e-mails think at a first grade level.
    can anyone argue with the fact that when one cannot afford to buy his/her mortgage it is not the time to buy a discretionary item which in most cases boats are and in most cases cars or coats as one of the writers mentioned are not.
    we are a small industry, we should be able use common sense and restraint insyead of trying to score political points.
     
     
     
     
     

  45. SteveZ

    Ok so if your going to say that people shouldn’t be boating because it is a materialstic thing, the politicians should stop playing golf because golf clubs, and big fancy country club memberships cost money too and there is no need to do it, or any other hobby for that matter.

  46. Wonderblob

    Some of you guys anti Obama rhetoric is just so foolish. The Cheney/Bush regime was far more dictatorial and did far more damage to our industry than Obama by a factor of a hundred or more. The republican system of economics does not work. Never has and never will. You can’t have a good economy without a good government and all republicans think government is bad and that is the way they make it.

  47. too many idiots in this room

    Gotta love all the anti-Obama comments just because he’s Obama. I really like the “non-citizen”, “disfunctional” (not my spelling), “socialist” comments. You need to quit listening to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
    Context must not be a word in their vocabulary, but instead prefer the sound bite clips because that’s all their brains can process. I guess you only like picture books, too.
    I’m definitely worried about the viability of our industry if some of the people making these posts are actually in decision making positions.

  48. Capt Brett

    Looks like 48, 50 and 51 are trying to convey to us that captialism doesn’t work.  What economics book did you clowns read and what country did you grow up in?  Yes, you are in a room full of idiots.  And how did Bush/Cheney, Beck and Limbaugh get into this discussion? 
    Our business is completely dependent on capitalism.  We are all small businesses providing a luxury item for the hard working Americans who make this country great.  You socialists think we should all drive electric cars and spend our liesure time walking around the city parks.   You totally missed what is truly being said by your great annointed one term icon and you most likely have not started a business from the ground up but rather had it handed to you from the guy who did.  Wake up America!!!

  49. Ron Longman

    This single term, lame duck president has again stuffed his foot in his mouth. Having never started or run a private, job creating operation, he has not a clue on what it takes to keep people profitably employed, create, build and market items that employees will purchase and utilize.
    November will let him know that the American public sees through the falsehoods of his “plan” for change in America.

  50. Love It!

    First off, one of the best things about our country is we all have the ability to speak our mind and question those who lead us. 
    With that said, do I agree with everything or really anything Obama does? No.  Does he have some good ideas, yes.  Education being the strongest point. 
    Anyways, this notion about him being a socialist and not pro-capitalist is all getting so old.  Think for yourselves people.  You all are only repeating what others say.  Some criticism is warranted,  I agree, but truly understand the meaning of socialism.
    This nation is and will always be a capitalist nation.  Unfortunately, capitalism with no control turns into greed.  But capitalism with too much control (too much governement) will never turn into socialism.  It just means we will stunt our economic growth opportunity.  Otherwise known as the crowding out effect where government spending starts to crowd out consumer spending.  Its a phenomena, not a movement.
    This economic downturn is 3 fold.  Government, Greed, and U.S. citizens not being accountable.  Not because this nation is turning socialist.
    So, with that said, I take Obama’s comment for what it is worth and agree with him.  I wish he would have used a different example but we didnt luck out.  Marine Industry is not broken, its healthy, people want to go boating and they will.  Now if we could only get this weather to cooperate!!!

  51. boatlover

    I have lake water running through my veins but actually think the President’s remarks were hysterical and exactly what our industry needed to make darn sure he does not get re elected. The real issue here is that we have a President (and speech writer) who puts no thought whatsoever into the words they are spewing. Obviously Mr. President, you have never owned a boat and will have no means of flotation should God decide to flood the earth again. Too bad. I think he could make it up to us by creating a stash for sinkers program though!

  52. AnonymousBob

    To Love It:
    Love It!! Great post and great way to start the weekend!!!! Will you run for office?! 

  53. CJ

    Kudos to the MRAA and NMMA.  I only wish that they acted sooner and maybe sought some sort of legal action.  The simple truth is, that type of rhetoric is damaging to our industry.  We all recognize that it was a metaphor and that it was a statement used to make a point.  That does not change the fact that it was a STUPID statement to make.  To single out one industry (and city) when the entire nation is struggling was at best irresponsible (not to mention the hypocrisy of the most financially irresponsible president in history, giving financial advice).  Make no mistake the Marine Industry was not chosen by chance.  We are the low hanging fruit.  We have no giant labor union to control the president like a puppet.  We have no well financed lobbyist to influence decisions.  But rest assured he would have not made the same statement substituting “sports car” for boat even though they are both luxury items.
     
