The chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers, one of the nation's leading trade groups, will slam criticism of tax reform as "stupid" and "self-destructive" in a speech Thursday to the Economic Club of Minnesota, according to a draft provided to the Washington Examiner.
"If you're like me, you look at all this and you ask: What are we doing to ourselves? What are we doing to our people? Why is Washington, D.C., making it harder for America to win in the world? This is so stupid! It is self-destructive. It's not the way to live up to our potential," David Farr will say, according to the draft.
"If you are defending the current tax code, then you have to defend a manufacturing worker in Minnesota losing his or her job to a worker overseas. If you are defending the current tax code, you have to defend years and years of mediocre economic growth, stagnant wages and entire communities losing hope for future prosperity. If you are defending the current tax code, you are defending less innovation, fewer technological breakthroughs, less [research and development] and fewer lifesaving medical discoveries."
Business groups have been aggressively pushing Congress to take up the tax reform framework announced late last month by the Republican leadership. The proposal would cut the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Companies have long complained that the current rate, the highest among developed nations, has been a drag on economic growth. Democrats slammed the proposal as a sop to corporations.
Critics such as Farr counter that the current tax rate has resulted in the offshoring of jobs because it is often cheaper for companies to move operations overseas. "If you're an opponent of tax reform, I want you to come to Minnesota, or Ohio or Wisconsin, and look a manufacturing worker in the eye. Tell her she doesn't deserve a bigger paycheck. Tell her that her family doesn't deserve to save for school and retirement. Then, tell an unemployed dad that a worker overseas deserves a job more than he does," he said.