Jon Kyl Archives - Shopfloor

Appreciating Sen. Kyl’s Work on the Death Tax

By | Taxation | No Comments

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on Thursday announced he would not seek re-election in 2012. The Wall Street Journal touched bases with the NAM’s Dena Battle, who shared the association’s appreciation with Sen. Kyl’s long and effective involvement on the estate tax issue.

“We’ve had a lot of champions from both sides of the aisle for death tax repeal over the years, but Senator Kyl has clearly been the leader,” said Dena Battle, a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, using opponents term for the tax. “In terms of both policy and keeping the stakeholders together, Kyl led the charge.”

Sen. Kyl supported NAM’s “Key Vote” positions on manufacturing issues 92 percent of the time during the 111th Congress. He’s a strong supporter of industry and business, and we look forward to continue working with him over the next two years.

Forget the Bediapered Baby 2011, the Death Tax Nears

By | Taxation | No Comments

You know those editorial cartoons that always appear the week after Christmas? The ones that depict the old, bearded man with an hourglass leaving the scene, replaced by the cheerful, diaper-clad baby wearing a sash that proclaims the upcoming year?

This year that baby could be replaced by the cowled, scythe-bearing depiction of death — unless Congress acts to prevent the return of the estate tax. If the lame-duck session of Congress fails to act, the estate tax will jump from its current 0 percent back to the top rate of 55 percent with just a $1 million exemption.

While the National Association of Manufacturers and many other business and farm groups have long advocated the permanent end of the estate tax, a reasonable, attainable compromise has been proposed by Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ). Their plan would exempt the first $5 million in an estate’s wealth from taxation and set the top rate at 35 percent.

From Dow-Jones, “Business Groups Back Quick Compromise On Estate Tax“:

Rather than try to use the lame-duck period to set long-term policy, Congress should find a quick compromise to stave off the punitive rates under current law, some business groups argue.

“The last thing we want to do is have any major tax policy determined in the course of a week in a lame-duck cycle following a significant electoral shift,” said Dena Battle, director of tax policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Battle said in the long haul, the group will continue to press for ” significant reform,” along the lines of the Lincoln-Kyl proposal.

Sen. Kyl, Countering Accusations on Outsourcing with Facts

By | Economy, Taxation | 7 Comments

The Senate will vote Tuesday on cloture on S. 3816, the bill that permanently increases taxes on companies with foreign operations in order to provide temporary tax breaks to other companies. The title is painfully, purposely misleading. Calling S. 3816 the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act is like calling a bill to eliminate secret-balloting in union elections the Employee Free Choice Act.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) spoke on the Senate floor today, shining light on the misleading claims of the bill’s supporters. His prepared remarks provided a substantive rebuttal to the populist slogans that unfortunately pass for argument these days.

Outsourcing hurts U.S. employment, right? No, Sen. Kyl explained:

A few years ago, PepsiCo embarked on an aggressive expansion program in Eastern Europe, largely by buying up existing bottlers and snack chip producers, upgrading plants and equipment, and improving distribution while increasing their marketing efforts in these countries, achieving large gains in sales as a result.

As a result of this expansion, PepsiCo’s employment abroad increased, but that did not cost any Americans their jobs. Pepsi merely took over existing plants and their workers.

In fact, PepsiCo’s foreign expansion created jobs here in the United States. To support their overseas operations, the company needed to expand their logistics, marketing, and other support operations-all well-paying jobs at their U.S. headquarters. As a result, expanding operations abroad increased employment here in the United States. 

Oh, c’mon, Senator. It’s just greed, greedy corporations. Isn’t it?

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Senator Kyl Talks Tax Policy on Tax Day

By | Briefly Legal, Economy, General, Taxation, Trade | No Comments

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) spoke to the NAM’s Manufacturing Summit this morning, and drawing from his position as a member of Republican leadership and the Senate Finance Committee, focused his remarks on tax policy.

