Export/Import Bank Creates Jobs and Spurs U.s. Competitiveness

April, 2015

worldHow many government entities:

  • Help create and support high paying U.S. union jobs, and
  • Generate significant income for the government, thus reducing the deficit?

That is what the Export/Import Bank has been doing for the last 80 years.

However, some Congressmen—headed by some Republicans—don’t want to renew its charter. They would dissolve the bank.

Why?

They consider it “corporate welfare.”

As background, the Ex-Im Bank does two critical things to expedite trade.

  1. It offers loans and loan guarantees to foreign purchasers of U.S. manufactured goods. These borrowers must meet strict lending qualifications when private-sector lenders can’t or won’t provide financing. The bank’s default rate is under two percent, better than many commercial lenders.
  2. It provides credit insurance for U.S. exporters to reduce commercial and political risks. U.S. exporters pay a fee for the bank to insure them if something happens to a foreign buyer like a conflict, war or bankruptcy.

Ex-Im, by law, cannot compete with commercial lenders. Its mission is to fill gaps in commercial financing.

What would you do? Here are the facts, according to the Ex/Im Coalition (exportersforexim.org.), comprised of 650 small and mid-sized firms in 41 states:

  • Ex-Im supported 1.3 million U.S. jobs in the last six years.
  • 90 percent of Ex-Im transactions last year benefited small business, plus thousands more small businesses benefited from their partnerships with large exporters.
  • Ex-Im generated $2.7 billion in tax revenues and fees in the last six years to help shrink the deficit.
  • In 2013 alone, Ex-Im supported $37 billion of U.S. sales to customers in other countries.

Ninety-five percent of the world’s customers live outside the U.S. Nearly one-third of U.S. economic growth is driven by exports. Ex-Im is a key reason U.S. exports are growing, the coalition says.

The bank’s charter expires June 30th, unless Congress acts to renew it.

Summary

  • The Export/Import Bank provides a critical function to support U.S. companies overseas.
  • It supports high paying union jobs in the U.S.
  • Plus, it makes a profit, providing billions to the U.S. Treasury.

Write your Members of Congress today and urge them to support this vital program. It makes no sense to make America less competitive in this global economy.

Let’s Keep America a Great Country!!!

Man vs. Infection

March, 2015

bugsRecently, we have had a lot of discussion on the merits of vaccinations. Conflicting news reports have circulated on safety and possible side effects. Fortunately, sound science has intervened showing the value of disease prevention via vaccination.

Allow me to share a little history.

Man has been battling infections for centuries. Until the last 100 years, little could be done to prevent or treat infections.

Prior to WWII, infections were one of the leading causes of death. Then the “sulfa drugs” were discovered that helped turn the tide toward greater health.

Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin—the first antibiotic—prior to WWII. It was fantastically effective, but in very short supply. The Pfizer Company developed a technique to mass produce it. Penicillin then became available on a worldwide basis.

A flood of new antibiotics followed and the deaths from infection dropped dramatically. Unfortunately, the “bugs” responded by mutating and became more resistant to antibiotics. Fortunately, new antibiotics were developed to control these infections.

Today, we are losing our war against infections. Antibiotic research has declined because of FDA regulatory challenges and a declining financial return on R&D investments.

It costs an estimated $1 billion to bring a new product to market in the USA. This, coupled with declining years of patent protection, means fewer companies are willing or able to invest in antibiotic research.

If nothing is done, we face a very uncertain future of more deaths due to infection. Even today, the biggest risk in surgery is infection, not the surgical procedure itself.

Here are some suggestions to avoid a future tragedy:

  • Review and revise FDA requirements for antibiotics.
  • Accelerate the approval process.
  • Extend the effective patent life for new antibiotics.
  • Quit demanding an antibiotic prescription from your doctor for a simple cold.

This problem will not go away. New antibiotics need to be developed. Incentives can and should be developed to stimulate new research.

I am confident, if we productively focus on the problem, we can solve it.

We have made great strides in medicine. However, unless we can prevent and/or control infection, these advances will be in jeopardy.

Summary

Antibiotic development is a life or death issue. Encourage your Congressman to contact the FDA and urge them to accelerate the new antibiotic approval process. The clock is ticking.

Let’s use American know how to solve this problem before it’s too late!

The “bugs” aren’t waiting!

The State of a Divided Union

February, 2015

shamrock-sam-posterThe President gave his annual State of the Union address recently. This event is designed for our President to share an overview of the state of our nation and to outline major initiatives for the future.

Unfortunately it quickly turned into a political address:

  • A series of spending proposals
  • A plea for the parties to work together
  • And, numerous threats to veto legislation.

The American people were waiting with thirsty ears for leadership. How are we going to solve our problems?

We heard many comments on the plight of the middle class. This is a true problem. Average wages have dropped from $55,000 to $51,000 per year. This must be addressed. One solution is tighter border security to stem the flood of illegal workers who suppress wages.

Everyone has benefited from lower gas prices. The President claimed credit for it. However, Washington has taken steps to destroy or limit fracking. Drilling on federal lands has dropped. It was American know how on private and state levels that made us the number one power in low cost energy world wide.

I suggest we unleash the same American know how to achieve positive outcomes in other areas. The solutions are known. What we need is leadership to act, doing the right things to address:

  • Tax reform
  • Excessive regulations
  • Fiscal deficits

Canada did it. The two parties there worked together with very positive results. They thought of Canada first and did what was right for their country and its citizens.

Our political leaders need to start thinking of America first. We know what we have to do, so let’s DO IT!!!

Quit this endless campaigning for votes. Think and act beyond the next election!

And for the Republicans… criticism is not a strategy or a solution. You have a responsibility to share your ideas for action with the American people.

Our government loves to spend money. How much is enough? Unless spending is controlled, the government will always want more.

Taxing the rich is not a solution. The top 1%–the group everyone likes to talk about–paid 38% of all taxes in 2012, up from 35% in 2011.

Summary

America is facing some real challenges domestically and globally. All are solvable if we have the leadership to act wisely.

Time is running out. We need to act now!

I implore our leaders to think of America first! Quit campaigning and start leading!