Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bennett Slams Dent for Refusing to Give Corporate Welfare to Mack Truck

It's all Charlie's fault. That's how Team Bennett is reacting to Mack Truck's decision to relocate from Allentown to North Carolina, where it will be picking up $8.5 million in corporate welfare over nine years.

“Lehigh Valley families who are already struggling to afford gas, groceries and healthcare will soon be without a paycheck, but Dent will still get his $169,000 salary paid for by these taxpayers,” says Kathryn Seck, Bennett Campaign Manager. “Maybe he’s just too wrapped with lobbyist fundraisers in Washington to know what’s going on in his own district. Or did he know about it, tell no one, and do nothing?”

What Team Bennett is really saying is that Congressman Charlie Dent, Governor Rendell and Allentown Mayor Pawlowski have some sort of obligation to play sugar daddy to multinational corporations. After all, some of these handouts times might trickle down to the unwashed masses.

“Our unemployment rate is rising, but my opponent still expects to keep his own job,” says Sam Bennett, District 15 congressional candidate. “The folks I meet along the campaign trail are supporting me because I’ve actually run a businesses and created jobs in our community. And that’s the experience I’ll bring to Congress.”

North Carolina, unlike Pennsylvania, is a "right to work" state. Employees in those states can't be forced to pay union fees or dues, even if they work in a union shop like Mack. So does Bennett advocate changing that law to keep a company like Mack? Of course, the workers in voluntary union states have much lower incomes, but Big Business just loves it.

Congressman Dent did meet with Mack officials, and tried to persuade them to change course.

“I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the painful news of Mack Trucks relocating its world headquarters from Allentown to Greensboro, North Carolina. Mack’s history in Allentown extends over 100 years. The Mack Bulldog not only exemplified the strength of Mack Trucks, but the spirit of the workers. Mack’s closing will be especially painful to the City of Allentown.

I met with Mack officials last night and it appears this decision is irreversible. My primary concern is for the families who will be deeply affected by Mack’s move to Greensboro. Every option and resource must be made available to impacted workers to ensure their immediate needs are met.”

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Sam should take a look at PA's corporate income tax rate and ask herself what can be done about that at the federal level. Should the federal government fix the 3% gap between NC and PA? Or should Sam ask Ed to make PA a little more business friendly?

Anonymous said...

i have some respect for Mack in this situation. at least they didn't try to shake us down for more benefits . . . and then leave anyway

Bernie O'Hare said...

Agreed. They are not like Majestic, which sucked down KOZ benefits, but will move as soon as they expire.

A lot of business put states and cities in ridiculous bidding wars and in the end, it is the little guy who suffers.

The worst thing about corporate welfare is that it is so damn unfair. Why does one business get a break while another does not?

michael molovinsky said...

voters should be outraged at the Three Amigo's; Rendell, Cunningham and Pawlowski for Cardboard Check PhotoOpps. One just occurred last week which will likely not produce one job. Most offensive was in early 2006, when Rendell and Cunningham presented a Student Loan Clearing Center a check, three days before a federal investigation of the same company was announced. Payroll services are so successful in penna. because the state book-work for only a few employee's is overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Be careful with the declaration that wages are much lower in RTW states. That is the AFL-CIO line and their study is flawed for many reasons.

It does not account for cost of living differences. Nor does it count the benefits of greater economic prosperity in RTW states. Examples: Poverty is lower in RTW states. Unemployment is lower in RTW states. And taxes are typically much lower in RTW states.

The choices are simple. Would you rather have a better chance at a job, or should we merely preserve few, and dwindling, high paying jobs? (Dwindling? Mack 5c plant closed because of the union. Now the HQ has left. Why is the Beth Steel plant becoming a casino and retail area? I know an office worker at the HQ. If you ask the wrong clerk to grab a file, you get slapped with a grievance. You have to ask the CORRECT clerk to grab the CORRECT file.... ridiculous work rules.)

Also, would you rather pay lower taxes and no union dues or have a higher wage that is eaten up with higher taxes and union dues?

The more reasonable studies I have seen show about a 2-3% difference in wages. A lack of union dues makes up this difference immediately.

The battle should be about jobs and economic growth. Not job killing policies. Wait till card check comes (no secret ballot for unionization). Do you think more plants will open overseas and close here? The answer is pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

“The folks I meet along the campaign trail are supporting me because I’ve actually run a businesses and created jobs in our community. And that’s the experience I’ll bring to Congress.” --Siobhan Bennett

Could someone please share with us a credible source as to just how many actual jobs Ms. Bennett created as a business owner? I have lived here a long time, and from what I recall, she ran a cookie-making business out of her home for a few years. It would surprise me if in that time she hired a significant number of full-time, non-student employees or offered any sort of worthwhile benefits (health insurance, 401K, etc.) to them. What other business did she in fact "run", and how many jobs (excluding those pre-existing before her arrival) did she "create" there? How often were there job cuts under (or as a result of) her management? I'd like some specifics, something concrete to examine--sort of like a voting record.

To her credit, she is touting her past hiring experience, which probably means she did not hire under the table to avoid paying taxes. There have been political figures burned by such practices in the past.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pete,

I don't know the answer to that question. I weill pose them to the Bennett camp.

Anonymous said...

Why is Big Truck okay with Bennett, but not Big Oil? I thought Big Truck leads to Big Pollution.

Isn't Bennett all about making big corporations pay more taxes so that they pay their fair share?

