Indmar president urges solution to ‘fiscal cliff’

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rowe1206Do whatever it takes to avoid the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’

That was the message from Indmar Marine Engines president Chuck Rowe, who gave House Republican leaders a seldom-heard small-business perspective Wednesday in a meeting on Capitol Hill.

Rowe and eight other small business owners met with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

National Marine Manufacturers Association legislative director Jim Currie and NMMA government relations office vice president John McKnight, who sat in on the meeting, said Rowe let legislators know that the marine industry is made up of small-business owners.

“He expressed concern that if we went over the fiscal cliff that unemployment would rise by 4 percent and that would really be a bad thing for the marine industry in general,” Currie told Soundings Trade Only after the meeting. “We are very much a discretionary product, and if people are not sure of what the future is going to be like financially, they’re not going to buy a boat.”

Rowe told legislators that a dealer he met with in Orlando told the story of two serious prospects who left empty-handed because they were too uncertain about the fiscal cliff, Currie said.

“Chuck’s message was, ‘We can’t go over this fiscal cliff. Do what you have to do. It would be great if you cut spending more than raising taxes, but the main thing is, get it done.’ ”

The meeting stemmed from a call Rowe made last week to Currie and McKnight.

“We had just gotten a call from Chuck Rowe commenting that all he was reading about was that the White House and others were meeting with gigantic corporations,” Currie said. “He was wondering when someone was going to meet with smaller businesses like him.”

Currie and McKnight mentioned Rowe’s comments at a meeting with McCarthy’s staff last week, prompting the invitation for Rowe to join the small meeting.

“Each had their own ideas, but there was one overriding message,” McKnight told Trade Only. “That was that they’re looking for the government to just get its act together and have some kind of stability. Right now, we don’t know how much we’re going to be taxed next year.”

“Take the uncertainty out of our economic future,” Currie added.

After the meeting Rowe got back on an airplane to return to Orlando — he’d flown up for the day on his own dime from his family vacation because he thought it was such a unique opportunity to make the voice of the marine industry heard.

“It was pretty cool because we’ve never had that opportunity before,” McKnight said. “We’ve had tons of hearings with Congress … but to have the House speaker, the House majority leader and whip, listening in a room with just a few people. It’s amazing that we got our guy in there.”

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— Reagan Haynes


10 comments on “Indmar president urges solution to ‘fiscal cliff’

  1. Richard Strauss

    What a great opportunity! I, as most in the marine industry (as well as other industries) share his sentiments. Its just too darn bad that the other side of the equation (Barack and his gang) was not present to hear the message!!

  2. Kurtg

    It’s great to know that this viewpoint was being presented by one of the classiest and most respected individuals in the industry. I certainly hope that our Republican leaders were paying attention.

  3. Jimmy Holyfield

    We need more Chuck Rowes in our industry. Small buisness is the back bone of our country. Thanks Chuck for helping give us a voice.

  4. Bill Baker-Bake's Marine

    I applaud the efforts of Chuck Rowe for the benefit of the marine industry. I think for those of us less inclined we retire earlier than needed because there doesn’t seem to be much payoff for the hard work. I will start something new when the business climate is more enticing. I think this is a much more prevalent idea than politicians are willing to accept. Keep up the good work Chuck!

  5. Rob Myers

    Don’t believe for a minute that Obama cares about Boating, Motorcycling, RV’s or anything related to the recreational industry (well maybe Golf…). He sees all of this as “Rich People” activities and couldn’t care less if the whole thing goes down along with the hundred of thousands of jobs that are involved. America voted for a screwing and we’re going to get one.

  6. Eric W. Sponberg

    I think anyone who reads this article would be more than happy to travel to Washington DC to confer with our leaders. It is not that we need more people like Chuck, although more power to him for taking the message to Washington. What we need are more Congressional representatives who will listen to their constituants and go ahead and make some bloody decisions! The time for standing on princple has passed. We know the principles, now get something done!

  7. AnonymousBob

    to Rob Myers:
    your attitude is depressing and is exactly what we need less of in our industry. Ever hear of “self-fulfilling prophecy”? Keep up your doom and gloom message and you’ll realize it, all right. Wonder how many deals you’ve lost because of your negativity???

  8. rob shirley

    Chuck- I’m so proud of you. Tell it like it is. I’m sure they will take it to heart. Will Obama act on it ?–that’s another problem. But you stay with it.

  9. loren schweizer

    Rob Myers is right on the money. Furthermore, it is in B.O’s best interest to take us all over the so-called cliff, so he can blame the Republicans.
    The intransigence in refusing to cut entitlements, and wealth redistributionist actions, coupled with higher taxes on the “rich”–and then, the middle class, where the real money is–will make the 1990 Luxury Tax debacle seem like Donnybrook Farm for the boat business.
    Nice sentiments, Mr. Rowe, but it’s kind of like peeing yourself while wearing a dark suit: you get a nice warm feeling , but nobody takes notice.
    Thanks anyway.
    Strap on your parachutes, kids.
    Until the 2014 mid-terms, we all will be living, per the Chinese curse, in interesting times.

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