Speaker Paul Ryan tours local business to talk tax reform

Posted at 6:48 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 19:48:22-04

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was in his district Monday to tour a local business and discuss the new tax reform bill.

Ryan took the tour of Royal Basket Trucks in Darien and spoke to some local small business owners about how the new tax overhaul could benefit them. 

"We're taxing American businesses at much higher tax rates than foreign competitors are taxing theirs," Ryan said. "That puts us at a competitive disadvantage in this global economy. Period, end of story."

Ryan's focus on tax reform is how to make America more competitive by supporting all pay classes, especially the middle class. 

"The point of tax reform for families is to give middle-class taxpayers a break on their taxes," Ryan said. "That's the entire point of tax reform. When you lower tax rates, double the standard deduction, increase things like the per child tax credit, that gives the middle class a big tax cut and that's what you're going to see."

Though his opponents disagree. 

"This is anything but a tax break for the middle class," said U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-District 2). "It's nothing more than redistribution of wealth from the many to the very few."

Pocan is critical of the tax reform. He says 80 percent of the tax cuts will go to the wealthiest one or two percent within the next ten years. 

"This is the biggest lie since I've got into Congress," Pocan said. "The idea that somehow, this is a tax cut for the middle class. It's anything but that. In Paul Ryan's District, 31 percent itemize deductions right now and many are homeowners. If you don't allow, for example, deduction of real estate taxes, it's likely going to turn out to be a tax increase under their plan." 

The idea of real estate tax deductions is something one of the largest trade associations in the country focusing on. The National Association of Home Builders say they proposed a mortgage tax credit as a part of the Republican-backed bill but it was denied. 

"We're going to have interest groups with different opinions on small, specific provisions," Ryan said of the NAHB opposing the tax reform bill. "We welcome that support. The Home Builders had a specific proposal that's innovative. It's kind of new and our members aren't familiar with it at this stage in the game. If the Home Builders can make sure all of our members can understand this provision, well, then maybe our members will take a liking to it. It's such a new idea that so many of our members aren't familiar with it."

President Donald Trump has tweeted the reform will not affect 401(k) contributions though, some lawmakers have said non-taxable contributions to the retirement fund could be slashed. 

"There are a lot of rumors out there," Ryan said. "I'll let the Ways and Means Committee when they roll it out, you'll see all the answers to those questions. There is a lot of innuendo about what is or isn't in the tax bill."