EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Roger Williams Calls for 2017 Tax Reform that Lets Americans ‘Cash Flow Our Country’

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, speaks with a reporter outside of Fort Hood, where the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is beginning Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, in Forth Hood, Texas. After years of delays, the trial of the man who carried out the Fort Hood shooting is starting, with …
AP/LM Otero

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cut tax rates, create cash flow, “You’ve got to allow people to make money,” Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) told Breitbart News this week in an exclusive interview on tax reform.

“The only way we’re going to get to four percent growth and to lower unemployment is to allow people to hire people and… hire people when they make money, so you know you gotta begin by cutting the rates,” said Williams. He pointed out the use of the term “revenue neutral” as one that isn’t used in the private sector.

The congressman emphasized the importance of tax reform leading to generating cash flow in the private sector. “Give them the tax cuts… let them make money,” he said.

“Government’s gotta find a way to reduce the debt, but let Americans cash flow our country.” Williams said you do that by doing the things we’re talking about, as he referred to his Jumpstart America plan released last summer. He added that he has been talking about tax reform his entire time in congress.

Williams went on to say:

Let’s cash flow the country and then let government get real serious about things like massive cuts in government… let repatriation royalties on drilling on federal lands, more taxpayers, and repatriation, let that begin to be the pay to offset revenue they thought they might lose.

“The American public didn’t put us in a $20 trillion dollar debt — the federal government did,” he said.

Williams stated that he wouldn’t be opposed to a multiple-step plan so long as government didn’t cut rates but then follow up by raising them back up. He specifically mentioned not wanting to see a border tax that raises the rates back up.

The congressman agreed with the intention floated on Monday by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, that a tax plan could pay for itself.

Asked if he expected to see a gap of time between when rates are first cut and when a potential plan would begin to pay for itself, Williams said, “I’m sure you might have a dip ’til everybody can begin to believe what we’re doing is really true, but it will eventually catch, it will catch up with itself.”

The Texas native is a second generation business owner and has been in business for 45 years. He recounted many trials, such as skyrocketing interest and economic problems of the 1980s, that he said many people haven’t experienced what he has.

“When you turn the economy over to Main Street America and business, the economy grows, but the way we are going now, we can never catch up with the spending… We gotta quit spending. Quit spending, that’s what businesses do, that’s what families do, and we need to do that in federal government,” the congressman said.

Repealing the inheritance “death” tax is one of eight points in Williams’ own Jumpstart America tax plan. While he said it is not a make-or-break, he brought up when the U.S. House had passed legislation to repeal the death tax, but it stalled in the U.S. Senate. Having experience with the tax himself, he said, “an asset doesn’t mean you have cash and people have already paid taxes on this.

“We’ve done studies and we’ve seen studies and if you do away with the inheritance tax you can add hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and the reason being is because some people are saving money each month to pass to their kids or maybe they have an insurance policy they make a premium on. If you do away with the inheritance tax they don’t need to save the cash, they don’t need to make the insurance premium, they can build their home, they can give to their church, they can build their business and pass net worth onto the next generation. And isn’t that what we should do in America instead of passing cold cash down or insurance policy? Let’s pass net worth on.”

He spoke of how the inheritance tax hurts the ability of families to carry on a family businesses.

Williams said that he has not seen any official plan being worked on by House Republican Leadership or the White House, but he has offered his input to the Trump Administration. He noted that he had also testified for the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by his good friend Rep. Kevin Brady, about the Jumpstart America tax plan.

The congressman did say that he hears some of what Ways and Means is talking about for a tax plan and “some of it scares me.” He later adjusted the use of the term “scares” to mean “disagree with.” Asked what items those include he quickly cited the border tax, “The border tax I disagree with. That’s a tax increase.” He said that tax raises the cost of goods and services to the consumer. He also wants to see businesses to be able to interest expense.

He added that to the best of his knowledge his plan is the “only one out there getting any traction.”

Asked about a timeline for a tax reform package to be completed, Williams strongly cautioned against putting a timeline on such a package as was done recently with attempts to pass healthcare reform. He did however, saythe end of the year is a very realistic timeline for a package to be completed.

“To me this should, if sold right, be an easier sell than healthcare because a lot of people understand this,” said Williams, adding it could be made retroactive for the 2017 tax year.

“But we need to get it right,” said Rep. Williams. He again mentioned the border tax among other items that he said, “is not something I can support, but I can support supporting small business, giving an opportunity to cash flow with the understanding that government would do their thing.” He said he wants to see government get smaller and curb spending.

Williams was asked about other points of his Jumpstart America tax reform plan such as preserving LIFO accounting and allowing for 100% expensing of fixed asset purchases. He said 100% expensing would not affect everyone, but would help the economy as people are freed up to buy more things. On LIFO, he noted that for years the Obama Administration said the LIFO carry forward as money, but countered that it is a legitimate tax issue that if hit at around 40%, most businesses would not have the cash and it would “hurt Main Street America.”

He added that among the things that concern him are, “I have a concern that there’s talk about taking companies from cash accounting to accrual accounting.”

He said it seems like government is always penalizing people.

Williams was asked if passing tax reform would take away some of the uncertainty in not knowing what tax changes may come. He responded, “We need some certainty, but it’s got to be the right kind of certainty.” He said you can’t cut people’s taxes in one place and raise it in another, “or take away the way they’ve accounted for their business for 40-50 years.”

He suggested to pass tax reform and let Main Street America run with it, while the government finds other revenue sources, cuts the size of government, “just like every home does, just like every business does when they have a shortage.”

“I think President Trump, he thinks in those terms, because we’re business people,” said Williams. “And this is a business that has 50 small businesses, has 300 million customers, why don’t we try to take care of them?”

Williams said that he hopes the White House tax reform framework set to come out on Wednesday is reflective of what he’s saying about tax reform.

“We need to get it right. We don’t need to be in a hurry. We need to get it done this year.”

He said that if the federal government could cut personal and corporate tax rates and allowed 100% expensing of fixed assets for businesses, that would be a good start.

“It doesn’t have to be done in a chunk, but we we do need to cut rates, we need to, I think 100% expensing is important,” he said, re-emphasizing the importance of not placing an added burden on taxpayers.

Congressman Williams is now serving his third term as a member of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. His eight point tax plan Jumpstart America includes: personal tax brackets cut to 20% and 30%, corporate tax rate lowered to 20%, repatriation tax holiday at 5% rate, payroll tax cut for employers and employees of 2%, cut the Capital Gains and Dividends tax to 15% or 0%, eliminate the Inheritance tax, make bonus depreciation permanent at a 100% level and keep LIFO Accounting. Williams represents Texas’ 25th congressional district. He was previously appointed as Texas Secretary of State by then Gov. Rick Perry. He also served as regional finance chairman for then Gov. Bush in 1994 and 1998 and North Texas Chairman for the 2000 and 2004 Bush/Cheney presidential campaigns.

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