Why does she think she can have it both ways?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:55:

That's an excellent point.

Anonymous said...

Not only that, but if she blames Dent, she must be furious with Rendell, Cunningham and Pawlowski. They are on the ground here in Pennsylvania and they love to tout their business development savvy. How did they miss this one? That's another good question for the Bennett camp. Does she fault those other officials, and if not, why not?

Besides, isn't she a "community leader" in Allentown? Maybe she should have awarded Mack a rake for the fine landscaping at their headquarters -- that might have made them think twice about leaving.

bobguzzardi said...

Good points, Joe Hilliard. Low prices, not unionization, reduce poverty and raise standards of living. The focus is on the consumer, both retail consumer and the business-producer consumer who buys goods and services to produce other goods and provide other services, and, at the same time as producing goods we want and need, the business-producer creates jobs and pays the taxes that sustain needed public services.

High wages are useless if prices are high; high wages are useless if no business can pay them and still make a profit.

Profits pay people, workers and saver-investors.

"I,Pencil" dramatizes the complexity of the economy.
http://www.econlib.org/LIBRARY/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Anonymous said...

Not about to blame Chuck for this one. At least Mack stayed in the USA..and it's the corporate cats who will have to migrate south. The trucks still get built here so lighten up..Sammy!

Anonymous said...

This blog has become a corporate subsidiary of Fox Noise.
Republicans forever!!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, I just do not believe in blindly following the rants of a weak candidate.

Bennett blames Dent for Mack's decision to leave, claiming he should have done more. What is he supposed to do, engineer all kinds of tax concessions? Is he supposed to sponsor legislation to make this a right to work state? Is he supposed to sponsor legislation to ease environmental standards? If he had done any of those things, you'd have the right to be upset.

The reality is that Bennett took a piece of bad news and tried to blame it on him.

In fact, get this language from her news release: " Republican Congressman Charles W. Dent has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Mack Trucks Vice Chairman and former CEO, Paul Vikner. But, Dent did nothing to promote incentives to keep these Mack Trucks jobs right here in the Lehigh Valley."

Do you realize what she is saying? She thinks that when someone in business gives money to a candidate, that candidate has some kind of moral obligation to find "incentives" for the business. In other words, she is actually advocating bribery.

I'm sorry, but a candidate like that has no place in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the Bennett "Big Talkers" now?

The person who blew this one is Governor Rendell. Millions and millions for glorified craps parlors but he's nowhere to be found on this one.

M.McShea said...

Mack truck has already lost its soul. If Mack does not recognize itself as symbol of a great product and jointly as being part of the people of Allentown and its land and culture, then it has been bitten by the global bug.
I lived in Arizona for some time, a right to work state. Many big companies got two year tax breaks and moved there. They say to themselves Wow! I can pay people half what they make on the east coast. They buy a building, open for business and guess what. For half the money, they get one third the productivity. After two years they all move away.
North Carolina for Mack is now merely a stop off point to Mexico and then oblivion!
Set aside a few good trucks for the Allentown Museum, they will be valuable antiques of a future defunct corporate ghost.
Corporate welfare eventually kills the company. Mack! R.I.P.!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised MACK didn't leave the country. The US has some of the highest corporate tax rates of the world's industrialized nations, and one presidential candidate said he would still raise them. Budweiser left, why not MACK?

O_o

Anonymous said...

After reading two distorted and misleading press releases about the Mack departure and who attended Musikfest, and after her conflicting statements regarding her POM salary and the mugging she witnessed on her front stoop it seems somewhat hypocritical to find this on Ms. Bennett's own campaign Web site:

"If for no other reason, we should have absolutely no tolerance for those few who seek to profit from service, distort the democratic process or mislead the American people on important matters, no matter their party."

Anonymous said...

Your full of sh*t BOH on this one. Dent took money from MACK and didn't raise a finger to stop the move!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:16:

Do you mean to suggest that Congressman Dent has some sort of super powers that he can singlehandedly stop a private business in a free market society from moving its headquarters to another state (a "right to work" state offering $8.5 million in corporate welfare, mind you), but he did not use these powers because an individual executive from Mack Trucks donated a $1,000 bucks to his campaign fund?

Or are you suggesting that Mr. Dent has some sort of mind-reading/telepathic powers that he selectively turned off in order not to pick up on this apparent closed-door decision by Mack that no politician in the area was aware of until just now?

Maybe you are suggesting that Mr. Dent is the world's best hypnotist, and he was able to convince Mr. Vikner to donate the money even though he didn't really need any special favors from the Congressman because Mack was actually leaving town in a few months?

Amazing. And I thought "faster than a speeding bullet" and "more powerful than a locomotive" were impressive.

Blah Society said...

If Dent was getting money from Mack, wouldn't he want them to STAY in the Valley to keep receiving money? Correct me if I'm wrong, Anon 8:16.

------------------------

Pete's Sake... that's a point that has been brought up before. She is only interested in herself. Her POM salary proved it.

Blah Society said...

Pete's Sake...

I was referring to your 7:13 comment, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Mack isn't leaving Allentown for another place, they are simply having the rest of their corporate functions rolled into Volvo.

If you know anyone who works their, this has been happening for years.

Anonymous said...

How can Sam Bennett claim she would help save Mack Trucks when she openly opposes free trade agreements? The fact is that opening these markets to Mack - WHO MANUFACTURES IN THE U.S. - gives them better access because their competitors have moved overseas to countries like Mexico.