By Bob Barney
I am proud to say that I am an unabashed Donald Trump supporter and for a very personal and selfish reason...
He brought us out of poverty and made us "rich"!
Like many middle-classed working people, I have spent most of my 67 years of life struggling to make a living for myself and my family. I went through many years of hardship working for low wages and struggling to keep my family from succumbing to a poverty status. It was not an easy thing to do in these times where the “haves” stack the deck against the “have nots”, insuring their own wealth and wellbeing.
To be honest, I did quite well in the 80s with Reagan and with the first Bush but most of the 90s and all of the 2000’s we really struggled! Our paint company barely survived especially between the years of 2011 and 2016. For the self-employed middle class just trying to make a living, the administrations of Bush Sr. and Obama, were a complete disaster. Worse yet, both “King Bush, the lesser” and Barack Obama destroyed the working class in America and especially those living in small town USA who saw their hometowns crushed economically and mentally by trade agreements like NAFTA. Walmart, which used to support American small town manufactures exclusively, switched to Mexico, China, Singapore and other third world nations to buy their cheap goods. The consequences to small town America were numerous. Good paying jobs in the past were replaced by unemployment, shrinking towns and poverty. Drugs became prevalent in these towns and as crime flourished, people left. The town where our manufacturing plant is today has a population of about 800. Seventy years ago, the population was approximately 10,000, and it had a passenger train service, department stores, and a movie house. Today all these businesses are closed. The streets at night are downright dangerous and the town is dying.
In 2009 after realizing that we would not survive selling to distributors as they were making more money than we were, I made the decision that we should go online and try to sell direct to the public. We made a commitment to keep a great product at good prices and have nothing to do with maintaining a traditional relationship with the distribution side of the business anymore; that would just have pushed us to an inferior product we could not stand behind. We birthed tamcopaint.com in 2009 and we also sold our products on eBay which brought us a lot of new customers but at a very costly expense.
By 2016 we were averaging only 3 to $4000 a day in sales. We were not at the poverty level we had been teetering on in 2011, but we weren’t getting very rich either. Basically, it was our family members who had to do every single aspect of the business and those duties ranged from manufacturing to selling and everything in between with only one additional employee.
In 2016 after Donald Trump was elected, that VERY NEXT DAY we did $26,000 in sales! Not only was that eight times what we normally did in a day, but it was the largest day in sales we have had since 2012. The blessing continued as we never were below $15,000 a day for the rest of 2016.
By 2017 we did three times more of the business that we had done in 2015. There is no doubt in my mind that this was because of President Trump's pro-small business policies that were looking out for the small guy. The biggest shift happened for us when he lifted the EPA, which is an agency that had become like a Nazi-like invasion of American's businesses; we found ourselves getting a fair chance for once. Normally because of governmental regulatory agencies like OSHA, EPA, and other government regulations, it is safe to say they probably account for over 30% of our cost of making a product and selling it and that expense is passed on to you, the customer. Under Trump though, this was done away with for four years. And another important point, contrary to what liberals think, we didn’t cause any more environmental pollution then we did before all the regulations were put in place to punish everyone!
In 2018 our sales doubled from 2017 and doubled again in 2019 and doubled again in 2020. Although we have been able to maintain a small growth since 2020 election, the sad truth is that profits have dropped dramatically because our cost are 4 to 5 times what they were under the Trump administration. Now some will say, "oh that was because the cost of product came down under Covid", but I am here to tell you that is total bullshit! The truth is there was no Covid in 2017, there was no Covid in 2018, and there really wasn’t much Covid in 2019. Furthermore, gas was $1.78 a gallon in 2019. Let me show you an example of how we were affected by an insane cost increase: In 2018 I was paying $.50 a pound for most of my Solvents whereas today I pay almost 4 dollars a pound for every solvent. Resins literally doubled and, in many cases, quadrupled! High solids hardener resin went from three dollars a pound to $12 a pound as soon as Biden inflicted his communist polices on us all. So, you can see the drastic difference which happened to all businesses, especially smaller ones that do not have the buying power to negotiate better prices.
Currently and because we grew to a multi-million-dollar business under Trump, this is the only reason we are able to survive the onslaught of small business regulations again under the Democrats. If we were the company that we were in 2015 we would be yet one more victim of this administration and forced to shutter the business that we have worked so hard to create. Today, unlike 2015 I have cash reserves that can get us through any, or I should say almost any catastrophe that can happen. The reality is that I feel sorry for the small business guy out there who is barely making it just as we were in that situation just 10 years ago. Many of these people will be out of business before the 2024 election and many hopes and dreams of small entrepreneurs everywhere will be dashed as they face the cold hard truths of what communism and socialist policies intentionally do to middle class Americans.
Donald Trump made a lot of small struggling businesses and business owners rich, as he did Tammy and me. I am forever grateful for a politician who finally really worked for the little guy and not the big businesses that all the other politicians really work for. All the Democrats, and most of the Republicans, work for big business, big Pharma, big media, or big government. None of those work for you and me...but President Trump did work for you and me!
Over the past few years, I have talked to many people in the paint business or raw material business that were in my situation and shared similar stories of how they became well-off under Trump. Many of our customers did very well under the Trump years and that he helped them have the money to continue to buy from us...they helped us grow as they grew; a win win for everyone. This is what made America strong under Donald Trump. I’m sad to see so many Americans not have the foresight as to where we are today compared to where we were four years ago. Especially those people who owned businesses themselves and are struggling now to stay afloat. It is about time we as Americans support each other and not foreigners and big business.
It’s about time that the Trump Train Syndrome population forego their hang ups about this man and begin to realize how the Trump Presidency was really good for this country.