EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
MARBLE FALLS — U.S. Rep. Roger Williams laid out his vision for boosting the U.S. economy to Marble Falls-area business owners and community leaders during a Small Business Roundtable on Aug. 17 at the Market on Avenue H.
“We have to jumpstart our country, and we do that through Main Street,” said the Republican, who represents the 25th District of Texas.
Williams pointed out that he’s almost an anomaly in Congress in that he’s a business owner and understands the challenges businesses face.
Earlier this year, he rolled out a tax-reform plan called Jumpstart America, which calls for several tax cuts and other changes he said will help boost the economy.
“I ran for office to help small businesses,” he told the group of people gathered around the table at Market on Avenue H. “Number 1, I’m focused on tax reform.
“We have the highest taxes in the world,” the congressman added.
Reducing taxes will put more money in the coffers of business owners and the pockets of employees, Williamson said. That money, he added, wouldn’t just sit there; businesses would use it to grow their operations and employees would spend it, spurring a faster economic growth.
Williams discussed several tax reforms for which his plan calls, including cutting personal tax brackets to 20 percent and 30 percent; lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent; cutting the payroll tax; cutting the capital gains and dividends tax to 15 percent or zero percent; and eliminating the inheritance tax.
He pointed that something as simple as cutting the payroll tax rate in half would save businesses quite a bit of money. He used his family’s car business, which his daughters run, as an example. By cutting the payroll tax rate in half, the business would save about $16,000 a month.
“You know what? We’re not going to save that,” he said “We’re going to hire technicians. We’re going to give raises.”
He added that by doing away with the inheritance tax, businesses could create thousands of new jobs.
“We have to allow the private sector to cashflow our country,” Williams said.
As one of the few business owners in Congress — on either side of the aisle — Williams spends a lot of time educating his colleagues about the issues business owners face. Taxes are a big part of the problem, he said.
Instead of finding people who understand owning and managing businesses, Williams said he often runs into interference, particularly related to terms he’s never heard outside of Washington, D.C.: “pay for” and “revenue neutral.”
“With tax cuts, everybody wants to know how are you going to pay for it,” Williams told the business owners and community leaders. “It’s called economic growth.”
He pointed out that businesses and their employees aren’t going to hoard money they gain through tax cuts.
“We’re Americans; we don’t save,” the congressman said. “We spend.”
That spending, either through growing a business or purchasing products and services, churns out a stronger economy and adds jobs.
As for the term “revenue neutral,” Williams said that makes no sense to a business owner like himself. It would be like owning a business and not trying to increase revenues from year to year. Instead of keeping a tax system and regulations that hold businesses back, Williams is advocating for ones that cut them loose.
“(Many in Congress) don’t understand Main Street America. We have to let Main Street work,” he said. “We have to empower the greatest asset we have, and that’s the American people.”
Williams said he’s previously filed his tax-reform steps in Congress, but time ran out on them. When he returns to Washington on Sept. 5, the congressman plans to get back to work on tax reform and his Jumpstart America plan.
Williams’ Congressional district runs from Tarrant County in the north to Hays County in the south and encompasses Burnet County. Go to williams.house.gov for more.