President Donald Trump yesterday visited Springfield’s Loren Cook Co. as the first of several planned stops to lay out his tax reform plan.
Speaking to a crowd of 1,450 at 2707 N. Barnes Ave., the president outlined four principles for tax reform, starting with simplifying the tax code.
“That means getting rid of the loopholes and complexity that primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and special interests,” he said. “The tax code is now a massive source of complexity and frustration for tens of millions of Americans.”
Trump said more than 90 percent of Americans consult professional help at tax time.
“This enormous complexity is very unfair. It disadvantages ordinary Americans who don’t have an army of accountants while benefitting deep-pocketed special interests,” he said, acknowledging the fact he and factory owner Jerry Cook can afford the experts who find those very loopholes.
The president said his goal is to allow people to file their taxes on an easy-to-understand, single-page form.
His second stated goal is to make the American corporate tax rate more competitive among nations, blaming the 35 percent federal rate for the export of U.S. jobs to developed countries, including China, with an average business tax rate under 24 percent. His plan would drop the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
“The United States is now behind France, behind Germany, behind Canada, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and many other nations,” he said, noting he believes “made in the USA” labels are becoming more rare. “Also, with these countries and almost every country, we have massive trade deficits.”
David Carsten, a welder at Loren Cook Co.’s unionized factory, welcomed the idea of having more domestic manufacturers.
“It’s annoying every day, when I go to weld a piece of metal, and see that it’s coming from Turkey or China,” he said. “We’re putting union-made, USA-made stickers on every one of our fans that go out the door. Granted, we’re assembling them here, we’re cutting the parts, welding them together and what have you, but it’s not American steel.”
Although he didn’t give specifics, Trump said his third goal is to lower taxes on middle-class individuals, which could spur more spending and help economic growth.
Shaun Duggins, president of Carol Jones Realtors, said the message Trump delivered was exactly what he has wanted since voting for him in 2016.
“As Realtors, we represent the American dream,” he said. “It helps us all the way around, as far as people being able to have the dream of home ownership. We should see a shift in home ownership where people decide, ‘Hey I really do want to own my own.’ America’s largest equity is a home. That’s the exciting part for us.”
The president’s fourth goal is to attract $3 trillion-$5 trillion in funds to the United States that he said are currently being held in other countries with preferable tax systems.
“Because of our high tax rate and horrible, outdated, bureaucratic rules, large companies that do business overseas will often park their profits offshore to avoid paying a high United States tax if the money is brought back home,” he said. “So they leave the money over there.”
Local investor and entrepreneur Dan Cobb said the fourth point stood out to him.
“I think that’s really important,” he said, “because companies like Apple and Google have been parking billions and billions for them overseas.”
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