Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:01 am Post subject: The Free Enterprise Nation: Private Sector Has Had Enough
New Politically-independent Organization Mounts Massive Movement to Fight Extravagant Government Spending
Tampa, FL, September 24, 2009 -- Today The Free Enterprise Nation is beginning a national effort to unite more than 5 million businesses with 115 million employees and everyday citizens to fight excessive government spending on a bureaucracy too big to sustain.
Founded by James MacDougald and Greg Capello, The Free Enterprise Nation represents the economic interests of the businesses and employees who are taxed to provide government and public education employees higher wages and pension benefits, 10 to 25 years sooner, than can be provided in the private sector. The effort launched today with a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal to be followed by full-page ads in Inc., FORTUNE Small Business, Forbes, and Fast Co.
“Enough is enough,” said MacDougald, who has invested more than $1 million in the effort. “Government can only be effective if it is also efficient and answerable to the people it is designed to serve. The Free Enterprise Nation is here to remind elected officials that they represent the people, not just themselves or their bureaucracy. Our plan is to speak with a unified voice so large and so loud our elected officials will be forced to listen.”
MacDougald explains that the impact of extravagant government spending is very real, stretching well beyond Washington, D.C., into state and local communities everywhere. “It’s impossible to believe that it is an appropriate use of tax dollars for a State of California retiree to get an annual pension of $500,000, or a driver’s education teacher in Illinois to get a $170,000 annual salary and $120,000 annual pension. In New York, some city workers amass more than $100,000 in overtime during their last year before retirement to create a monthly pension higher than their salary. It’s time that taxpayers in the private sector find out exactly where their tax dollars are really going.”
By logging onto www.TheFreeEnterpriseNation.org, a parent in Illinois would learn that 420 of the state’s physical education teachers, 332 English teachers and 94 driver’s education teachers make more than $100,000 a year, with salaries for each position topping out at more than $160,000 a year. A senior citizen in Houston, Texas would find their number of police officers has remained the same for six years running, despite a 40 percent budget increase to cover higher salaries, pension and healthcare benefits. A small business receiving an IOU in California might be surprised to learn that in 2008, 40 percent of Vallejo’s 613 employees had salaries greater than $100,000 a year, the same year the city filed for bankruptcy.
“No one is out to attack teachers or police or any of the other fine people who work hard to keep our government running,” said MacDougald. “We are against the bad public policy that has created an unsustainable financial burden on those who live and work in the free enterprise portion of our economy.”
When wages and benefits are combined, federal civilian workers averaged $119,982 in 2008, twice the average compensation of $59,909 for private sector workers.
In Fort Worth, Texas, one police chief recently retired at age 55 with a guaranteed annual pension of $188,692. His successor retired at age 52 with an annual pension of $113,614. In the Northeast, two University of Connecticut professors are currently collecting six-figure pensions while simultaneously collecting a six-figure salary.
“This past January, while the rest of the country watched their retirement plans disappear, private sector unemployment grow to 8 million, and the national debt climb to an unfathomable $14 trillion, the national government gave federal retirees a 5.9 percent raise and active employees a 2.9 percent raise,” said MacDougald.
“This has moved beyond an issue to be dealt with at a far off point in the future,” said MacDougald. “Right now 70 million baby boomers are nearing retirement and we have an unfunded Social Security Program and an impossible tax burden, all being imposed on our children and grandchildren.”
Governments are taking short term approaches to long term problems, simply delaying addressing the real problem. Arizona legislators are already considering selling their own headquarters and 30 other state properties to meet the budget shortfall. While this might reap $735 million, they would then have to lease back properties costing $1.2 billion over the next 20 years. Some buildings include the House and Senate building, the state hospital, state fairgrounds and possibly some prison facilities. In nearby Colorado, politicians are considering whether to free 3,100 inmates six months early and end the oversight of some parolees to save almost $19 million.
“This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans,” said MacDougald. “It is about economics. Free enterprise cannot survive unless business and workers unify their voices to put an end to irresponsible government spending. We can do it if we decide to do so. There are 115 million potential voters in the private sector, enough to change public policy at every level if we choose to do so. I encourage you to visit www.TheFreeEnterpriseNation.org to learn more about what is happening in your neighborhood and in Washington, D.C., and to let your politicians know they represent you.”
About The Free Enterprise Nation
The Free Enterprise Nation is a non-partisan research, membership and advocacy organization raising awareness of unsustainable spending by the government. It advocates for the economic interests of businesses and their employees by harnessing their collective voting power to protect sound economic principles. The member-based organization addresses an unprecedented shift in the burden on businesses and their employees to support local, state and federal government spending. Visit www.TheFreeEnterpriseNation.org for more information.
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