When we heard the news that President Obama is expected today to name his replacement for U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, we recalled the day last spring when Mr. Geithner visited our factory in Baltimore. He was pleased that we were growing in a bad economy and exporting to 36 nations in contrast to the grim picture of American manufacturing losing out to cut-rate competitors overseas. But he got particularly enthused when Dr. Marshal “Mickey” Greenblatt, a member of the board of directors at Marlin Steel, showed him the powerful sheet-metal laser cutter that Marlin had recently purchased.
“He was fairly cool and collected, but he became very animated when I described how a change in the depreciation rule allowed us to quickly invest in the new robot equipment. The change reduced the depreciation period on the purchase from five years to one so our tax bill went down. That probably enabled us to hire three workers, I told him. He jumped up on the balls of his feet very excitedly and said, ‘That was my idea. That was my idea.’”