Fred Smith, the Founder and CEO of FedEx, may have earned himself a few brownie points this week. It took him just 44 seconds to dispel the myth that increasing the tax rates on the top two percent would kill jobs. Said Smith:
“There is a lot of mythology in Washington, such as its small businesses that creates all of the jobs in the United States and if you raise the rates on the top two percent, you’ll kill jobs.”
Listen to the entire snippet below.
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Such a statement coming from unarguably a very competent and successful businessman, one who created an innovative company like FedEx, is beyond powerful. It gives new weight to President Obama’s balanced approach for achieving budgetary fiscal responsibility.
Before elevating Mr. Smith to ‘fighter for the middle class,’ it’s important to delve deeper into his interview. Listening further makes it evident he is willing to throw all individual taxpayers overboard to ensure that corporate tax rates are lowered. Smith continued:
“If I were designing a tax policy for the United States it would be to lower corporate tax rates … and then you do what you need to do in terms of personal tax rates across the board or at the upper end.”
Here’s the video:
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One should note that as CEO of FedEx, Mr. Smith is opposed to his drivers and other employees unionizing (with the exception of pilots). He vehemently opposed the correct reclassification of his truck drivers to be properly governed under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) as opposed to the Railway Labor Act (RLA). In fact during the FAA Reauthorization Act debate, he opposed section 806 that would have made that appropriate change. More disconcerting is that he ran deceptive commercials, op-eds, and threatened to cancel aircraft orders in opposition to the bill.
While Mr. Smith’s display of intellectual honesty with regards to the effects of upper income tax rates is important and to be commended, his actions indicate he is foremost a laissez faire capitalist. These types of CEOs are generally effective in giving the impression of being on the side of the working middle class, even as they are deceptive in their support for policies disadvantageous to the middle class.