Today, the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), held a hearing on how pro-growth tax reform will grow our economy and improve the lives of workers, families, and job creators.
As Chairman Brady said at the start of the hearing:
“All of our members—no matter what side of the dais you sit on—know that tax reform is an economic imperative. Now is the time to go bold and deliver real results for the American people. We welcome all serious solutions that will help achieve that goal.”
Explaining the urgent need for pro-growth tax reform, Chairman Brady highlighted a small business owner in his district:
“Take it from Roger and Natalie Goertz, constituents of mine who own and operate a ‘Mr. Rooter’ plumbing franchise in Montgomery County, Texas. Roger said: ‘As a small business owner, I’m scared to death each year on how much I’m going to have to pay into the government.’ That uncertainty is devastating. Roger says, ‘It’s kind of like trying to operate your business with one hand tied behind your back. Sometimes you feel like both hands are tied behind your back.’”
In their testimony at today’s hearing, business leaders from across the country agreed: pro-growth tax reform is essential for untying the hands of our job creators and unlocking economic opportunity—so they can hire more workers, increase paychecks for families, grow their businesses, and invest in their communities. Below are highlights of what they had to say.
We need permanent tax reform now.
When Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) asked witnesses about the value of a permanent, long-lasting tax policy versus a temporary, short-term tax policy, here’s how they answered:
Douglas Peterson—CEO of S&P Global, which grew from a small financial services firm to a global company with 20,000 employees—said: “It’s like being in a 100-yard dash, and right now, we’re starting 20 yards behind. We’re running a 120-yard dash against the rest of the world who’s running a 100-yard dash. And this is going put us back at the start line at a 100-yard dash.”
John Stephens—the Chief Financial Officer for AT&T Inc.—said: “Permanence is extremely important … [it] allows us to make consistent, significant, material capital investments that allow for the demand for jobs, demand on our suppliers, and quite frankly, with the demand on those jobs … wages go up.”
Zachary Mottl—the fourth generation of his family to own and operate Atlas Tools, an American manufacturer based in Illinois—said: “I’ve been fighting for my life—my business—for the last decade as my customers keep leaving this country … it’s been a tough battle for the last decade or longer. I think a permanent tax code is so important to get my customers back in this country and buying products from businesses like mine.”
Pro-growth tax reform leads to greater investment, more job opportunities, and bigger paychecks for American workers and families.
Highlighting specific pro-growth proposals, David Farr—the CEO of Emerson Electric and Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) board of directors said: “Lower rates will make manufacturing more competitive, encourage greater investment in the United States, and promote job creation and stronger economic growth … [and a territorial system] will increase U.S. jobs, exports, and strengthen U.S.-based suppliers, and allow for the flow of capital back to the United States for investment right here in America … Expensing lowers the after-cost tax of capital, can drive increased investment, and economic growth along with job growth.”
Mr. Stephens added: “If we’re serious about robust growth, then we must get serious about jump starting private sector investment. And the best way to do that is to fix our broken, last-century corporate tax code. Achieving competitive corporate tax rates is likely the most effective catalyst available to our public policymakers to increase capital investment, create jobs, and increase wages.”
Mr. Mottl said: “The more we can invest, the more we can grow, the more we can hire.…We need this kind of growth. We need this kind of opportunity. And I think if you do tax reform, you will see that.”
In response to Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s (R-FL) question about whether tax reform would lead to “more and better jobs,” Mr. Stephens said, “It’s a jobs bill first and foremost.”
In response to Rep. Erik Paulsen’s (R-MN) question about how new investments will help communities and local suppliers, Mr. Stephens said: “It would have a very direct, immediate, positive effect on our vendors, on our suppliers, and quite frankly on our employees. As you put more dollars to work in capital investments, you generate the demand for jobs … in cases for many of the people, their wages would go up because there is more demand for their services.”
The cost of delay will greatly harm American workers and businesses.
When Rep. Tiberi (R-OH) asked witnesses to put a cost on delaying tax reform, here’s what they said:
Mr. Mottl said: “Delay cannot happen… I have invested all that money in my business and I am expecting to get a return on that and pay back investors, my family, and the bank. So I need my customers to be healthy, I need tax reform right now. My employees need it as well. They want to start saving and preparing for the future.”
Mr. Farr added: “The cost of delay means lack of innovation, less new products, and less jobs. It is that simple. We look at how much growth there will be and we pare it back based on delay and every time it is delayed we push that investment out. So it does have an impact on people, how we hire, investment and new products.”
Mr. Peterson concluded: “The cost of delay is also the cost of investment. If the delay is to not get a lower rate and not get a territorial system, we are going to see more companies looking for some sort of inversion, not bring cash flow back from offshore…one company in our industry did a 3.3 billion investment with offshore cash. We have no chance of getting any of that cash back.”
The Ways and Means Committee is committed to delivering permanent, pro-growth tax reform this year that will improve the lives of all Americans. Tune in next week for our hearing on boosting American competitiveness and stopping American jobs from moving overseas.
CLICK HERE to learn more about today’s hearing.
CLICK HERE to learn more about our ideas for pro-growth tax reform.