    For those commenting here who presently do not rely on the marine industry for the majority of their income, I would politely ask that you not comment on this situation as you are not personally effected.  For those who do rely on the industry but obviously stand in support of this president, you should check yourself.  He has done nothing to date, and has proposed nothing for the future that will do anything but damage our industry.  The issue is much larger than just one president though.  Good – bad, like it or not, right or wrong the simple facts are: One of the political party’s (R) views favors our industry and one (D) does not.  Something we should all consider when going to the polls in the future. 

  54. AnonymousBob

    CJ:You said: “Make no mistake the Marine Industry was not chosen by chance.” You’re kidding, right? You have insider information that Obama singled out the marine industry on purpose? Dude, you are deep in conspiracy theory land there! Are you the Big Brother we all keep hearing about??!!
    To say that Obama’s administration is the most financially irresponsible one in history totally ignores the spending spree Bush/Cheney went on. Obama is gaining rapidly on Bush’s ranking, but Bush was no saint when it came to watching the checkbook.
    The metaphor chosen by Obama was unfortunate, but what is more unfortunate is your complete lack of reality. I work in the industry and realize that the problems we face are the result of actions that occurred before Obama took office. I’m not letting him off the hook because the US seems to be spinning its wheels trying to gain traction towards a recovery. But, for you to think Obama’s statement is a dagger in the industry’s heart shows your inability to see things rationally. Read the post by “Love It” and you’ll understand what thinking, and speaking, rationally means.
    AB

  55. LarryG

    Regarding Obama’s remarks: Has anyone ever noticed that there is a difference between boat people and land people?
    In my experience boat people are, for the most part, dependable, reliable, honest and helpful. I can’t say that my experience with land people has been the same.
    Someone should take Obama for a boat ride.His remarks could apply to all sports. If I remember correctly, Kennedy had two presidential yachts. .

  56. Capt Brett

    Good Comments, CJ.  I concur with everything you said.
    Those who are not actively in this industry should stop commenting.  The water is getting really muddy here.  It’s sad to see so many fine Americans who defend what this president stands for and who do not see how “they” are trying to stomp out capitalism and change us to a socialist state.  You folks are CLUELESS!!!!
    Why do we have FREEDOM OF SPEECH?  FREEDOM OF CHOICE?  SAFETY IN OUR CITIES? (well that is becoming questionable once again like it was back in the Clinton years…. we are no longer safe from terrorism…)   Just watch those freedoms change with your great president.   Bush/Cheney restored our safety in the homeland and that came with a huge cost…..  Your messiah is spending like there is no bottom and he has yet to spend it on something meaningful.  The AF-1 joyrides are an example and the flight to Vegas this week as a total waste.
    Also, Bush and Cheney did not do anything to negatively affect our industry.  Let’s get off of the Bush/Cheney blame game.  They did what it took to make our country safe.  The Dems can’t say that….

  57. AnonymousBob

    Capt. Brett:
    You’ve lost touch with reality, too. 9/11 occurred under Bush’s watch. Is that the “great cost” you refer to when stating Bush/Cheney “restored the safety in our homeland”. You’ve apparently been floating at sea a bit too long.
    I agree that the government is spending way beyond its means, which is exactly what Americans did to get us all in the pickle we’re in now. Unfortunately, the government spending is what has propped up the economy, but it will come with great pain long-term. But…don’t forget that the initial “bailout programs” began under Bush/Cheney, so we can appropriately say both sides of the aisle have been terrible stewards of the nation’s checkbook. I don’t think any business is too big to fail and I wish both administrations realized that markets left to their own devices would be the most efficient way to get us out of this mess as quickly as possible. The short-term pain would have been tough to experience, but we now face some dire long-term struggles. The country is between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” with no one in DC really concerned about us as constituents. They only see us a votes that can be counted on, or not, for re-election. Politicians are in their own world with a totally different set of rules. Do we need a revolution? Don’t know. But, I do know that Obama’s boat comment won’t have any bearing on our industry. We are a resilient bunch that builds a product people want and will always want. We have bigger fish to fry.
    AB