The Senator expressed surprise that Senate Democrats had not moved on the estate tax at all this year, even after the tax rate fell to 0 percent as of January 1 and returns to the old, top tax rate of 55 percent after Dec. 30th. Kyl and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AZ) are sponsoring legislation that would create a top tax rate of 35 percent with a $5 million deduction and indexed to inflation.

He also talked about the prospect of the 2001 and 2003 “Bush tax cuts” expiring at the end of the year. Kyle urged manufacturers to talk to their members of Congress about the competitive environment Congress is failing to encourage. Ask these questions, he suggested:

How do you intend to enable American businesses to compete, if we have a very high corporate tax rate, if the capital gains and dividend rates go back up to where they were, and you in effect tax capital formation by allowing the top two brackets to be increased. How is that going to enable us to compete? When people say, we’re going to punish American because they’re taking jobs overseas, obviously they’re getting cause and effect relationship just exactly backwards. The question is, what’s driving us overseas?

The Senator also warned against the financial regulatory reform legislation, saying it will do as much harm to job creation as the health care legislation.

We’ve have sound files of his remarks, separated into his speech and Q&A.

Day Two of NAM’s Manufacturing Summit: Kyl and Orszag

By | Health Care, Regulations, Taxation | No Comments

It’s Day Two of the Manufacturing Summit, the National Association of Manufacturers’ fly-in and forums that have brought more than 350 manufacturers to town to meet with their members of Congress.

The day begins at the Hyatt Regency with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as the breakfast speaker. The Senator is GOP Whip, so we expect him to hit all the hot issues. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday gave a floor speech detailing Republican objections to the proposed financial reform legislation, so that could well be a major point of discussion. Health care remains topical.

Our NAM business activists then head to Capitol Hill for more discussions with their elected representatives, who represent the policy-making branch of government.

Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, is the luncheon speaker back at the Hyatt. The OMB is the switching yard of the Obama Administration, so there are plenty of issues to talk about. Director Orszag has been making the case recently that the health care legislation really does “bend the cost curve” downward, which is not the view of the NAM; that could be a good discussion.

And it’s tax day, isn’t it? Taxes may just come up.

In any case, the Administration has always treated the NAM well in providing speakers and keeping lines of communication open, and we’re delighted Director Orszag is coming.

Both speeches are open press, so there should be coverage from the various media outlets. We’ll be posting about the remarks here at Shopfloor.

Tweeting from NAM staff will also continue throughout the day @Shopfloor_NAM, and we’ve given the Manufacturing Summit a hashtag to identify it — #mfgsmt. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers — @SocMfgEng — has joined along, and we’re getting lots of good, albeit short, reports from the field.

Coming Up, the 2010 Manufacturing Summit

By | Economy, General | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers’ 2010 Manufacturing Summit gets under way at noon tomorrow, and we’re pleased to report that Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag will speak to the group of 350-plus manufacturers at our Thursday lunch event.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is the breakfast speaker that morning.

The summit brings leaders of manufacturing companies from all around the country to Washington, primarily for the purpose of talking to their members of Congress about federal policies that allow manufacturers in the United States to compete in the global economy.

In planning for the fly-in, the NAM identified three major issues that our members wanted to talk about: labor policy, taxes and jobs creation, but manufacturers have plenty of concerns they are not shy about sharing.

We’ll be blogging the speeches here at Shopfloor.org, and we hope to have a flurry of Tweeting at the NAM’s Twitter feed, @Shopfloor_NAM. The hashtag identifier for the event is #mfgsmt.

Death Tax: Achieving What’s Possible

By | Taxation | One Comment

Bloomberg reports on business groups lobbying for a 35 percent death tax to prevent a return to the 55 percent tax rate at the end of the year. Business has long argued for eliminating the death tax altogether, but current political and budgetary realities make that an unrealistic goal at the moment.

A 35 percent rate “is really that sort of sweet spot of what’s acceptable to all sides,” said Dena Battle, director of tax policy for Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers. “We don’t want to see the tax go up to 55. We didn’t want to see the tax at 45.”

