Raleigh, N.C. — The owners of a Raleigh business that has slashed staff and changed its operations to stay afloat said Thursday that President Obama needs to shift away from spending to revive the sluggish U.S. economy.
Schulz Iron Works, which designs steel for commercial construction projects around the Triangle, has cut its payroll by a quarter since 2009 because fewer buildings are going up and the contracts the company wins are smaller than in the past.
"The industry just went flipsy-flopsy," said David Schulz, who owns the company with his wife, Cindy.
The company used to finance jobs. Those days, they say, disappeared when credit markets dried up in late 2008.
"It's like someone has a death grip on the money. There is no more money flowing," David Schulz said. "If we agree to do a job, we have to literally say, 'Look, it can't be like it used to be – pay when you get paid. I need you to pay me the minute I get there.'"
Although Obama was proposing at least $300 billion in tax cuts, construction spending, unemployment aid and money for states, the Schulzes said other tactics could produce better results.
"Tax credits? That's a joke," David Schulz said. "I lost a quarter-million dollars last year. By the time I write that off, how much credit do I get?"
Cindy Schulz said there are too many regulations and too much economic uncertainty. She said the president needs to provide a reason to be optimistic.
"Make it possible for us to do more projects and get more people back to work," she said. "I would like to hear that the access to lending would be easier."