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May 2010: President’s Message

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President’s Message

Mackie BoundsThe Government is Working, 24-7

We all are aware of the many changes taking place in Washington, D.C., today. No matter where we stand in the political system, we are alarmed by the rapid changes. It makes us realize that, while we sleep, our government is working overtime making all of these changes. It seems today that we, as business owners and especially our industry, will feel effects that do not add up to many plusses on the bottom line. That’s why our Legislative Conference is more important this year than ever.

We will be gathering in Washington, D.C., May 5 and 6, with our other industry partners and will go to The Hill to meet with our lawmakers, voicing our concerns and our needs. Our Legislative Committee, chaired by Paul Odom, is doing an outstanding job for all of us mason contractors, and we need to be there as a support team to their efforts.

Today, there is a law in place that will allow the government to withhold 3 percent from all government contracts with no deadline for when we would ever receive the money. In my thoughts, we need to call it a tax, rather than a withholding. So far, we, along with others, have been able to keep this bill from coming into effect.

The MCAA is now leading the way in getting this withholding bill repealed. We are confident that, with the help of each of you, we will be able to accomplish our mission. Then, we will make a strong push on Worker Misclassification laws. Many are avoiding paying payroll tax by giving all of their employees a 1099, rather than showing them as employees, which they are. We are gaining support on both sides of the aisle, but we need the help of all to accomplish our mission. We truly want the playing field to be level in these tough economic times.

There also is the issue of MILCON, which is taking market share from us. When I wrote my last article, I was in D.C. to visit with the Pentagon concerning the issue of the use masonry in the construction of our Army bases. As we speak, we are being replaced with stick construction. Do we remain quiet and say, “Oh well?” No, we do not. Rather, we visit the Pentagon and our congressmen to voice our concerns, and we will never give up until we are successful.

We will not stop with these issues that I have just mentioned, but will continue to work on behalf of every mason contractor in the United States. We all know how important the success of Vision 20/20 is to our business and our industry. We will use the hallways of Capitol Hill, as well as the city council chambers, to achieve bills and ordinances that will require the use of masonry in construction.

If you do not know your congressman or senator, break down that wall and get to know each one of them. Our grassroots efforts will enable us to establish relationships that we can use for the good of our industry for many years down the road. If you do not feel comfortable doing this on your own, then contact our MCAA office. We will give you the help and guidance in doing this. This is one of the easiest ways to add money to your bottom line. If we don’t do it, then we will lose, because the government is working 24-7. Remember the bill called “Healthcare Reform?” Do I need to say more?

Until next time, this old cowboy says, “Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

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