Obama takes heat for boat-buying comment

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During a speech Tuesday in New Hampshire, President Barack Obama made some comments about fiscal responsibility that have riled some in the boating industry and Las Vegas.

“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.”

The comments drew ire from Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman, who said, “I’ll do everything I can to give him the boot,” Goodman said of Obama. “This president is a real slow learner.”

A year ago, Obama said at a town hall in Indiana that corporations shouldn’t use federal bailout money for trips to Las Vegas. That comment also didn’t sit well with city officials.

Obama reportedly sent Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada native, a letter explaining he was trying to make a point about not overspending in a tight economy.

“There is no place better to have fun than Vegas,” Obama wrote, “one of our country’s great destinations.”


74 comments on “Obama takes heat for boat-buying comment

  1. Jim in Seattle

    Mr. Obama may be smart.  And he may make wonderful speeches.  But, he sure has mastered the ability to insert his foot into his mouth.

  2. Greg

    WOW!!! How stupid is this guy! He would not dare say that about an RV!
    Last year when Detroit auto makers flew to DC in corporate jets, they got blasted! That made corporate jets a bad word and pending sales for new airplanes were cancelled by the dozens! I guess we get punished even more by this inept government by making the purchase of a boat sound stupid!

  3. Jac

    So what this mayor is sayin’ is: Go ahead and spend that money you were saving for your kid’s college tuition; he/she will probably flunk out anyway.  Of course, if you want your kid to go school, we’ll underwrite that loan so you don’t go bankrupt and can still come to Vegas.  And a boat, yeah, go buy a boat.  we’ll underwrite that loan too with low, low interest rates.  Then, when you can’t afford dock space, gas or winter storage because of the added expense you can’t afford, come to Vegas.
    I swear, some people are just too stupid for words.

  4. Ryan

    I don’t see him (tighting his belt) or selling any of his nice homes.  All I see him doing is blowing a crap lot of (our) money!

  5. boatman11

    I am no fan of Obama in any way, but why would anyone be riled with his comment on buying a boat? You DON’T go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. It was disregarding this philosophy that caused this economic disaster in the first place!

  6. Arch

    Let’s use some common sense here people. 
    First of all, Obama wasn’t directing his comment at the marine industry.  What he said is true and makes sense.  Ditto for his Vegas comment.  Personally, I don’t like it, but it wasn’t inappropriate and not deserving of criticism on this scale.  
    But let’s not miss the REAL STORY here.  Obama is now preaching to us about fiscal responsibility and prioritizing?  ARE YOU SERIOUS???  What a joke!
    I think those on the right have to be really careful about attacking the left for comments made, like these and the one Rahm Emmanuel made which ticked off Palin.
    Let’s stay focused on the issues and not on all the other grey matter. 

  7. bill mckinster (wildbill)

    Well just another insult to the American small business, this so called president is the worse  thing for American economy… Every time he opens his mouth people run;  I run a small pre-owned boat business, and I don’t appreciate him saying everybody” DON”T BUY A BOAT”  send me more tax dollars, and support my left wing liberal aggenda. he is a disgrace to our country… Bill

  8. Chris Bryant

    Seems like a silly news item. The last thing I need in the boating industry is another person who can’t afford it. If they can’t pay their morgage -how good of a customer are you getting?

  9. Bryan Tuckey

    Hmmmm… this is coming from a guy who, on Monday, showed his 1.2 Trillion…or something like that… budget.  THAT IS IN THE RED!!!!!!
    It’s called a CFO.  HIRE ONE!

  10. TVH

    Don’t worry, be happy. Fewer and fewer people are listening to anything BO says these days. The best thing the polititions could do for the economy would be to take a year off.

  11. Doug Reimel

    Dear Mr. President
    It is painfully clear that you have never been boating. Mr. President, Boating is quality family time spent together. There is no other family activity that the whole family can enjoy together. There is no other family activity that the whole family is,( for lack of a better words), forced to be in a confined area and when electronic devices are left at home, must communicate with each other. Yes, Mom, Dad, Brothers, and Sisters spending quality time together and communicating. Something every family must do.I for one have many stories of how a boating has brought families together. Did you know that 85% of boating families are involved parents. Yes, that is 85% who’s parents are not dependant on the government to raise their kids. These are parents who want kids and make time to spend with them. These are parents who do not dump them off anywhere, any place, so they do not have to be bothered with them. These are involved parents who’s kids grow up to be up standing citizens. These same citizens who recycle and are concerned with the enviroment. These are the same citizens who willingly give back to their community, FREELY.
    If at any time you and your family would like to experience the many wonders of boating, I will be happy to accomadate you and your family. You will be able to experience bass fishing, walleye fishing, deep sea fishing, and tournament action. If your not into fishing you can experience water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding. Or maybe rafting for a party, or cruising to a remote island and experiencing what nature has created. Or the rush of crewing on a sail boat during a race knowing at any minuet your mates on the crew may be depending on you. Or just a leisurely cruise to watch a beautiful sunset. Boating has so much more to offer.
    A lifetime of fun, a lifetime of memories that everyone should experience. It is one of the many things that make this country GREAT.
    My name is Doug Reimel
    P.S. You know how to contact me!

