Cruise Liner Exec Writes Scathing Letter to Obama Over New Regulations
The most common complaints by business-owners against the current administration tend to revolve around the economic uncertainty and increased regulation that have made it next to impossible to plan for the future.
Stephanie Gallagher, the president of World City America Inc., is lending her voice to the fray after the Obama administration reportedly moved to prevent American cruise liners from being eligible to get the long-term financing under Title XI that makes building something as massive as a cruise ship possible.
As Royal Caribbean acquires its third Oasis-class ship from Finland, Gallagher writes that World City America has invested over a decade and $60 million in designing a “superior product” that would be built in America, by Americans, and paying taxes to the U.S. government.
“Having demonstrated that our plan would be economically sound, would not cost the taxpayers anything, would not increase the debt but would improve the deficit, the only way to push us off the cliff was to enact policy that preempted the nation’s ship financing program from being used to build cruise ships. That’s what the Obama Administration did,” Gallagher claims.
Gallagher’s main point of contention is that the cruise industry is overwhelmingly funded by American dollars, but the companies typically build the vessels out of the country, hire international employees, and pay far fewer taxes than a wholly American company would.
Gallagher thinks the change is the result of politics and special interests, and while she notes that both parties are susceptible to such incentives, Gallagher ultimately holds the current administration responsible.
Gallagher’s letter continues:
“…we do blame the Obama Administration for throwing down the gauntlet…for precluding America’s long-delayed entry into this booming US-driven market; for shutting the door on what we have proven is possible and viable if the government applied the Title XI regulations as intended – not as a subsidy for special interests, but as a job-creating, economy-boosting and tax revenue-generating program and policy.”
“Why, Mr. Obama, would you choose this, of all times, to lock out American shipbuilders, hotel construction companies, hundreds of US suppliers in all fifty states, and thousands of long-term self-sustaining new jobs for our dwindling Merchant Marine and US hospitality workers?”
“Why…when there are twenty-three million Americans out of work, would you decide to announce a policy that America and Americans can’t participate in this booming US-driven market that has grown steadily at 7% or more every year, recession or no recession, for decades?” [Emphasis added]
“All is fair in love and war,” Gallagher accepts in conclusion, adding: “but don’t tell the American people that you wake up every day thinking of ways to give the American workers a fair shot in the global economy. Don‘t claim to ’walk the walk.’”