Michigan, USA – Obama’s ties to Chaldean business leaders is not limited to Chaldean British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi and Chicago millionaire Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Auchi’s connection to Saddam Huseein and his loan to Obama of 3.5 million dollars through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA for his home on 5050 South Greenwood Avenue in Chicago, caught little media attention in the political campaign.
Despite the fact that Obama’s appeal to Chaldean business owners isn’t in the small businesses policies he campaigned about, Chaldean business leaders are going to make the best of popularity.
Take for example, gas station owner Sam Bazzi in Detroit. Bazzi is capitalizing on the President Obama frenzy hoping to cover the eventual tax hikes his station and small business like his will face once Obama takes office. The owners of the independent gas station re-branded a few months ago, including the roof, the sign, the pumps and even the awnings. The new Obama Oil on the corner of Wyoming Street and Plymouth Road in Detroit is a brilliant marketing move that has been “pumping” up customers and ringing in profits.
"When I first seen it, I wanted to cry," said customer Tangela Harris, a Detroit native and new customer of the gas station. The station fueled a spontaneous celebration Tuesday night after Obama was declared the winner.
"I am so proud today to be called an American because this man [Obama] won," said Neal Washington. "Now we're gonna show you how to make a difference in the United States. Obama for Detroit."
The owners of the gas station said they won’t mess with success, and plan on re-branding more stations. A clerk told reporters that Obama's campaign called them to tell them that Obama had seen the station and would try and fill-up at the gas station, travel and security permitting.
Other non-cash based Chaldean small business leaders are concerned that Obama’s small business tax hikes will be the nail in their coffin. Michigan’s economy ranks the worse in the nation and recent news that automakers are on the verge of bankruptcy if government loans in the billions are not provided.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has been lobbying Obama for a possible position in his new administration as well as pushing for reimbursement of union campaign efforts by the UAW and Teamsters.
The excitement from Barack Obama's win Tuesday night will most likely last for awhile, but for many Chaldeans, that excitement is already fading. That's because under Obama's tax plan, they would face much higher taxes. Small business owners are among the most worried.
While Obama's tax plan is still just a plan, the marginal tax rates are scheduled to return to there pre-2002 levels in 2011, when President Bush's tax cuts expire. “The tax hikes would push the economy into a deep receiion if not over the edge into a depression,” says George Makou, a small business bookkeeper in Macomb county, Michigan.
Makou says Chaldean business owners in Michigan are already on edge and a tax hike will be more than they can handle. “I have already taken over twenty calls about how the new tax hikes will affect my clients businesses. The numbers don’t look good. Many will be forced to lay-off employees and some are already talking about selling their business and looking for a job in another state.”