Ryan Speaks to Milwaukee and Waukesha County Residents during Telephone Town Hall Meeting
WASHINGTON, DC — Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, recently spoke to thousands of Milwaukee and Waukesha County residents during a telephone town hall.
Excerpts of Ryan’s answers to constituents follow:
Reforming the tax code:
I think we need to lower our tax rates. Let me give you an explanation why. 80 percent of American businesses [and] 90 percent of Wisconsin businesses file their taxes as individuals. The top effective tax rate for these businesses is 44.6%. That’s the federal tax rate. You throw the Wisconsin income tax on top of it and we are taxing Wisconsin businesses at over 50 percent.
This is a huge problem for America and for Wisconsin because the average tax rate on businesses in the industrialized world is 25 percent. So we are taxing American businesses at almost double the tax rate our competitors tax theirs. Canada taxes all of their businesses at 15 percent and we are at nearly 50 percent. This is making it really hard for American businesses in this increasingly global economy to be successful, to compete, to have good wages and good jobs . . . so we’ve got to lower those tax rates.
Reducing the regulatory burden on American energy and manufacturing:
62 percent of all the electricity in Wisconsin is coal power generated. The Obama Administration has [regulations] that affect us. Number one—and the Supreme Court just put a stop on this—they have a new power plant regulation . . . that puts 62 percent of the way we currently generate electricity in jeopardy, where we can’t [produce] it. That would be an enormous and extremely expensive shock to our system and our ability to have abundant and affordable energy.
I don’t think the answer is to so over-regulate the economy that we lose our manufacturing jobs or we pay so much more for our basic costs of living. Our manufacturers are telling us they can’t compete in the global economy . . . we will lose jobs to countries that don’t have these same kinds of regulations.
One of my best friends from Janesville is a pipe fitter. These kinds of regulations kill manufacturing and construction jobs. But we need more pipelines to have pipe fitting jobs. The Keystone pipeline . . . the president vetoed that. Now, because of oil and gas technology, we have the ability to export natural gas to other countries. The Obama Administration is slowing down the permitting and approval of these natural gas exports. We believe we could have as many as a million good paying, private sector jobs—a lot of them pipe fitting jobs—if we actually could open up our natural gas production and export. But because of the administration we are not able to do that.