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CNBC - Transcript


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box alongside Paul Farr, CFO of PPL to preview a CFO roundtable discussion hosted by Roskam on the pending hike in capital gains and dividend taxes. Roskam was joined at the roundtable by CFO's across several industries, as well as fellow House members, to discuss the negative affect increased taxes would have on the American economy. Watch the video here.

On Today's CFO Roundtable Discussing the Pending Tax Hikes in 2013:

ROSKAM: "Well I think that the looming sort of Damocles that's over the economy and the leaders that were hosting today in the capital are going to be focusing in on exactly that issue. If there is no action, if there is no intervening initiative here, those tax rates are going to go up--and they are going to go up dramatically. So today what we are going to be focusing on is highlighting capital gains rates, dividends rates, the impact on the economy and why we should work strenuously to keep them as low as possible."

On What Happens to Capital Gains and Dividends Rates if Nothing is Done:

ROSKAM: "They both jump tremendously and it's very, very interesting because you look at how this has an adverse impact on folks that are filing at less than $100,000 dollars. [These] folks that are claiming capital gains are actually 60 percent of tax payers...

"So we've got to focus in and make sure that we're doing everything that we can for the economy to be robust and dynamic and moving forward and not doing any harm."

On the Practical Approach to Tax Reform:

ROSKAM: "Well I think it's a two-step dance. I think that there is a long term desire to [do] overall tax reform without question, but in the meantime we've got to make sure that these rates don't go up at the end of this year. I think Speaker Boehner has laid out a plan and a pathway to be taking this up next year in a very thoughtful way, but leaders like Paul [Farr] have a lot to say about this because it's having an impact on the capital deployment decisions they're making right now."

FARR: "This is a very unfortunate time for a tax issue like this to come up because our sector has the capability to be very meaningfully additive to the economic recovery.


FARR: "I think the practical reality is it will be a two-step process. I think it's a mistake to make a singular decision on taxes and parity with capital gains and not address those in the context of overall tax reform. Uncertainty isn't good outright, but it would be nice to see those fixed jointly. I think logically what we would like to see is an extension of the current situation for a meaningful time, keep the rates where they are today, leave them at a minimum in parity with each other, and then address things in a broader basis on a total reform basis down the road."

On the Importance of Achieving Comprehensive Tax Reform:

ROSKAM: "Look, there's nobody that can defend the status quo of the tax code in its entirety today. And there is a real opportunity for us to come together as a country, and to say what we need is tax code that makes the United States the most competitive tax jurisdiction in the world and we've got all kinds of momentum behind that. The House Ways and Means Committee under the leadership of Chairman Dave Camp over the past 18 months, has held dozens and dozens hearings to lay the record and if you had to distill it down into one word, it is the word "competitiveness'. To Paul's point, if you extend these for a meaningful period of time and then move forward and drive for a comprehensive agenda, I think that's where the overwhelming majority of Americans want to see us going, and that's what we're advocating today."

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