  12. BBC Gal

    He probably would not say that if the White House owned a “Presidential Yacht” as many heads of states in other countries do.  He certainly has not tightened his belt while using Air Force One for unnecessary trips around the world.  And that includes Michelle and the kids.   And to add fuel to the fire, Nancy Pelosi uses a jumbo Air Force jet costing a fortune in fuel to take her cronies shopping in Italy?
    What happened to the adage “lead by example.” If you look up stupid in the White House in the dictionary, you will see Obama’s picture.

  13. charlie

    Ok now!  Here is my comment and question!
    I ask this almost everyday in my shop, the gym, the bank and anywhere else someone starts to complain about the king “O”
    If what he says and does now apears to bother everyone – who the hell elected him?
    Was no one paying attention during the election retoric – John M tried to tell us!
    Like him or not.
    One last fact the current VP aslo tried to tell us about this guy!
    Keep buying the Japanese cars, Chinese clothes, and anything else you want cheap and this is what we get!
    How about charging for our service men and woman as a new export it seems to me it’s the only thing other countries seem to want from us and we give it away!!!!

  14. Steve Morrell

    I am going to say something that is one hundred percent true: “If you can’t afford to pay your mortgage, you shouldn’t be buying a boat or taking trips to Las Vegas.” Would the person in the boating industry and the people in Las Vegas who complained about this comment really disagree with this? If so, then I would wonder about their abilties to run their own budgets.
    The boating industry already sold a ton of boats to people who couldn’t afford to pay their mortgage. Has everyone forgotten about this? It just happened a few years ago if you can’t remember. We’ve already been there, done that. The repo yards are full of boats and subdivisions are full of empty houses. How about encouraging responsible budgeting like Obama is trying to do? Even if it hurts your own wealth, the truth needs be admitted.

  15. Capt Ken

    Heh Boaters, get used to this guy’s socialistic-facist agenda; dictating how we live our lifes, how we worship, how much we make, how many children we have, who live-who dies, etc.  This country is not going to be recognizable in three years.  He’s got a czar for every aspect of your life.  Wake up AMERICA and impeach this bottom-feeder who has never had a real job, never created a job as a small business owner and never added to our Nation’s GNP.

  16. boat4ever

    I am no Obama fan to say the least.
    But I agree with Boatman11.
    Obama’s statement was factual and what dealer doesn’t realize that. If you think differently, maybe some rose-colored glasses will help your bottom line.

  17. imaconservative

    Politicians should be limited to one four-year term – two years in office; two years in jail.

  18. Reggie

    To the gentlemen from MA.  Yes you did speak and I trust you will be eating those words very soon.
    Problem as I see it, people are not listening, they are reacting to sound bytes, and any shock jock that screams loud enough.
    If you can not afford to pay your bills do you think buying a boat is the smart thing to do?  Sounds to me like you do, or you are not thinking what you are hearing through.
    My suggesting for us all, before we start running our mouths about getting rid of someone. Ask this question how good was the 8 years prior and what did that government do for you.  At least he is trying to fix things and we are not giving him a chance.
    Not buying a boat if you can not pay your bills is exactly what your mother would say to you, do you want to boot her out of your life?

  19. Timm

    While I don’t have a problem with what he said, I do have a problem with someone who is spending our children and grandchildren into bankruptcy preaching to others about how to handle money! No one in DC should open their mouths about economics at any level until they have balanced the budget and put a plan in place to pay down the national debt. They should all be hauled off to jail for their fiscal malfeasance!

  20. Jim EZ

    Stop the political rhetoric. Look at the comment. Take it for what it is.
    If you can’t pay your mortgage you SHOULD NOT be buying a boat.
    DON”T use the kids college fund for a trip to Vegas. Obama is 100% correct. For those who can only see as far as the greasy wallet they are holding open, isn’t the lack of responsibility what got us in this mess in the first place?
    Obama hating may make you feel good, but guess what, it only makes you look like a horses ass. Anyone that agrees that their customers should not pay the mortgage and buy a boat please stand up. Fiscal responsibility starts at home or haven’t you figured it out yet.
    Who and what do you think got us in this mess?

  21. imaconservative

    He makes a point but he should put his words to work.  I’ve heard people say that Obama’s spending can be compared to that of a drunken sailor but I don’t think that’s being fair to drunken sailors.

