Speaker Paul Ryan answers questions at Franklin business

Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 19:11:17-04

House Speaker Paul Ryan made several stops in his district Friday to hold employee town halls, answering questions on Foxconn, tax reform and improving the education system in America.

Friday afternoon, he visited Allis Roller in Franklin where he received a brief tour before addressing the employees. He praised the company for recently hiring 25 new employees.

But he said the country's tax code needs reforming so more companies can follow suit.

"We have a really bad tax system and our tax system right now penalizes American businesses in a way that our foreign competitors don't," Ryan said.

He followed up on the issue after the town hall, when asked his thoughts on Senate Democrats saying tax reform should not benefit the wealthiest individuals.

"Tax reform will pay for itself but what I think people are missing when they use this rhetoric, take a look at this business right here, this is an LLC. So as far as people are concerned, this business should not get a tax cut, this business files their taxes as an individual," Ryan said. "This business's top tax rate is 44.6 percent, they're competing against foreign competitors who are taxed at a fraction of that."

But Ryan's main reason for visiting this company, a program that employs high school students, so they can learn manufacturing skills while earning credit for school.

"We have to get back to the notion that a two-year school is cool, I mean it really is," Ryan said. "You can learn great skills, great trades, have a good career, make a really good living and you don't have to go to a four-year school and load up on a bunch of debt and spend years working it off."

Foxconn also came up at the town hall. One employee asked why the state is giving Foxconn $3 billion in incentives to come here, when other businesses already here are struggling to stay afloat.

Ryan answered the question by saying the incentive package is misunderstood and it's conditional based on if Foxconn delivers on its promises to bring at least 3,000 jobs.

He also said Foxconn would not have chosen Wisconsin without these incentives.

"This one deal is worth the reach, it's worth the stretch because what it does is it makes Wisconsin the industrial park for Silicon Valley which means we're going to have a very vibrant manufacturing sector in Wisconsin for a long time coming," he said.