The longer Congress delays action, bringing a 55 percent tax closer to reality, the fewer reasons Democrats have to consider Kyl’s and Lincoln’s 35 percent alternative, said Jeff Shoaf, senior executive director for government affairs at Arlington, Virginia-based Associated General Contractors.

In a December 2009 column, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) explained the reasoning behind the language he and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) have sponsored:

I have always believed that permanent repeal of the death tax represents the best policy, since it frees capital in the private market for more productive uses than fueling the federal government’s spending binge. However, even in the best of times, we have only been able to win 56 votes in the Senate for repeal, just shy of the needed 60. With the current makeup of Congress, permanent repeal is simply not in reach.

With that in mind, Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln and I offered an amendment to the Senate budget resolution in 2009 that attempted to strike the best compromise. It would have permanently established a 35 percent death tax rate with a $5 million exemption amount indexed to inflation. That amendment passed by a vote of 51 to 48 with the support of 11 Democrats and every Republican senator. But, unfortunately, the congressional budget resolution is only an advisory measure.

OMB Watch to Senators Lincoln, Kyl: You’re Out of Your Minds

By | Economy, Taxation | No Comments

Gee, after we say something passingly nice about the left-wing advocacy group OMB Watch, they attack two Senators for daring to challenge the death tax:

Long Overdue Outrage Over the Anti-Estate Tax Crowd

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post ran lead editorials this morning denouncing the attempt of Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to give yet another tax cut to the children of the very richest Americans. Both editorials are spot on and raise excellent points about why Sens. Lincoln and Kyl seem to be both out of touch and out of their minds. In fact, both editorials express far more outrage and disdain for this proposed tax cut than I’ve ever seen before in any newspaper. (Read the Times and Post editorials.)

(Adam Hughes 04/02/09)

“Out of their minds.” OK, here’s the testmony of Eugene Sukup, chairman of the board of Sukump Manufacturing Company in Sheffield, Iowa, speaking at a November 2007 hearing of the Senate Finance Committee.

I’m not bragging when I tell you that businesses like Sukup Manufacturing are the backbone of our economy. By the same token, when a business like ours is sold off or shuttered, the loss to the economy is great. If Sukup closed today, 350 people would lose their jobs. But, that’s just the beginning. Without jobs, there’s no reason for a child care center. As people move on to other places, the restaurants and stores close down, the dentist moves to a bigger city with more customers. The loss would be felt in Iowa, in Arkansas, in South Dakota.

Now, to be clear, we’re a growing company. So, why would we close down or sell off? I’m here today to tell you that one of the greatest threats to our family-owned business is the estate tax. If my wife Mary and I died today, we estimate that our estate tax liability would be somewhere between $15 and $20 million dollars. The only way for my sons to pay that tax would be to sell off the business.

Folks will tell you that you can “avoid” the tax. Well, maybe that’s true in some cases, but it also involves extremely high financial planning costs including expensive life insurance policies that businesses pay year in and year out. Money that we put into life insurance policies and other financial planning tools to avoid the tax is money that we could have been putting into the business – hiring more employees and expanding into other states.  

Any insults about mental health you want to throw his way? Mr. Sukup is, after all, a member of the “anti-estate tax crowd.”

We bet most of his employees are, too.

Report from St. Paul: Senator Kyl on Taxes

By | Policy Experts, Taxation | No Comments

(NAM Executive Vice President Jay Timmons is blogging from the Republican National Convention this week in St. Paul, Minn., following up on his reports from the Democratic Convention last week in Denver.)

John McCain’s Senate colleague from Arizona, Jon Kyl, was appropriately honored at a reception yesterday in Minneapolis. The second-ranking Senate Republican, Kyl is an economic stalwart who truly understands the importance of lower taxes, limited regulation and strong energy policy to economic growth and job creation.

He remains steadfast in insisting that the tax extender legislation be completed before Congress leaves town for the year and that they not contain tax increases. This legislative package is tremendously important for manufacturers as it includes energy efficiency, R&D tax credit and international provisions that will help protect and grow jobs. These provisions need to be passed before Congress adjourns and we are hopeful that a bipartisan agreement can be reached that does so without offsetting tax increases.