  22. dave

    If you can’t pay your mortgage….you should never have bought the blooming house with no money down and an interest only loan and expect us boat owners to bail your lazy self out, because now you can’t second/HELOC it to maintain the lifestyle.
    BO should keep his mouth shut about things he knows nothing about.

  23. Greg

    I do not believe anyone is saying you should buy a boat if you can’t pay your mortgage. That is obviously a stupid and almost impossible scenario these days as no financing would be available in the first place.
    The issue is Obama relating the purchase of a boat to frivelous spending in the same sentence as a Las Vegas vacation! Notice he did not refer to buying a new car as a waste. How many people went and bought a car they could not afford because you and I gave them $4000 for a $200 piece of S*#@.
    There is a lot of emphasis on “conspicuous consumption” these days. Obviously there are people who can still afford to buy a boat, but we do not want them to second guess there purchasing decision because the most powerful man in the world just said it is as stupid as blowing your money in Vegas!
    The main reason the Marine industry has not received the attention and support the RV industry has is because of Washingtons view of a boat!  A boat can be a 15 foot jon boat but the word “boat” congers up the image of a yacht!

  24. GDMiller5

    Obama wouldn’t be saying things like this if we weren’t in the position we’re in now economically.  Think about it…those same people who are complaining here are probably the same irresponsible people who got us into this mess in the first place and that I AM NOW BAILING OUT!
    If you can’t afford something…don’t buy it.  End of story.  If that means you can’t buy a boat…then you can’t buy a boat.  Sorry.  Work harder.  Make more money.  I am tired of the rhetortic that everyone has a “right” to own a boat or that buying a boat should be accessible to anyone.  No they don’t and no it shouldn’t!  It’s a privelage that comes after years of hard work.  It’s a “luxury” folks.
    As a marine professional, I love Obama’s statement.  It prevents me from having to deal with people who can’t afford what I’m selling and that’s fine with me.    Keeps my market focused and clean and keeps the economy stable for future generations.  The marine industry will adjust to all this.  Not to worry.

  25. Grouchy

    While I agree that the President’s comments were factual, I feel that the point could have been made without making our industry a whipping boy.
    To say that in this economy each of us needs to tighten our belt, determine our actual needs, and use our resources wisely, would have, I believe, made the point without targeting.
    Was targeting buying a boat any more appropriate that an RV, motorcycle, or other non-essential item?
    I’ll leave Las Vegas to defent itself.

  26. Fed Up in Atlanta

    Captn Ken, you’re spot on. Amazing that it didn’t even take a full year for the American public to wonder “what the heck has happenned”. He and his entourage have already hung billions on our grandchildren.Talk about being way over your head. Fiscal responsibility? Obama nor those other cronies in Washington have any clue to it’s meaning. How many payrolls has he had to meet? Wake up America! We MUST get them all out and somehow start over. Massachusetts has the ball rolling, let’s keep it going until someone with some sort of business senses shows up. You can’t tell me that 54% (Obama’s winning %) of the US population is that nieve. I guess we can blame Bush for that also.

  27. DJ in NC

    I am not an Obama supporter or fan by any stretch of the imagination but his comments were pragmatic and on target.  If you are financially challenged you can’t afford any perceived luxury item.  Those in the boating industry should fully realize this.  They should also realize:
    – Boat manufacturing will continue contracting until that point supply and demand are in equilibrium.  An empty pipeline is not a reflection of true demand.
    – Boat manufacturers have gone way outside the realm of reason in the offering and pricing of boats.  This will become more and more obvious with stricter lending requirements.  I am sorry but $20,000 for an entry level lake runabout is far more outrageous than Obama’s comment.
    – Dealers are missing a great opportunity in the used market.  They can probably gain more dollar for dollar return on investment selling “Certified Pre-Owned” units complete with warranty than being forced to sell a new boat which was forced on them by a manufacturer.

  28. Bobalouie

    How’s all that hope and change working out for you all?  Soon he’ll take over the marine industry (or what’s left of it) and put manners on you by running your business like he does at GM.  Fascism anyone? Lefties and have nots happy!

  29. Wuwei

    Few people are going to be buying boats or Vegas vacations until we get the unemployed back to work, fix the longterm problem of ballooning medical costs, and fix financial regulations to prevent these “too big to fail” companies from wrecking the economy. Obama is tackling all of these problems in a coherent and logical manner, while all the opposition can offer is cut taxes and regulations. Those were the exact policies that got our country into this mess under Bush. And, selling boats to families that can’t afford them will not work any better than selling them houses they couldn’t afford did.

