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Ryan op-ed: The Key to Small Businesses' Success

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May 05, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments
This is Small Business Week, so there is no better time to take a hard look at how public policies can help workers employed by these businesses grow and thrive.

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They make up 99.7 percent of American employers, and they create over 60 percent of new, private-sector jobs. The same is true in Wisconsin: We have more than 440,000 small businesses in our state, and they employed over half of the private-sector workforce — or more than 1 million Wisconsinites.

Like hard-working Americans across the country, too many people in southern Wisconsin are still struggling to get by. But we don’t need to accept this as the new normal.

As your representative in Congress, I have been working with my colleagues to put together a policy agenda to address the challenges of the day. The first of these is promoting economic growth, and the key to promoting economic growth is tax reform.

We have a tax code that puts America in an extremely uncompetitive position. The United States has the third highest corporate tax rate in the world. Take Johnson Controls, for example. It is buying Tyco so it can become an Irish company and lower its tax rate from 35 percent to 12.5 percent. But it’s not just big companies that are at a disadvantage.

It’s our small businesses too. Ninety percent of Wisconsin businesses file their taxes as individuals. And the top effective marginal tax rate in America today for these small businesses is now 44.6 percent. Meanwhile, our friends on the other side of Lake Superior in Canada tax their businesses at 15 percent. A local manufacturer in Racine could be paying up to 44.6 percent in taxes. Add state and local fees and taxes, and these small businesses are paying over half of every dollar they earn in taxes.

If we tax our job creators and our businesses at much higher tax rates than our foreign competitors, they win and we lose. We’ve got to make America more competitive. That is why I am working to put out a tax reform plan to show how our businesses can stay in America. We are in a global economy, whether we like it or not. I want Wisconsinites that start small businesses to compete. Right now, the deck is stacked against our workers and small businesses. Let’s lower their tax rates, level the playing field, and watch our small businesses thrive.

Read online at the Racine Journal Times here.
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