U.S. Now Has Highest Corporate Tax Rate
This week, Japan officially lowered their corporate tax rate, a move that secured the United States the unenviable position of highest corporate tax rate in the developed world at 39.2%. As a nation, we need to face the reality that America and our businesses, both large and small, are competing in a global marketplace. We can sit on our hands and demonize businesses who choose to ship jobs abroad or we can take action to keep the jobs we have and bring even more back. America must compete for investment and our outdated corporate tax code, last overhauled in 1986, plays a major role in that contest. Simply put, increased investment means greater American manufacturing, American jobs and higher wages for American workers.
Between 2000 and 2010, nine of our major trading partners have lowered their corporate tax rates and reformed their international tax code in order to unlock money trapped abroad due to high taxes. Just last week, the United Kingdom announced it's lowering its rate from 26% to 22% to send a signal that Britain is "open for business.' Our antiquated worldwide corporate tax system, which taxes international income twice, combined with our incredibly high corporate tax rate, is hamstringing American businesses when we need them to be growing, thriving, and hiring.
To those who argue that the large number of loopholes in the tax code makes the actual rate for many companies much lower, I would say that is a large part of our problem. The Government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers through an overly complex tax code. It is essential that we close the special interest loopholes and lower the rate to a more competitive rate of 25%. The Ways and Means Committee has put forth a detailed discussion draft for the plan, and the Path to Prosperity Budget, that passed the House last week, charts the way towards the same end. We need to encourage our businesses to grow, expand, and bring their international profits back home. A reasonable and responsible corporate tax rate can be, and should be, an important tool in this process.
First Week of Easter District Work Period in the Books
The first week of this year's Easter District Work Period was an immense success. I started the week with April's session of open office hours in my Topeka office. Meeting with several Kansans on a one on one basis about issues that are important to them, but they may not have been comfortable or able to share at a public listening session.
I then was able to visit several fantastic locations in Shawnee County. I first visited with the students, teachers and faculty at Seaman High School in Topeka about their nutrition and healthy living programs. Childhood obesity is a pressing issue for our country and our youth, and the folks at Seaman are tacking the program head on. Later, I was able to visit with students at West Indianola Elementary School to talk about the efforts they are taking to combat bullying. I was so impressed with the maturity and intelligence of the students at West Indianola, and I wish them all the best as they continue to stand up against bullies. I also had the opportunity to tour the Shawnee County Health Clinic, where they do amazing work to keep the Topeka community healthy.
Yesterday, the Congress to Kansas tour continued with a listening session at the Coffee Loft in Garnett. We had a chance to discuss the recent debates in Washington, the economy, the constitutionality of the President's healthcare law, budget priorities and many other issues near and dear to the hearts of Kansans. It was a pleasure to visit with folks in Anderson County, and I look forward to my next opportunity to visit this fantastic community.
I ended the week's travels with the ribbon cutting at the new Spirit Aerosystems factory in Chanute. In September 2011, Spirit chose Chanute as the site for a manufacturing facility to support subassembly work on underwing aircraft components, and the new facility opened its doors on March 2, 2012. The new Chanute based employees will concentrate on light subassembly work for the 737. Spirit anticipates that after an initial hiring of about 35 employees, measured hiring will continue for several more years with total employment estimated to reach 125-150.
Soon after his inauguration, Governor Brownback made it clear that Kansas was open for business, and this week's ribbon cutting, only a few months after the exciting news that Spirit was coming to town, demonstrates that our State has truly begun creating a climate of growth that will bring more and more good jobs back to Kansas. I was honored to be on hand to officially welcome Spirit to Chanute and see this tangible example of our growing economy.
Continuing Congress to Kansas During the Easter District Work Period
We had a great week traveling around Eastern Kansas talking with Kansans and listening to their thoughts and concerns about issues before Congress. I am looking forward to another week of the Easter District Work Period next week. We have several more great events set up all over the district, and I hope to see some good crowds to discuss the issues important to them. So I hope you and your family have a very happy Easter and can make it out to one of our events next week.