  30. common sense period

    For anyone in our industry to defend his remarks as “common sense” is rediculous!  To single out buying a boat or going to Vegas as irresponsible spending is not correct for a leader of the country.  It just shows he is a fool who needs to think before he speaks.
    He could easily have stated many, many things you should not do if you can’t pay your mortgage.  If he and/or his speech writer had any common sense at all, they would have left it as a generic statement “you don’t spend money on unneccessary things when you cannot pay your mortgage”.  So DO NOT defend him if you are a member of this industry!
    Remember he has been to Elkhart, IN multiple times for “photo ops” about the recession and jobs.  That is the heart of boat building country.  Then he turns around and says “do not buy a boat” – which just adds insult to injury to those folks in Elkhart and around the nation who depend on boating for their livelihood.
    Shame on any of you in the boating business who defend this buffoon!

  31. Short Dollars

    Rather than a comment, I have a question.  Since the government has said we should all tighten our belt and do with less, why are they not doing so until 2011?  Why not do it tomorrow?

  32. Symmetre

    Kudos to Jim EZ, for being one of the very few here to have any sort of perspective whatsoever.
    If you can afford it, go buy a boat (or go to Vegas). But if you can’t afford it, then don’t do it. Spending money you don’t have is what put America in such dire straits today. And when people are up to their eyeballs in debt, guess what – they can’t buy boats.
    This is not exactly rocket science.

  33. Barry

    The problem with Obama’s comments are that buying boats and spending money in Vegas are both too industry specific. What he should have recommended was for people who can’t pay their mortgage to not spend money for discretionary products and vacations until their financial future is on more solid ground. Of course, had he done that, he would have had to have his comments interpreted so his constituency could understand.  

  34. M K

    As I see it, the frustration with BO’s comment is not that any dealer suggests that someone who cannot afford a boat should buy one, but that he singled out our industry and implied that a boat in your lives is not necessary.  It is just another step in the Democrats philosophy that the American public is ignorant and the govt. must tell them how to live.
    All of these comments against BO are a result of him continuing to say one thing and actually do the opposite.  How dare he preach fiscal responsibility when he does not practice it.  For those of you defending him because he is “trying” to fix things and can’t get help from the Republicans, it takes two to negotiate, and the Dems, BO included are not trying to negotiate.  They have tried to use their supermajority to push through their agenda and now can’t even agree themselves.
    What we need is a third party so no one party could have a supermajprity and would have to negotiate with someone and end up more in the middle where the majority of this country is.

  35. James S

    Is it news to anybody building recreational craft in this world that we spend our working life making products THAT NOBODY REALLY NEEDS?  People want boats to fish, to ski, to cruise, but they don’t need them.  You made the decision to be in this busines and unless you build commercial or military vessels nobody needs what you make.  If you don’t like it, start making toilet paper or toothpaste.  And families should spend their money on things they need.

  36. kyjd75

    Hmmm. . . I just bought a new boat (Skeeter).  I have a son in college whichI’m paying all the expenses for, and my wife loves to go to Vegas, which she does from time to time.
    No wonder I’m NOT an Obama supporter.

  37. Ashamed to be a Republican

    Wow!! This speaks volumes for the marine industry. I counted the negative post from this article and most of you fellow republicains don’t like anything that OB does or say’s. This is why we get called the party NO. His statement is spot on and the banks that hate him know for all his comments about bankers pay should be lifting OB on there shoulders.
    Let’s remember folks we had a choice last year. We had the MACman and the Palin chick and I’m sorry to say that was not a good ticket. The MACman could do a great job in running the military but he could not pull us out of a bad economy. Palin, come on guy’s I’m sure she could bake a mean batch of cookies and look pretty but who is going to feel comfortable about her running the country if the MACman kicks it.
    LET’S ALL DO THIS! The country has this guy in office for three more years. Let’s STOP putting the country on hold until the next election and work on getting things country back on track. The party of NO will fail again next election if we don’t come together and support smart comments like the article above. If  OB said the sky is blue let’s agree with him.
    Those of you that are upset about the gov. spending money to try to get us out of this mess need to look at what would happen if the gov. did nothing. Just look at how many teachers jobs was saved because of Fed. money was given to the state. The California school system would have had much more layoff’s. OH, you guy’s don’t care about them becuse teachers don’t buy boats.

