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Titan CEO Makes National Pitch

(Akron/Tire Review – Quincy Herald-Whig) Morry Taylor, who created a stir when he ran for president in 1996, is shaking things up again.

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This time, the president and CEO of Quincy-based Titan International took out a full-page ad Feb. 2 in USA Today calling on Americans to demand common-sense solutions to some of the problems facing this country.

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The top of the ad reads in bold print: "Americans are you stupid? I don’t think we are, but politicians, bureaucrats and the intelligent elite think so."

Taylor used the ad as a platform to express his views on a variety of issues he feels are being mishandled by the nation’s leadership.

"The solution to any problem in America is common sense, but politicians, bureaucrats and the intelligent elite have lost their common sense," the ad says. "Whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, you and all Americans want facts and solutions to problems. Here are some facts and solutions."

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The ad then lays out Taylor’s ideas on 10 different issues: Death benefits for military servicemen, alternative fuels, Social Security, national service, Census Bureau statistics, immigration, college tuition, foreign trade, medical costs and national disaster relief.

For example, on the issue of death benefits for servicemen, Taylor complains the government gives only $25,000 to the family of a serviceman killed in action.

"That, folks, is wrong," the ad says. Taylor wants to see the death benefit bumped up to $250,000, and he suggests paying for it with a 5% "hero’s tax" on all imports.

On the fuel issue, the ad says 25% of Brazil’s gasoline is ethyl alcohol – a grain derivative that costs less than traditional gasoline, has a higher octane and helps the farm industry.

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"If your congressmen and senators mandated that same 25% use, gas prices would drop fast, plus improve air quality," the ad says.

Taylor also argues that the Census Bureau shouldn’t be asking people if they are Caucasian, African American, Asian American, etc.

"The bottom line is you are either American or you are not – those other identifiers do not mean anything," the ad says. "What disrespect our government has for us! What a waste of money! Our own government uses race bigotry."

Taylor also called for national policies to require:

• 18-year-olds to go into some type of national service for 18 months

• Make it more expensive for employers to hire illegal aliens

• Reduce college tuition costs by eliminating tenure and sabbaticals and requiring high-priced professors to spend more hours in the classrooms.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Taylor said Titan’s offices have been inundated with calls ever since the ad appeared.

"Our switchboard lit up at Des Moines," he said. "The phone lines got burned up. This one guy told me we’re the Internet chatter of the country right now."

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Taylor said the general reaction has been "100-to-1 positive."

One caller who identified himself as a retired Air Force colonel asked Taylor’s permission to send copies of the ad to 500,000 retired military people. "I told him to go ahead," Taylor said.

One of his friends called mischievously to ask Taylor for his definition of "intelligent elite."

"I said it’s simple: ‘Whoever doesn’t agree with me,’ " Taylor said.

Taylor, a blunt-speaking conservative who sought the Republican nomination for president in 1996, said he has no intentions of running for president again. He just felt it was time to offer some common-sense solutions to some ongoing issues that get under his craw.

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"I can bitch because I paid for it," he said.

Taylor didn’t want to say what he paid for the ad, but an industry source said an ad of that nature typically would cost roughly $21,000 for regional distribution in about a dozen states and roughly $100,000 for national distribution.

Taylor said his main point in running the ad was to encourage Americans to demand more common-sense solutions to the nation’s problems. "I think the American public had better start waking up," he said.

As the owner of an American company, Taylor feels it is imperative for the government and U.S. citizens to do more to support American-made products, which provide jobs for American workers.

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"You hear companies say, ‘We’re a global company.’ Well, stop and think about who is a global company. Did they just discover that in the last 15 years? No. what really happened is they dropped the ‘American’ and they substituted ‘global.’ So they don’t want to be American. I think that is totally wrong. I think you’ve got to have enough guts for your country."

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