  58. Steve Morrell

    Someone actually commented that Bush/Cheney did nothing to hurt the boating industry? Have you not noticed the economy start to crash in 2006, the height of the economic bubble and the point when the boating industry really began to sink, and crashed in 2008, at the end of their 8 years of administration? Plus their party controlled congress from 94 to 2006? Were they too stupid to see it all coming as they spent a trillion dollars on war? No one has done more to hurt the boating industry and every other industry in the U.S.
                Obama did the boating industry – and the finance companies – a favor. He told all those people who can’t afford to buy a boat to not buy one. Of course, there are a lot of selfish people out there who probably don’t care, because it won’t be the boat seller that gets hurt. He’ll get paid. It will be the finance company who will not get paid. And you people who complain want to encourage boat loans to these people? You were probably encouraging them 5 years ago too – and here we are today with the repo yards full of your boats.
                We are in a recreational industry and we ought to accept it. We are less important than food, clothing and housing – plus many other essentials. Accept it. We overbuilt for those boom years and we all partied heavily, but can’t now handle the hangover. Obama gets up there and says, “You shouldn’t be drinking like that if you can’t handle it.” Get over it. What a punch of sissy victims.
                You wanted be treated fairly? Quit whining or get in another industry.
     
    Steve Morrell

  59. Capt Brett

    Anonymous Bob and Steve Morrell:
    You guys must work for Obama…..   You need to stop throwing punches at those of us who are working hard to keep the marine industry vibrant.  My highest expense over the past 15 years has been my floorplan expense for my inventory…… So who do you think is making all of that money????  Not me…..  Get real, guys.
    And Bob, you might be right…. I did spend a bit too much time at sea to keep you safe at night.  I was on active duty during 9/11 and I was a direct target of the terrorists who you two guys must feel are not a threat to this great country.  I was on a ship in the Persian Gulf all of 1998 and I served on the ground in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 .  In the early 90s, I was on the PIT/PATs for the BRAC and I had to justify why it was a great idea to lower the gates at NAS Ocean,  NAS Norfolk, and NOB Norfolk.  I did so under Clinton and I was forced to justify why it was a great idea to let our guard down since Reagan and Bush ended the cold war.  9/11 was planned back in the 90s when our country became extremely unsafe during the Clinton years.   Bush/Cheney tightened it back up while crybabies like you complained about getting patted down at the airport because it violated your civil rights.  Get real, man!!!!
    You Dems cost us billions to make this country unsafe in the 90s and you think it was Bush/Cheney’s fault it cost so much to rebuild homeland security.  What planet are you from?  You totally missed the reality of this entire mess.
    2006 was my best year in this business until your Democratic Congress started tearing it all down.  Again, Get Real!!!!
    And now, under your great messiah, the floorplan companies doubled interest rates and began demanding curtailments and forced many dealerships out of business.  The banks just “write it off” as brilliant people like you say… and at who’s expense????   Just what is a “write off” and who pays the price in the end?  Wake up!!!
    Don’t blame the dealers out here for the boatyards full of repos.  They didn’t create it…..  The banks and CONGRESS did…..  The banks also created the repo businesses who get their 10% regardless of how low they sell the product.  Now that does a whole lot of good for the rest of us…..
    Think about this while you are sipping your Cool-Aid;  The boat dealers didn’t raise the price of gasoline right after the banks allowed people to overborrow to buy the homes of their dreams.  But the dealers did get left with the fall-out after all of those poor dummies who overborrowed couldn’t pay their mortgages.  The trickle-down affect eventually reached the boat owners who had successful businesses building houses, selling cars, etc…..  So get REAL and see it for what it is…..  You are missing the big picture.
    I agree, Obama has done nothing to our industry or to any other industry.  We are still waiting for the positive change but that’s not what he meant.  Your great leader expects us to all paddle around in kayaks, drive electric cars, and walk around the city parks for recreation.  WAKE UP!!!!
    This will all be remembered when we take the house back…….

  60. Steve Morrell

    Those democrats are so powerful that they were able to bring down the country after 6 years of a Republican president and 12 years of a Republican congress. Just like magic it happened so quickly. The height of the real estate bubble was spring of 06. From then on in values dropped rapidly – and the boating industry and every other industry went down from there on in. The Democrats were so powerful that they were able to bring the country down even BEFORE they came into power since they came into power in early 2007. They are truly amazing. Think of that. Things started to go downhill before they had any power. Wow! Maybe they used voodoo against those who were running the country. Whoever was running it must have been really blind to let that happen.