  38. Orlando

    Then again,
    Who needs to buy a car?
    Who needs to buy Ice Cream?
    Who need to go to McDonald’s?
    Who needs to buy Insurance from AIG, oh did we just gave them $200 billion dollars plus them we rewarded the same people that put us in the hole so they can go to Vegas and buy new boats?
    How about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are these Obama’s Friend’s?
    How about Acorn Housing?
    Ok, How about me, how about the boating industry how, we have don’t and still trying to do is to provide fun relaxing family Quality time and where is our Bail My Friends Out Money?
    Wait, Obama is going to give small businesses a Tax Incentive when they hire someone; To do what? If I can get people finance.
    With all these Bail Out, Hand Outs, and Modification is going to take a long time for people to get serious about paying anything back, what makes this country and what makes life in general is that some things have to die in order for other to live or have life is the circle of life is the circle of business.
    No one is bailing me or for that matter this industry, some are going to have to go away learn from their mistake and start over again.  
     I would like to see Obama on the 10 “Most Wanted” list, Not for Child Molestation but as a:
    Business Molester
    This Suspect is Armed and Dangerous
    Carries a Mic and a Teleprompter
    Destroys Businesses


  39. dave

    sorry ashamed…being quiet usually means condoning the behavior….
    I am an independent, and I can’t sit back while this guy says things, does something different – that will saddle my kid and at least his kids going forward.
    To quietly go away will not happen…things need to change, and they are best changed by grassroots and the working man, be he a boater, RVer or what ever his free time and money will allow.
    Get involved, contact your officials, VOTE, and dig for the facts.
    And if you have the means buy a boat or go to Vegas, just don’t expect me or anyone else or the government to make you whole again, and here is the rub – using my money.  If the government wants to do all this on their, or Scoros, or some other socialist’s money, then great….but leave me and my few leftover bucks…
    all the best

  40. captdave

    this guy needs to go, i can not wait until his term is up
    hopefully we will get rid of Pelose and the Reid and the rest
    of the loonies before than.  I am ashamed of this man and i can
    not believe the comments he has made.  I guess we cant buy a
    boat or go to vegas but he can spend thousands on a night out
    withe the wife.  I dont know how this guy got elected and i still
    want to see a birth certificate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. LARRY


  42. James

    Obama, and all politicians, need to be careful with what they say.
    While Obama is right, that people should not spend money they don’t have on things that are not essential, while at the same time, not being able to pay for what they do need, to single out any industry, location, etc. as the BAD choice, is at best careless, and at worst will damage those areas he singled out.
    And when he is proposing a budget that will further sed this country in debt, he is the wrong person to preach on fiscal responsibility.
    Just my 0.8 cents worth
    (it used to be 2 cents, when my father had it, but when he died the estate had to pay taxes on it so I only got 0.8 of his wisdom)

  43. iknowmorethanyou

    if you can’t afford a mortgage, should you be buying a boat?
    of course, that’s what he was saying.

  44. bj

    I don’t get it. If a guy can not afford a mortgage, then how did he get one.
    I suggest the answer is congress encourged the loans. It takes us back to the bases of the problem. CONGRESS.
    Lets make some big changes in 2010

  45. Foxfire

    WOW, are WE heated or what???????????
    44 comments in just one afternoon……………
    I don’t like Obama neither, BUT he “IS” YOUR president!!!!!!!!!!!
    And I’m also in the boating field……………..
    NEXT time it comes up to vote, chose an independant with business skills. NOT Republican, NOT Democrat, but the next Ross Perot that stands tall in the saddle.
    THEN we will all see “If Pro is opposite of Con, What is opposite of Progress?????  CONGRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Greg

    I have heard all sides, and I now realize what is wrong with this industry. It has only taken me 18 years!
    We tell everyone why they should buy a boat, but long gone are the days of the boat dealers who actually believe this. We have seen huge corporations enter and exit this industry. I have seen people enter this industry with no love or knowledge of what they are doing! The passion is gone, and with that goes the competetive spirit. For all of you who believe that boating is a “luxury”, it is time for you to exit our industry.
    You see, boating is a lifestyle for so many of us. The boat is not a luxury, but a way of life. The reason we work so hard, for many of us, is so we can enjoy time with family and friends on a boat! A luxury to me is a new lift for my boat! Not the boat!!! Be careful how you describe luxury.
    When I am dead and gone, my children will not remember my time at the office or the money I blew in Vegas. No, they will remember the time we spent together at the lake every summer. I can only hope they are only able to repeat this in my memory with there children!
    I will never stand for anyone, Republican, Democrat, Black or White, who calls what I do a waste of money.
    I drive a ten year old vehicle. My wife drives an 8 year old vehicle. In my house as in many others, a new car is a luxury, NOT A BOAT!!!

