John Thune Archives - Shopfloor

Senator Thune on Tax Increases, Manufacturing and Jobs

By | Small Business, Taxation | 2 Comments

The Senate’s entire debate Saturday on extending the current tax rates to avoid raising taxes on targeted income groups was obviously important to manufacturers. The National Association of Manufacturers issued a statement from our Executive Vice President Jay Timmons, “Manufacturers Oppose Tax Increases on Business“:

Manufacturers oppose the Senate’s amendment to the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010 because it would result in a tax increase for the vast majority of America’s small and medium manufacturers. The tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 played a key role in stimulating our economy as it repealed the estate tax and lowered both the individual tax rates and tax rates on investment. 

Yet in searching The Congressional Record’s account of the debate, we find just a single mention of the word “manufacturers.” Thanks to Sen. John Thune (R-SD) for the citation in his floor remarks, refering to medical device manufacturers, as well as the broader discussion of how the “millionaires’ tax” is really a tax on small business. Excerpt:

[Here] we are today debating what evidently has become the Democratic economic theory, which is to raise taxes to create jobs. We have seen this in play throughout the last couple of years. The cap-and-trade bill was a tax on energy. It didn’t get through the Senate because we were prepared to stop it, but it passed in the House of Representatives and was headed here. The health care bill raised taxes on medical device manufacturers and drug companies and health insurance plans, all of which is going to get passed on to small businesses in the form of higher insurance premiums. 

Here we are debating a frontal, direct tax increase on small businesses. It is the most astounding theory on how to create jobs I have ever seen–raising taxes to create jobs. That hasn’t worked in practice. The Senator from Iowa eloquently pointed out that, historically, if you go back over the past half century, not only does it not create jobs, it doesn’t generate additional revenue. As he pointed out, when you raise taxes, you don’t get more revenue. When you lower taxes, you get more revenue. Why? Because it affects the behavior of the American people. It affects investors, it affects the allocation of capital, and it affects people across this country when they know their tax rates are going to be low. Read More

Senator Thune: Global Warming Bill Dead, but EPA Rolls On

By | Briefly Legal, Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

Senator John Thune (R-SD) spoke to the National Association of Manufacturers’ board of directors at the JW Marriott today, covering health care, Waxman-Markey and the Employee Free Choice. This was the first time we had heard him on the potential for EPA regulation of stationary sources of C02 emissions, and since he’s a member of Senate Republican leadership, we regard his remarks as representative of the minority party’s position.

Cap-and-dead is legislatively dead, at least right now, and the Senate shows no signs of taking the issue up anytime soon, Sen. Thune said. He continued:

In the meantime, the EPA is moving forward with regulating C02 under the Clean Air Act, and that’s equally frightening, because they are going to essentially codify through regulation the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House.

So the emission thresholds that were adopted by the House of Representatives in their cap-and-tax bill are going to be through regulation implemented by the EPA. That should be of great concern for everyone.

We doing everything we can, congressionally right now, to try to stop them from doing that. Furthermore, if Congress wanted to, it could basically say that they don’t have the authority – which they don’t – to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

But they’re going to move forward, and they will get sued, and when they do get sued, it will become much worse because the only portal that they have in the Clean Air Act to tie it to is the 250 ton threshold, which I think would capture about a million businesses in the country, about a million stationary sources. So, what we’re looking at, with the EPA moving forward on this, are potential dramatic increases in energy costs, which I don’t think anyone in this room wants.

As we’ve noted before, the EPA wants to use its questionable Clean Air Act authority to regulate stationary sources, but only those emitting 250,000 tons or more of greenhouse gases. But that’s not what the Clean Air Act says, as Thune points out.

It continues to amaze us that any member of the federal legislative branch would support such an gross intrusion from the executive branch into the policymaking function of government.