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Four Minnesota business leaders endorse Obama economic plan

Endorsing Sen. Barack Obama's economic plan today were, from left, Ed Phillips, Robert Pohlad, Robert Ryan and Lois Quam.
MinnPost photo by Dan Haugen
Endorsing Sen. Barack Obama’s economic plan today were, from left, Ed Phillips, Robert Pohlad, Robert Ryan and Lois Quam.

Four prominent Minnesota business leaders endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s economic plan today, arguing John McCain would continue ineffective Bush administration policies that have left out the middle class.

“If you take care of that middle class, that foundation of America, and everything builds off of that,” said Robert Pohlad, CEO of PepsiAmericas. He argued that programs and tax incentives that help lower- and middle-class Americans climb the economic ladder — even if creating them adds to his personal tax burden — are ultimately a good thing for his business.

Pohlad was joined at a press conference at the State Capital this morning by former Medtronic CFO Robert Ryan, Piper Jaffray managing director Lois Quam and Phillips Beverage CEO Ed Phillips.

In addition to tax distribution, the executives focused on health insurance. Ryan, who retired from Medtronic in 2005 after 12 years with the company, said today’s health-care system is “extremely cruel to families with no coverage or who are under-insured.” Obama’s health care proposal will help take care of more Americans who need coverage than McCain’s proposal will, he said.

The bottom line, Quam said: “Barack Obama is good for business.”

John McCain’s economic policy is available at his campaign website. Also, the Tax Policy Center provides an analysis of both candidates tax proposals here.

Asked for comment on the business leaders’ announcement and about their views on the presidential candidates’ economic plans, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Business Partnership both said they focus on state policy and do not endorse national candidates. By publication time, the Midwest office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had not returned a phone call seeking comment.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by stephen winnick on 09/10/2008 - 06:22 pm.

    These four are respected biz leaders with outstanding credentials…Now how about this press conference being used as a starting point for biz leaders nationally considering doing the same. Our state can again be looked to for doing something positive and not just as the place that launched Gov. Palin and allowed overzealous cops to clear our mean streets.A national biz leader endorsement consideration could also take away the silly media games being played with lipstick and language parsing.Regardless of how leaders react to business policies of one candidate or another, its the thoughtful consideration of substance that could encourage many to think–enough “drill baby drill” jingo-isms.

  2. Submitted by Karl Smithe on 01/28/2009 - 02:54 pm.

    It is 40 years after the Moon landing and our economists have not been telling the American people how much they have lost on the depreciation of automobiles since then. There have been 200,000,000+ automobiles in the United States since 1995. That is more cars than there were Americans in the 1930s. If each car lost $1,500 per year that would be $300,000,000,000. Since 1995 that would amount to FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS.

    Is that what the US fought the Vietnam War for?

    Economists that can’t do ALGEBRA.

    When is Obama going to make accounting mandatory in our high schools?


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