  47. Capt Ken

    For a bunch of small-medium sized business owners I cannot believe how naive many of you are, or at least your comment are.  This President we have is big-time trouble.  I wasn’t a big fan of John McCain or Sarah Palin or even Joe Biden but I never doubted their patriotism or allegiance to this country.  I do with BO and you should, also.  Bowing to foreign heads of state, slighting our allies and sucking up to 3rd world dictators, bringing Chicago corruption to Washington, declaring our country is no longer a Christian nation, refusing to divulge a real birth certificate, btw I live in Hawaii and it is very easy to obtain if you were truly born in Hawaii, sealing up additional personal documents like transcripts that disclose your birth location.  The guy is an imposter, a 3rd world plant, an Islamic sympathizer and loyal only to the one world rule puppeteers.  He has no intention of giving up power come 2012.  There will be a national crisis which “requires his remaining in power.”  That is how elected despots like Hitler, Mussolini, Chavez, etc. have always operated.  Wake up AMERICANS and rattle those Washington cages.  We need an impeachment on treason, malfeasance, whatever charges will stick and get this guy out of office.  Take action today!!!!!!!!

  48. Justin

    You people say what you want. If you can’t make a mortgage payment than you shouldn’t be buying a boat. This country is royally screwed at the moment and the last thing that is needed is political fluff and BS. Should corporate board members be taking trips to places like Vegas to discuss what to do over a prime rib steak? No! They should be locking themselves in a room and figuring out what the hell to do! If this country what shut up for five seconds and maybe listen to this guy constructively and maybe try and better his ideas or come up with a justified proffesional response on something else to try we might be in a better situation. We are where we are because we are fat, lazy, and have just plain forgotten how to be usefull to society. We as a country have nobody to blame but ourselves.

  49. BrianB

    So I think all these views are correct, one needs to live within one’s means, like the post-Depression household budget perspective our grandparents had. Judicious use of debt is a useful tool.
    But the real question today is, “Will our government actually do as they’re saying?” or is this just more popularity poll-boosting rhetoric? I, too, am very afraid of BO.

  50. RB

    Over the past few days the media has been giving a lot of time to a sound bite of President Obama saying that we should not buy boats or go to Las Vegas to gamble on vacation. Obviously, I am paraphrasing, but that is the slant that has been portrayed. Before you stop reading, this is not a political commentary. Within a few hours there was an outcry from representatives of Las Vegas. Local politicians from Las Vegas as well as state politicians from Nevada were taking every opportunity to say that Obama had portrayed Las Vegas in a negative light. Hard to imagine that, isn’t it. Also, they were afraid that it would have a negative impact on the economy because people would be afraid to go to Las Vegas because of the negative perception because of this statement.
    What he was actually talking about was not making extravagant expenditures if you were having financial hardships. But, he did not say that you should not buy a new RV or a new motorcycle, or (dare I say it) a new car. First, this put boating and gambling in Vegas in the same category. Second, this WILL have an impact because of the negative perception it will create concerning buying a new boat.
    Where was the marine industry? Where were the politicians from the areas that are home to members of the marine industry? This shot went completely unanswered by our industry. This was the perfect opportunity to talk about how boating is a great recreational investment. Or to talk about what a crucial part of the economy the marine industry is.
    This is not Democrats vs. Republican. This is not political. This is about the well being of our industry. Will this one statement end the marine industry as we know it? No. But as an industry we have got to take opportunities like this to remind the public, and the politicians that represent us, about the benefits of boating and the benefits to the economy of the marine industry.
    Capt. Ralph Bush
    Safe Passage Maritime

  51. Ed

    I too heard the president’s comments.  Too bad we did not have better choices for the 2008 election.  I did not vote for Obama, but I did not like the McCain alternative either.  I really think we now have the most inexperienced man in the White House in all the years that I have lived.  Everyone needs to hold his feet to the fire!

  52. RedBW

    There are a lot of people who are caught up in the mortgage thing because of the loss of their job.
    Look at your own finances people, you were able to afford your house when you bought it. If you lost your job, how long could you afford to keep it before you started falling behind on the payments?  Probably not too long, if you were not lucky enough to soon find another job. So don’t bash on all the people who are in trouble with their house payment. All it will take is the loss of your job for a while  and you will be right  in the same boat with them.
    And guys, get real, we all love boats, but we know that we can live without it. We might not like to live without it. But no one ever died because they didn’t have a boat. When you are down on your luck, and it comes down to feeding your kids or making the payment on your boat, what are you going to do?  Your kids haven’t eaten in 2 or 3 days, but your boat payment is made. Now that makes a lot of sense. Is that the choice you are going to make? Whether you like Obama or not, the point he was trying to make is that sometimes, people have to make choices.
    As far as the boat being a lifestyle, well, when you are down on your luck, you always have to make adjustments to your lifestyle, no matter what it is,  and the boat is one of those lifestyles that will have to be adjusted in hard times. And that is what most people have done and that is what is happening to the boating industry. When times get better, and more people have jobs, they will return to the boating lifestyle again. Its’ not gone for good.

  53. Ole Boat Builder

    Once you have finished reading all of the comments below, if you want to see where this nation is headed under the present administration, I urge you to read “The Communist Manifesto”, written by Karl Marx, and published in 1848.
    Once you’ve read it, you will see just how scary it is about to become.

