Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

ICYMI: Pittenger op-ed on Tax Reform

Sep 24, 2014
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER’S OP-ED ON TAX REFORM

 

BURGER KING’S NOT THE PROBLEM, WASHINGTON IS
By Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09)
The Washington Examiner
Thursday, September 18, 2014


Shame on Burger King for moving to Canada? Or shame on us for being unresponsive to businesses and job creators?

The current debate about corporate inversions has once again brought out the tired, progressive-socialist rhetoric railing against corporate profits. Burger King, Chiquita, and other iconic American brands are seeking more attractive tax provisions to better manage their businesses, as they also absorb the high impact of our costly regulatory environment, including the mandated requirements of the Un-Affordable Care Act.

All of a sudden it is un-American to seek a lower tax burden to operate in dynamic and highly competitive world markets. American corporations suffer the burden of the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. What basis do we have to pout and shudder when they find a smarter way to do business?

A decade ago I served three terms in the North Carolina State Senate. At that time, Democrat policies had caused North Carolina to require the highest corporate and marginal tax rates in the southeast, greatly impeding our ability to attract new business.

North Carolina was losing by default, as companies relocated to Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, taking advantage of their lower corporate and marginal tax rates. Often, new companies would pop up just across the state line into South Carolina.

Were we justified to berate these companies for not coming to North Carolina? No! They were following good, common sense business management. North Carolina's economy struggled because of an expanding and bloated state government which had an insatiable appetite for new revenue, advocated by the Democrat leadership, who had governed the state since Reconstruction.

New Republican majorities in the North Carolina House and Senate, and a Republican governor, turned this around. North Carolina is now projected by the independent Tax Foundation to rank 17th nationally in tax climate, a vast improvement in three years from its previous rank of 44th. We have announcements on a near-weekly basis of companies moving to North Carolina, bringing capital investment and new jobs.

The challenge is no different regarding international markets.

While corporations are competing, building success and becoming profitable, let's also recognize that corporate profits fund the expansions that create new jobs and provide dividends for shareholders to reinvest in our economy or for seniors as retirement income. Corporate profits are essential to continue research and development as they are the lifeblood of innovation and economic growth. Corporations generously fund philanthropy to hospitals, universities, and numerous non-profits important to our communities. Should we celebrate corporate losses instead?

Our objective is clear: We need to restructure America's tax code to be simpler and fairer for all.

Special interests invade Congress every year seeking carve outs for their industries. Congress must eliminate the vast number of loopholes and deductions created for thousands of well-connected entities, now buried in America's 70,000 pages of tax code.

Former Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, provided a great working proposal for tax reform that would have reduced the corporate rate to 25 percent and lowered the tax burden for all Americans, while helping create nearly 2 million new jobs and adding over 3 trillion dollars to our gross domestic product. Regrettably, the plan was nixed by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who insisted on $800 billion in new government revenue. Obama and Reid denied American families the opportunity for revenue-neutral tax reform.

The administration's adherence to a non-territorial tax policy has also discouraged repatriation of $2 trillion in profits which could be reinvested for future growth and jobs. Other industrialized countries do not tax profits from foreign markets, yielding another non-competitive edge.

America's tepid recovery can be reversed with sound regulatory and tax policies similar to those enacted by President Reagan in the 1980s, with bipartisan Congressional support, which created 400,000 to 500,000 jobs each month (one month creating one million jobs), or like my own state of North Carolina, which has seen a transformation in economic development from pro-growth tax reform.

Burger King isn't the villain. Overstuffed Washington politicians and bureaucrats are the problem. Let's use our common sense and recognize now the course corrections that must be made for the future of our country.

Read the full op-ed and comments in the Washington Examiner here: http://washingtonexaminer.com/burger-kings-not-the-problem-washington-is/article/2553556?custom_click=rss.

 

###

Issues: