CEO to workers: If Obama wins, you're fired
This from someone who became a symbol of outsized spending, debt and real estate in America?
David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, sent a surprising email to his employees Monday.
It said that if President Barack Obama wins re-election and raises Siegel's taxes, he will have to lay off workers and downsize his company — or even shut it down.
"If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company," he wrote. "Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone."
In a version of Romney's "47 percent" remarks, Siegel added that "people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for."
The points are ones that have often been made during this election. But what makes the letter surprising is the source.
David Siegel is the man who, together with his wife, Jackie, built the largest new house in America, known as "Versailles." His story first appeared in my book "The High-Beta Rich." It then made it to the big screen with the documentary film "The Queen of Versailles."
They became symbols of outsized spending, debt and real estate in America.
But when the company started buckling under $1 billion in debt during the crisis, the Siegels' home went into foreclosure and was put up for sale. They cut back on the jet, took the kids out of private school and gave up some of their staff. (Read more: Social Media's Billion-Dollar Rollercoaster)
So why is David Siegel — a man who defined excess and debt in the 2000s — now saying that debt and spending are ruining the country?
I asked David and during a phone interview last night, and he told me that this was about his workers, not him. He said his own finances have vastly improved. He has paid off all of his major lenders. "I have enough money for the rest of my life and enough to leave a good inheritance for our kids." He said the loan for Versailles is paid off and he's resuming construction on the home.
"The elevators are going in and they're preparing to put in the marble."
The deal with Versailles' lenders, he went on, worked out "better than I imagined," since he was allowed to go nine months without making any interest payments on the loan. Jackie has several offers for a new reality TV show "which we're in the process of ranking and evaluating," Siegel said.
He has learned his own painful lesson from the debt crunch. "We cut back, we're lean and mean. That's what the rest of the country has to do."
Siegel said he's acting not out of self-interest but for the interest of his workers. While Westgate has never been more profitable, the company has 5,000 fewer workers than in 2007.
He said that if Obama is re-elected and imposes Obamacare and higher taxes, he may just have to let more of his remaining 7,000 workers go. He said he might even shut down the company. (Read more: Why Larry Ellison Needs a $4 Billion Loan)
"The combination of Obamacare and taxes would be a disaster," he said. "I would probably just call it a day and that would be a disaster."
Siegel stressed that he wasn't out to intimidate his workers into voting for Romney. "I can't tell anyone to vote," he said. But he wants to make sure his workers make an informed choice. "I want my employees to be educated on what could happen to their future if the wrong person is elected."
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Then, let's not forget that business taxes are applied to profit, not revenue. Thus, any tax increase on a business will not affect the money required to pay his employees.
So this is just another partisan business owner trying to intimidate his employees.
Anyone want to look at how much money he will lose if he closes shop, or reduces his employment ranks? I guarantee it is more than a small tax increase.
When Bill O'Rielly made a similar statement, someone asked him point blank if he would seriously give up the millions he makes just to avoid a couple hundred thousand in taxes. In a moment of honesty, he admitted that he would not give up the millions and continue to work.
I can still see that you pro Obama people are completely oblivious to the real situation that America faces! David has made rite choices and wrong choices, as it is with any of us. get off your butt and make some choices for yourselves. quit holding out your hands for hand outs, and become part of what has made this the greatest country in the world. quit being part of the problem!
I bet if your entitlements were cut completely you would find a way to make it, if not, we don’t need you anyhow! how’s that for reality?
As long as I have enough money to pay the bills and buy some beer, I'm a happy camper. But then again, I'm not greedy like these scumbags.
May Obama be re-elected and this a-hole's creditor immediately call in all his loans. After all, he's already stated that he's willing to shutdown his source of income if Obama wins. The company will go into receivership and be sold during bankruptcy proceedings to someone who wants to see it succeed. His employes have nothing to worry about.
Of course, if they're pissed off about his attitude, they might just pull an AA-pilot's style revolt.
Siegel's way of thinking is exactly why we need to vote for Obama. Wah, wah, wah Mr. Siegel - "would you like to have a little Wine with your imported Cheese in your Versaille Castle?"
Any small sacrifices the rich are asked to do, seems like a mountain to them. Granted I don't advocate that people rely on the Government but only in extreme circumstances like disabilities or temporary unemployment. Case in point - Siegel is asked to do his small part and all he knows to do is lay off his employees. The employees will then be forced to apply for unemployment. Did Obama cause the crash of 2007/2008? Who is really responsible for the mess we are in?
How many other businesses will be in the same position and not just as forthright as Siegel. He is not only providing jobs within his company but with the products and services he buys.
Ship these ingrates to Somalia then let's see how wealthy they become. These people will never stop whining about paying taxes. He needs to pay the same rate everybody else pays. If he can't make it while others can, then he's a lousy businessman. You know, "free market" and all that stuff. The free market culls the inefficient out, sounds like he's sub par.
Pro business policies do not exist with this administration. They would help to expand business increase revenue, and create new employment. Legislation that cuts into revenue adds expenses there is a point the bottom line dictates it is not worth being in business.
Let him go to hell. If he lays off then he earns less and suffers too.
Don't be bulled by such low people. I would not let anybody run
with such threat. He wealth stays with him,we don't need it.
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Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
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