  54. Whatdoiknow?

    I wonder if Obama’s Governments idea of tightening the budget includes wage freezes or pay cuts from the top down??? They criticized General Motors and the banks for their salaries and big bonuses and rightly so, but households across the country took pay cuts, or   loss of employment, failed business ect..

  55. Ed Foley

    I had to sell MY boat…NOT one of the happiest days of my life! Obama and his plans have all but decimated the economy. Cash for Clunkers? Great if you’re a Japanese auto maker…didn’t really help anyone else, including used vehicle dealers!! Ole Boat Builder is right, “Once you have finished reading all of the comments below, if you want to see where this nation is headed under the present administration, I urge you to read “The Communist Manifesto”, written by Karl Marx, and published in 1848.Once you’ve read it, you will see just how scary it is about to become.”
    Obama and ALL the Liberal Democrats want you and your kids to be dependent on the government for EVERYTHING! No Freedom, No Liberty, Complete governmental control of every aspect of your life. Chsck this out –
    This IS an out of control Federal Government….our state leaders need to stand up and reel these federal dictators back in!!!

  56. Jake

    What Obama should have said is that “We need to make smart choices” not hard ones.  I have the best of both worlds, I sold my boat and joined the Freedom Boat Club.  It is cheaper than owning my boat and was the easiest decision of my life.  He really should not be pin-pointing specific purchases.  Why not say that people should not be buying $100,000+ cars?  Is that any better?  Or is it that would make him guilty too?

  57. Lily

    One problem I have with not only Obama’s idiotic comment but DC in general is they will be the last ones to think tightening ‘our’ belts includes the out of control spending they do.  I don’t believe on either side of the aisle is the realization that it’s not their money.  How about federal employee pay cuts and a suspension of their lifetime benefits and overblown pension plans?

  58. Swabbie

    Perhaps someone should offer the President a boat ride. Take him out cruising with Michelle and the girls. It would have to be ‘Octopus’ in Monaco of course, but maybe the salt air rushing through his hair as he ran to the lobster and caviar buffet would give him a sense of what it’s all about. Who knows? Worth a shot!! Hey!! Invite Nancy too. She loves that kind of get-a-way and I don’t think she’s been anywhere since Copenhagen. Poor gal.

  59. FDavies

    Hold on there just one minute…
    Obama is right. Feed and shelter your family first.
    Prepare. Gather tools, resources, knowledge and skills.
    Buy local (to support healthy economies …world wide.)
    Buy and act green. Begin making anything not already made locally.
    A century (plus) of industrialization and growth has left us with huge problems and we’ve got to bite the bullet or the generations following us will suffer.
    If we succeed in becoming ‘green and local’ then once again we may turn our attentions to buying boats (and other fun stuff.)
    In other words:
    Folks, take up a hobby crafting and selling something, and buy a boat which you can afford from a local boat maker, to support them, …so that when your boat need work, they will be still in business ready and able to help you.
    Turn off the TV. Plant a garden. Read a how to book instead of just novels.
    Create a work space and realize that should the economy fail, your ‘work’ (services or goods) can be traded for food or clothing etc.
    If you REALLY like boating: Find a way to fit it in that makes sense. I don’t know what that is for you, …not everyone can fish LOL. But if you can justify using your boat in a positive way, why not?
    I’ve got nothing against any foriegn manufactures or against the giants, but trade imbalance can be viewed as a local thing too. We have lost the balance between local and world-wide. National law can’t fix this. As citizens, we can choose to buy dishes for our boats from the local potter rather than the ‘big store’ selling really cheap good dishes from the other side of the world.
    Stock market and stocks? Yes buy lots of local stock (especially in local boat related companies) and hold on to them through thick and thin. Support your local economy buy owning a piece of it.
    It’s not just the boat maker, or sail maker, but the many inter-related industries providing things such as thread, iron, plastic, glue, electronics, etc. which must all survive this globalization process we are in.
    Everybody has a computer. Very few people use their computer to help them with a crafts project (short of printing templates etc. and making CD’s.) Most computer users do not know how to make their computer control something.
    We need to automate our crafts and that means (for most) getting educated in computers and motion control. We are behind in education and it should be a higher priority for most people than buying a boat.
    But it is also important to have boats for local transportation, fishing, etc. so it is important for the local community to work together to support the existence of a boat maker. If you can afford to buy a boat, do it just to help out your local boat maker. Yea, that’s it. Help your local boat maker, buy a yacht!

  60. tahoe

    Obama is telling us not to buy boats or waste money in Vegas? Let me ask you this:  Who used a government plane at taxpayers’ expense TO TAKE HIS WIFE ON A ROMANTIC DATE??  Is that responsible spending? Somebody needs to look in the mirror.

