Boat sales appear to have gotten a boost from the winter boat shows. Good news, for sure. But, you gotta be in a coma not see why our unit sales still arenít even close to what they should be.†Is it no customers? No, theyíre out there. Lack of credit? Only in some cases. Consumers hunkered down? Yes, in part. Political insanity? Bingo!
One word really says it all — ďdeficits!Ē† The exploding deficit is scaring the hell out of all of us. Letís face it: the federal deficit is already so enormous we have trouble comprehending it. Weíre lucky we can still get anyone to finance it. But, what may be most chilling to us is the lack of concern being shown by the administration and Congress. And when weíre scared about the future, weíll hold off purchases of durable hard goods . . . we donít buy boats when weíre not happy and confident.
We all do budgets in our business and/or personal life. We easily recognize when income isnít covering expenses. We can also see when weíre falling into debt we canít support. So, these days, as we watch our lawmakers in Washington, is it any wonder we canít see how our government is going to pay for our exploding deficits — except by increasing taxes. We arenít sure how much of a tax increase would even be needed but our gut says itís inevitable!†
Top that off with the ongoing push for still more massive bills in Congress from health care to cap†and trade to the plans for more stimulus spending. But as consumers, we like certainties. Weíre uncomfortable when things arenít and it makes us hold off on major expenditures.
If all that isnít enough, how about the unprecedented political rhetoric flying through the air? It appears the green house gases causing global warming are coming from Washington! Like, a senator is called merciless for demanding to know how to pay for an unemployment bill. The President vilifies the nationís bankers. Cabinet members spew the party-line on Sunday talk shows. TV pundits cry socialism. One political party just says ďno.Ē Another says we should urge Congress to pass a bill the majority of Americanís reject and, then, count on a promise lawmakers will correct it after its law. Oh, sure, checkís in the mail! Not surprising, then, against all this background people don’t feel it’s a great time to buy our boats.
I admit Iím not writing this because I have come up with any great solutions Ė wish I did. Guess Iím just finally fed up with all the political drama that never seems to lead to any real solutions. I do feel better venting, though, and if you want to vent here, feel free. Or, if you have any solutions, chime in.
In the meanwhile, letís go back to work and keep fighting our way forward.?