  61. AnonymousBob

    Capt. Brett:
    Thanks for your service.
    Your logic for 9/11 is completely ludicrous. The fact is, the terrorist attacks occurred under the Bush/Cheney regime. The intel about the attacks was ignored and 3000+ innocents lost their lives as a result. The seeds were planted for the attack a long time ago with both parties to blame for not putting down the threat. But, more and more evidence shows that Bush/Cheney completely dropped the ball with the intel they were given. We’ve seen that the buck didn’t stop with Bush because he couldn’t handle it. Instead, he declared an illegal war in Iraq that has cost us 4000+ American service member lives along with countless permanently wounded veterans. The no-bid contracts granted to Halliburton, Blackwater, et al were (still are) illegal and benefited those cronies beholden to Bush/Cheney, all at great additional cost to taxpayers. So, yeah, I can see how safe, and costly, it was to have Bush/Cheney in office.
    Nice try on the Congress of 2006 conspiracy theory. You really think Congress can turn on a dime like that and totally upend an industry? Get real. The seeds of the economic downturn were sown a long time ago when The Fed made borrowing so easy, the SEC neglected to properly regulate securities transactions, Wall Street was buying regulators and Congress, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were allowed to increase their leverage ratios to levels unable to be sustained. No political party can say they were innocent of any of this because there are Republican and Democrat fingerprints all over the place. The finance companies reacted (too harshly, in my opinion) to the economic mess by either pulling out of the industry or jacking up rates to effectively exit the industry. The marine industry is feeling the aftershocks of an event we did not make. But, until some other finance companies appear on the horizon, we’re all suffering. I bust my hump every day trying to help my company and customers survive – in the marine industry. I know completely all too well how the “trickle down effect” has crippled our industry as I experience it every day.
    You need to switch Kool-Aid bottles. You recited a lot of nice Republican talking points, but totally missed the reality bus.
    AB

  62. Arch

    And don’t forget that it’s CONGRESS, NOT THE PRESIDENT, that pushes our domestic agenda and has the most influence on our economy.  THE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN IN CONTROL OF CONGRESS FOR YEARS NOW.  People in this country think things start and end with the president.  They blame the recession on Bush, because he was in the white house when it started.  Anybody that knows anything about how gov’t works will tell you that Congress is much more responsible for our current situation than Bush is.  Those blaming Bush or Obama are dead wrong.  Both can share in a part, but only a small part.  The DEMS in congress are most to blame for the recession and in our vulnerability to terror attacks.  This is a fact.
    But both sides have made major mistakes and the current administration has made it worse.

  63. AnonymousBob

    Marty:
    You misspelled “Iacocca’s” last name.
    And, it is extremely ironic you quote someone that gladly, willingly, and voluntarily sought out a government bailout (well, a government backstop) when he was in charge of Chrysler. He courted Congress for the loan guarantees that kept Chrysler afloat using the “too big to fail” concept and was successful due to the government’s help. Otherwise, Chrysler probably would not have made it. And now Chrysler is in the hands of the Italians. Since Iacocca is of Italian heritage, maybe it was all some grand scheme!! How’s that for a conspiracy theory??!!
    I admire Iacocca’s business acumen, but if he really said what you say he did, then he’s just another part of the problem. The name calling and labeling only serves as a divisive measure and doesn’t help bring anyone together. Your implicit approval of that by quoting him only goes to show that you’re part of the problem, too.
    AB

  64. AnonymousBob

    Arch:
    You are correct that Congress is the influence regarding the basic operations of government. And, yes, the Democrats have had control of Congress for “years” now, 4 to be exact (2006 – current).
    But…let’s take a look at how long the Republicans have been in control of Congress over the last number of years:
    1994: Gingrich’s Contract “with” America brought Republican control of Congress, with the session that began in 1995.
    1996 elections: Republicans still controlled both houses of Congress. They lost a few seats but still had majority control.
    1998 elections: Republicans retained majority control of Congress.
    2000 elections: Senate was split Rep/Dem but Republicans had control based on Cheney as presiding officer of Senate. House of Reps still Republican majority control.
    Time until 2006 elections: Senate still split but control flip/flopped as some Senators swapped parties and some became Independents. Most of the time was Republican majority. The House of Representatives was Republican majority until 2006 elections.
    And let’s not forget that Bush 43 was President during 2001-2006, so Republicans had control of the Legislative and Executive branches for 6 of the last 9 (2010 hasn’t ended yet) years.
    I point all this out to say that the pain we’re feeling now is not exclusively the territory of the Democrats. The facts that you want us to take into account are spelled out above.and totally refute your claim that the Democrats alone are to blame for the recession and our “vulnerability to terror attacks”. I respectfully call BS on your claim. Please do some research before you go spouting Republican talking points.
    AB

