Congressman Faso speaks at Ulster Chamber Breakfast

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January 19, 2017
John Faso is going to Washington with a whole lot of plans on how to make things better for business people in the 19th Congressional District.
The Kinderhook Republican told about 275 members of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 18 that he will focus on economic growth with tax and regulatory reforms as well fixing what he sees as major flaws in Obamacare.
For starters, Faso said he intends to push for a law allowing businesses that make capital expenditures such as a new plant, machinery or vehicles to write it off against their taxes in the year they make the purchase.
“That will incentivize new growth and new productivity in our businesses and our manufacturing concerns, and I think that’s going to be a really important aspect of tax reform.
“We also need to fix this craziness where we have double taxation on the multi-national companies that do business abroad. We now have $2.7 trillion of U.S. corporate earnings stashed abroad that will not be brought home because of double taxation.”
Faso said the United States is the only country in the world that has unitary tax system. Most countries have a territorial tax system in which businesses are taxed where they earn the money.
“If a U.S. company like Boeing or Caterpillar or G.E. earns abroad, they pay taxes there, and they shouldn’t be taxed again,” he said.
Cutting the corporate tax rate is another way to boost the U.S. economy and a primary goal for Faso, who was sworn in as a freshman congressman two weeks ago.
“Canada is 15 percent. Ireland is 12.5 percent. The proposal I think you will see coming out of Congress would make a 20 to 22 percent corporate tax rate with elimination of a lot of special interest write-offs that now exist,” Faso said.
The issue he spent the most time dissecting at the Chamber breakfast was the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.
Faso noted that insurance pools are collapsing and many are pulling out of markets in several states, while millions are seeing their premiums skyrocket.
Leaders in the House have vowed to push ahead to repeal Obamacare under which 20 million Americans gained access to insurance.
“We hear a lot of the mantra ‘repeal and replace.’ The word I like to use is ‘reform,’ Faso said.
“The ACA has done many good things. The ban on use of pre-existing conditions to bar someone to buy insurance is a good idea. Allowing the young people up to (age) 26 to stay on their parents’ health plan is a good idea. I think, almost universally, those two things are agreed to.”
One of the main problems with Obamacare, according to Faso, is that it “discourages” businesses from hiring full-time workers.
Under the law, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees can be fined $2,000 per worker if they fail to provide health insurance.
“I can’t tell you the number of business (owners) that I met during the campaign who told me that they have now reduced their workforce or will not go over 50 full-time employees because of the employer mandate in the ACA, and it engenders a whole series of new regulatory and financial burdens on businesses, which many say they simply don’t want.”
On top of that, Faso noted that the Affordable Care Act has made it more difficult for young people to afford insurance.
“You have 8 million people who are now paying the fine rather than buying the insurance,” he said. “That’s because the ratio that they did on banding meant that you couldn’t charge someone who was older more than three times what you could charge someone who was younger.
“The reason the pools have collapsed in many states is because we didn’t get the number of young people buying insurance to help subsidize the older people in the exchanges.”
Faso said the Congressional Budget Office anticipated that there would be more than 22 million people buying insurance through the exchange, but as of last year, only 11 million did.
“That’s the fundamental problem that has caused many insurers to pull out of the market. That’s something we have to fix and reform.”
Faso said a budget reconciliation bill is expected to move forward in the GOP-controlled House and Senate in the coming weeks to deal with the financial underpinnings--essentially doing away with a host of Obamacare-related taxes as well as the individual and employer mandates.
Faso said the final piece of the reform will include statutory changes that must pass both the House and the Senate.
“It’s very important that whatever final solutions take hold later this year in the reform that we do it on a bipartisian basis."
Contact:
Ward Todd, President/CEO
ward@ulsterchamber.org, (845) 338-5100