Let me start with Carly Fiorina, who will be addressing the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference today. As you might recall, Fiorina was ousted from her position as CEO at HP for mismanagement and failing to produce the returns and corporate profits expected. Her position didn't work out too well for workers either. Fiorina executed a merger between HP and Compaq and thousands of employees were laid off as a result. Don't feel too sorry for Fiorna though. She walked away with a $21 million dollar severance package, which was 2.5 times her base annual salary.
Fiorna's employment with HP was a lose-lose proposition all the way around, but that doesn't seem to matter to McCain, possibly because Carly is all for cutting taxes. The Michigan Business Review interviewed her and these quotes pretty much set the tone:
So we've got to get our climate for business better. We have to lower the tax rates at both a federal and a state level. We have to get useless paperwork, bureaucracy and regulation out of the way. We have to motivate businesses to invest.[...]She was also asked about Hewlett-Packard possibly acquiring EDS and what kind of impact she thought it would have on this state.
But Michigan needs to think very long and hard about the tax climate it has compared to the other states.
And frankly I just don't know enough about it to know what the specific impact on Michigan will be.In HP's case, those jobs went overseas to China and Russia because, as Carly said, "there is no job that is America's God-given right anymore."
But what I can tell you, having done a massive merger myself and executed it successfully, one of the first questions that a chief executive is faced with is, when you are consolidating two businesses, where will the jobs go?
Not all vice-presidents play an active role in influencing policy, so Fiorina may be benign in that area, but not so Phil Gramm. McCain has made it clear that Gramm is his main economic guru, or as David Corn calls him, Foreclosure Phil.
Who's to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time? There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm. Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown. Yet has Gramm been banished from the corridors of power? Reviled as the villain who bankrupted Middle America? Hardly. Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters. He's been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win. That's right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy. Talk about a market failure.Tax cuts, free trade, deregulation. McCain is pushing the same agenda that's worked well for the rich at the expense of average Americans, and he aided and abetted by people like Gramm and Fiorina. McCain is simply more of the same from a party that has nothing to offer average Americans.
(Cross-posted at BFM.)