You did indeed build this industry

Oct. 1, 2012
BACK in July, Bulk Transporter published its 75th Anniversary issue, and we reflected on the economic contributions made by the tank truck industry. Tank

BACK in July, Bulk Transporter published its 75th Anniversary issue, and we reflected on the economic contributions made by the tank truck industry. Tank truck fleets clearly were instrumental over the past century or so in helping to make the US economy the strongest in the world.

These tank fleets were founded by hardworking entrepreneurs with a dream. These people built their companies one truck at a time, and there were never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needed to be done.

Today, the industry they established through sweat equity serves as the life blood of the US economy. Tank fleets, both privately and publicly owned, haul the fuel, chemicals, foodstuffs, and other products that energize the entire US economy.

So it came as a real slap in the face when President Obama claimed during a campaign stop in Virginia in July that business owners didn't build their own businesses. His “you didn't build that” comment demonstrated an absolute disdain for business owners and their hard work.

Here is a somewhat shortened version of Obama's comments:

“If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own,” he said. “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable America (highway) system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Well, we'd like to point out that tank truck fleets did help build those highways, roads, and bridges. The fleets hauled cement, asphalt, and other materials for the construction projects; and the taxes paid by the companies and their owners helped finance the projects.

That anti-business campaign statement showed that even after four years as President of the United States, Obama is clueless when it comes to creating jobs and building the economy. The US economy is worse off today that it was when Obama took office, and it continues to struggle.

The official US unemployment rate has been above 8% for 44 months in a row. The only reason the jobless rate fell in recent months is that hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans simply gave up the search for work. The net gain in new jobs over the course of the Obama Administration has been a pathetic 300,000.

The middle class — which includes many owner-operator truck drivers and some small fleet owners — continues to shrink. Reportedly, 95% of the jobs lost during the Great Recession were middle class jobs.

Seventy-one percent of small business owners currently believe that the United States is still in a recession. By one estimate, 23 manufacturing facilities permanently shut down in the United States every single day during 2010.

Regulations certainly played a role in some of those business failures. According to the Heritage Foundation's James Gattuso and Diane Katz America's businesses are drowning in a sea of new regulations. In “Red Tape Rising,” they note: “During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. Hundreds more regulations are winding through the rulemaking pipeline as a consequence of the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency's global warming crusade, threatening to further weaken an anemic economy and job creation.”

Healthcare costs continue to rise, despite the promises that Obamacare would make healthcare affordable for everyone. People insured through the workplace have seen little relieve from rising premiums and cost shifts.

When President Obama took office, the average price of diesel was $2.47. Today, it is in the $3.80 range. The Obama Administration has been relentless in its attacks on the oil and coal industries, which provide most of the fuel that powers the US economy. In fact, some administrators at the Environmental Protection Agency have gone so far as to say that their mission is to crucify Big Oil.

The federal debt reached $16 trillion by the time of the Democrat National Convention in August. The Federal Reserve is essentially monetizing much of the US national debt, which continues to be a drag on the US economy.

More than $800 billion of that debt came from the stimulus program that did virtually nothing to rebuild the US economy and get people back to work. Much of the money went to questionable programs, such as solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, which shut down after burning through $535 million in taxpayer funding. All of the investment was lost.

The list of the economic failures and missteps under this president's administration goes on and on. The job of US President is simply too much for someone with no business experience or understanding of real-world economics. It's time to fire Obama and change course.

About the Author

Charles Wilson

Charles E. Wilson has spent 20 years covering the tank truck, tank container, and storage terminal industries throughout North, South, and Central America. He has been editor of Bulk Transporter since 1989. Prior to that, Wilson was managing editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter and associate editor of Trailer/Body Builders. Before joining the three publications in Houston TX, he wrote for various food industry trade publications in other parts of the country. Wilson has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and served three years in the U.S. Army.