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Ryan Discusses Tax Reform with Racine County Residents

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April 22, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments
WASHINGTON, DC — This week, Wisconsin’s First District Congressman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke to thousands of Racine County residents during a telephone town hall. 

Excerpts of Ryan’s answers to constituents follow:

Addressing comprehensive tax reform:

“Johnson Controls, which is up in Milwaukee, [is] buying an Irish company so they can become Irish. Why is Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee business, which has thousands of jobs there, all of a sudden becoming an Irish company? Because the Irish tax rate is 12.5 percent. The U.S. tax rate on a company like Johnson Controls is 35 percent. Twenty percent of American businesses are what we call corporations; that tax rate is 35 percent. Eighty percent of American businesses are what we call pass-throughs, like sub-chapter S corporations. They file their taxes as individuals. The top individual tax rate in America is 44.6 percent, effectively.”

“And this is worse: Take Case New Holland. I know Case very well because I go to that factory about twice a year. Case sells a product that they make in Racine overseas; say they sell it in France. They pay the French tax right then and there. If they want to take the money back to America that they made in selling that Racine-made red tractor in France, then they have to pay the American tax on it, which is 35 percent. No other country does this. We’re saying to American companies: ‘We’re going to tax you a lot more than your competitors are being taxed, so a) your product will be more expensive, and b) if you are competing and selling overseas, you’re going to pay a tax when you bring it back home,’ so they never do it.”

“So one of the things I am working on this year is to put out a tax reform plan to show how American businesses can stay in America, and how we need to lower our tax rates on our businesses so they are competitive with the rest of the world. It is a global economy whether we like it or not. And if we keep this idea that we can keep taxing American manufacturers at a much higher rate than our competitors tax theirs, they are going to keep moving overseas. When you see a corporate headquarters moving overseas . . .
this to me is one of the biggest threats to our economy.”

Doing the people’s work:

“What I am trying to do as your representative is get us [in Congress] busy doing our jobs. It might not be sexy and it might not be in the newspaper every day. A lot of people don’t know we passed the biggest education reform in [a decade], a new five-year transportation bill, new customs laws; we’ve passed a lot of things. What I am trying to do, just like Wisconsinites are; put your nose down, get your job done, do your work, and offer the country comprehensive solutions to the big problems facing us.”
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