  61. elle2u

    no one who has financial issues would EVER be given a loan on a boat.   It is only if you are poor and looking for a HOUSE – that you will be given a loan on a house larger than what you could EVER afford….compliments of our horrific govt.
    There is no need for BO to attack specific industries or cities.   No excuse for him.

  62. Ted

    A totally irresponsible comment. Why single out the boating industry which has really struggling. We are starting to turn the corner.  Once again we have been stigmatized as a wasteful sport or luxury sport (Remember Jimmy Carter “no boating on weekends?” or the “Luxury tax” people thought there was a extra tax on all boats.
    The boat ing industry and boats are one of the few real “Built in America” products. If Pres. Obama thinks this is the way to stimulate job creation he has it all wrong. It was a rediculous comment, of course if you have trouble making your mortgage payment you would not be financially able to make a big ticket purchase.

  63. Mark

    Are you people for real. The man is right. He’s not bashing the the Boating industry or Vegas, open up your ears, stop being so sensitive. There are many people that spend way over their means. They take money that should be paying their bills to go on trips, buy cars and boats and $100 dollar sneakers for their kids.
    Obama didn’t do this to us. Do all of you Obama bashers really think it is ok for those Bush administration bank bail out Execs to gain million dollar bonuses and send their people on extravegent trips?
    I’m all for “work hard” “play hard”. I have a boat, camper, atv, motorcycle and I like to gamble. If you earn it then spend it, buy the biggest boat you can AFFORD, lose as much money in Vegas that you possibly can in one night. Just do it AFTER you pay your bills.
    And for the Moron that thinks Government employees should take pay cuts and diminish our over inflated pensions. I really wish you were in front of me right now. I haven’t received a raise in 3 years. I bust my A_S  and work lots of crappy hours and holidays to help keep the people of this Country, as well as it’s visitors, safe. I deserve every penny I earn.
    There is alot of waste all around us. People need to do the right thing and spend wisely.  Stop pointing the finger at Obama and take responsibility.

  64. Gordy McKelvey

    Wow, this topic sure has everyone fired up. Just a few thoughts.
    1. Just becuase the guvment spends more than it takes in doesn’t make it the right thing to do.
    2. A lot of the problem the boating industry is expereinceing today has been brought on by builders, dealers and customers wanting instant gratification.
    3. We all spend too much time waiting around for someone else to tell us what to do rather than using our heads to figure out what the right thing to do based on our personal needs, limitations and abilities.
    4. Obama talks out of his butt 99% of the time, but, everybody wanted change. Now ya got it!

  65. Shane

    Thanks Mr President……encourage people to help feed my family in these tough times. You baild out the auto industry, what about us in the boating industry!!!! I voted for the war hero!!!!!

  66. Heywood Jablomy

    Thank you Mark and Larry for some of the only intelligent remarks on here. You are right, they are always looking to spin things the wrong way against our president and blame him for everything. He is correct in what he says.
    The hypocracy makes me sick.

  67. pavinings

    Wow, and I am still po’d that Jimmy Carter sold the Trumpy ” Sequoia”, and it only burns about 12 gallons an hour!  If we had half the dollars of Jet Fuel BO has spent so far put into the boating industry we would be fine.  Maybe BO needs a boat and can sell Air force One?  Any dealers with some old inventory they would like to get off their floorplan?

  68. Old Mans views

    Wow this had made some interesting reading!
    It is sad that we have a man in office that makes statements such as the Vegas / Boating comment without any forethought of the the impact.
    The fact that he stated the obvious is secondary, to the fact that he has no idea what has happened within our industry and is entirely insensitive to the plight of hundreds of thousand of good hardworking folks in our industry.
    If some clown is riding a 125% mortgage on his home and is so upside down in it that it is obscene than no he shouldn’t buy a boat or visit Vegas but for the couple that has worked hard all thier life to live thier dream at retirement and now can not, due to a financial fiasco fueled by the idiots running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac I say BO you’r out to lunch.
    BO has made it crystal clear that unless you are a union member he has no ear for the problems of the working stiff and his ‘Joe the Plumber’ comments certainly illustrate he has a far less than ‘Capitalist’ views on the business world.
    We have elected a socialist / communist into our highest office and God help us until he gets voted out!  I hope to God the Cool Aid Drinking idiots that put him in office wake up before 2012 and stay awake!
    I wasn’t excited about J McCain he could put a Hyperactive kid into a comma, but the change BO is putting in place leaves little hope for me, my Children or my Grandkids
    Angry Loyal American, US Army Vietnam Veteran and Boat Lover facing retirement with an empty 401K and now a Crappy portfolio.

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