Paul Gosar Is Not Sure The Border Adjustment Tax Is Good For American Workers
I would like to take the opportunity to talk with you about my concerns with a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), an idea bantered around by some to raise revenue for the federal government, particularly as part of broader tax reform that would lower overall corporate and individual income tax rates.
This tax is aimed to offset a decreased corporate tax rate by charging a percentage fee (usually around 20%) for all goods shipped into the United States at the time they clear customs. While some see this as a clever way to raise new revenue without increasing a particular tax bracket’s burden, what it truly amounts to is a tax on all consumers. As a result, anything imported would cost more – not only unnecessarily taking money out of the pockets of hardworking American families but also at the expense of small businesses across the country.
Like any other tax, such a move would dampen the present business climate and undercut growth. Unlike other taxes, a border tax also carries with it the high-likelihood of a retaliate tax on American goods overseas. This would do even more damage to American businesses and would potentially raise geopolitical tensions with allies. This anti-growth measure would crush what is left of the middle class and undermine the American economy at home and our ability to compete abroad. Even if such a proposal were to pass through the House of Representatives, it is almost certainly doomed when it hits the Senate floor.
As a committed fiscal conservative, I am steadfast in my refusal to raise taxes past their already-backbreaking levels. Our current tax policy undercuts growth, stymies job creation and employment and unfairly burdens individuals and business across the country. Our focus must be on how we can reduce this burden, not think up ways to increase it. Thankfully, there are ways to pay for federal priorities such as critical infrastructure and other important programs without kicking the can down the road to future generations by adding to the national debt or unfairly raising taxes.
America’s major fiscal problem, simply put, is that we spend too much money – not that we fail to take in enough money in taxes. Under former President Barack Obama, the federal bureaucracy grew to an unprecedented level – both in terms of influence and in the number of employees. The federal government consistently spends more money than in years past and, unconscionably, more money than it needs to spend. This has consistently driven short-term deficits and created a looming national debt crisis.
Ever since coming to Washington, our country’s spending problem has been a huge concern of mine. That is why I have rigorously fought to curtail wasteful, ill-conceived spending increases that add to the ever-growing size of the federal government. Unfortunately, given how bad out-of-control spending is in Washington, DC, this has kept me busy. I have consistently voted against bloated spending bills and have fought to include legislation to cut unneeded programs. Funding federal priorities like defense and critical infrastructure, while incredibly important, cannot be done in a way that ignores our present spending dilemma.
A simple, straightforward way to do this would be to repeal or significantly reform the costly Davis-Bacon and Related Acts rule. This archaic, Great Depression-era rule mandates a “prevailing wage” for any federal project that costs more than $2,000. In practice, this allows union bosses – not the free market – to set the price that taxpayers have to pay. Removing the opaque and special-interest methodology behind prevailing wage calculation is not only commonsense, it is fiscally responsible. Davis-Bacon reform proposals are estimated to save $11 billion dollars by fostering competition and paying a fair wage. This is simply the tip of the iceberg on wasteful federal spending that Congress can – and must – cut in order to restore economic sense while funding measures that our country actually needs.
Before passing on the funding burden – either to today’s taxpayers by increasing taxes, or tomorrow’s by adding to the national debt – Congress must cut wasteful spending. President Trump has already signaled his unwillingness to allow business-as-usual in Washington, and I look forward to working with his administration and my colleagues in the House of Representatives to get Washington’s fiscal house back in order.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Chairman Emeritus Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02), Chief Defense and Interior Officer Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and Western Caucus members Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06), Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36), Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-At Large) and Rep. Ralph Abraham M.D. (LA-05) released the following statements in response to President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.