  65. Arch

    BOB, I twice said that BOTH parties are to blame, but was clear the DEMS were more to blame.  All you did was site who has been in control and office going back to the mid 90’s.  That does nothing.  You need to look at the actions of each party.  It was the DEMS that pushed to lax lending guidelines, insisting that they were too strict and therefore was unfair to minorities and the lower/middle class.  The DEMS were the ones that laid the ground work that contributed greatly to our banking crisis and recession.  It’s all on tape and on you tube.  You can see how the regulators and Republicans were warning what would happen, yet Barney Frank, Dodd, Pelosi, Reid, Waters, etc all pushed for it. 
    Sure, you can put Iraq (legal war) on Bush, but the Dems voted for it, and we had every right to go in there based solely on their contant breaking of UN resolutions.  The US isn’t going to let China and Russia’s vote keep us from defending our country, just because they are trading parters with IRAQ and need Iraq’s oil.  You should be thankful we had a President with some backbone, unlike the one we have now.  As it’s turned out, going in there was an absolute mess, and since it was Bush at the helm, he is to blame.  But few knew what a mess it was turning out to be.  But credit them for making the sacrafice NOW to clean house in the middle east, instead of letting them get bigger, stronger, and get much more dangerous weapons and therefore being a much bigger threat to future generations.  It’s THOSE types of decisions over the years that have made the US the superpower that it is, and the greatest country on earth.  THE WEAK don’t look at it this way of course, and never have, but history is NOT on their side.

  66. arch

    I agree 100% with ANONYMOUS BOB’s on Obama’s BOAT comment and the MRAA/NMMA.  BUT…….his comments about Bush and the Iraq War are far from accurate.
    And people like Brian Schneider are an embarrassment.  As much as I dislike Obama’s politics, people that think he is out to intentionally destroy America, or that he is some secret muslim, are really pathetic.  Put them in the same group as the Birthers.  Both parties have their wackos.   
    In my opinion, Capt Bret is totally wrong about Obama’s boat comment yet is right on the money about the Democrats and 9/11. 
    First of all Bob, did you forget how many times Iraq broke the rules/resolutions/sanctions that they had agreed to operate under?  It was blatant, and each time it happened, the US went back to the UN and despite dozens of incidents and total disregard for the rule of law, the UN wasn’t even willing to slap the hand of Saddam or put serious sanctions on Iraq.  Over time, a decision had to be made.  Would be continue letting the UN give Iraq a free pass, and in the mean time, make the US more vulnerable, or would we find another way to get in there.  Well, before you start with the non-sense that they didn’t have wmd’s, understand that they did.  That is a fact and is indisputable.  Just because we didn’t find it after we went in, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have it before.  We know that they did, the UN knows, yet people here in the US were brainwashed by the media into thinking they didn’t have any and therefore never did.  That is bogus. 
    I could go on and on, but many in this country give credit to Bush/Cheney for going in there.  What we ended up with was a mess, but very few knew that going in.  Don’t forget, the democrats voted to go in too.  Funny how you mention Haliburton.  It’s a fact that Obama and other dems have already awarded no big contracts to companies owned by large contributors to the democratic party.  It was just reported recently. It’s an ugly side of politics and its done on both sides.  
    Interesting how Obama has no problem with using drones to wipe out the enemy, and innocents getting killed (collateral damage), yet he wants to read the underwear bomber his rights and give him the same protection as a US citizen.  Again, I can go on forever.
    Bush was far from a great president, but nobody ever questions his integrity or convictions.  When the dookie hits the fan, most Americans would prefer him at the helm.  Of course, I don’t want either, but that is a whole other story for another day I hope.  Obama has learned the hard way, that governing is tough.  In many ways, he and his adminstration have made Bush look really good.  Obama won only because he promised the most to the masses, sounded good doing it, and followed an unpopular Republican president.  I’m glad to see that people are starting to see clearly now again.  

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