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Job Creators Roundtable Highlights Concerns on Taxes, Regulations

Area businesses are frustrated by high taxes and Washington bureaucrats.

I appreciated this opportunity to hear from 21 local businesses who know what it means to make a payroll and develop a business plan for growth and hiring (at a ). I want to thank Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce for its help in identifying businesses for this unique meeting.

Job creators in my district face crushing federal government regulations and uncertainty thanks to the threat of higher taxes.

Terry Welch, president of Prime Leather Finishes, shared his frustration with America’s highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate, saying: “When you start with 35 percent and you add all the state taxes, FICA, property taxes, all the fees. Now you have that little bit to grow. It’s very hard to grow, when you are starting out with 35 percent.”

I agree we must make America more attractive to compete in this globalized economy, and our corporate tax rate is not helping. It is common sense that the more the federal government taxes, the less money a small business has to hire or expand. 

“If I had 30 seconds with President Obama, as a small business owner, this would be my one message: if I had lower taxes, I would have more money to hire,” said Gary Laev of Electrical-Mechanical Drives, Inc., emphasizing the effect that higher taxes would have on his ability to hire.

Jeff Hamilton, of Sprecher Brewing Company, shared a story about the cost of federal government rules and regulations, saying: “This summer I had an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau auditor in my building for 13-and-a-half weeks. He made us change every label for some reason. Things like, we are registered as Sprecher Brewing Company, and on some labels we wrote out ‘Co.’ instead of ‘Company.’ We are not registered that way, so we had to change every label written that way.”

That story exemplifies the frustration that many businesses experience when Washington bureaucrats hand down rules that cost thousands and set them back from being successful. Congress should enact policies that infuse certainty and stability into the economic environment, not threaten to impose new taxes or regulations that increase the cost of doing business. Unless businesses can plan for the future, they are going to choose to sit on the sidelines rather than expand and hire.

With my upcoming town hall meetings, I look forward to continuing this dialogue with constituents of the 5th District, and the input from the Jobs Creators Roundtable will help inform my work in Washington.

Randy1949 November 13, 2011 at 08:42 PM
Here we go again. Mr. Sensenbrenner, you need to listen to all of your constituents, and that includes the working people who deal with the impact of reduced safety regulations on the job and reduced environmental regulations in their daily lives. Their tax burden is increased when the tax rates for business go down. We ALL use the roads and the services our taxes pay for.
Lyle Ruble November 13, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Mr. Sensenbrenner...You must think we are all complete idiots. Business income tax is based on profits. Hiring actually reduces income tax burden. When all is said and done, the loop holes in our regulations and tax codes make the amount paid on profits very little. Something else that must be kept in mind; conducting business in the US, states and local communities is not a right but a privilege. There must be regulation throughout all levels to keep business honest. As a small businessman before retirement, I understood that privilege and complied without hesitation. For you or anyone else to blame the decline in the current economy on over regulation is patently false and disingenuous. Our economy is in the current straights because of lack of regulation of key economic components.
Lyle Ruble November 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM
@AWD...I think you need to take some classes. I know that you are an anti-intellectual and look down on those with higher education, but your characterization is wrong. Democratic socialism does not lead to the outcome that you suggest. Soviet style communism led to what you're describing. True democtatic socialism partners with capitalism to provide the engine for an ordered and prosperous society. AWD, you should really evaluate your attitudes and positions..
Concerned Shorewood Resident November 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM
With all due respect, Mr. Sensenbrenner is not a small business owner, and only hears from a selected group of people attending this forum. I have owned a small business for nearly 25 years. The biggest hurdle I face is that customers -- or potential customers -- are concerned about their own employment and financial situations, so are spending fewer dollars. We have fewer customers spending smaller amounts, and as a result our employees work fewer hours. If more jobs were created (either by large corporations investing the dollars they are holding on to, or by government job stimulus programs), the ripple effect throughout the economy would be enormous.
Michael Schwister November 14, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Mr Sensenbrenner, Why is it that the only whining you hear is from business. Why haven't you protected us from unregulated banking. What have YOU been doing in Washington all these years to enable this economic melt down. Surely you must realize that the only way these businesses will hire is with demand of their product and many of your constituents have been forced to curtail spending because of policies you support. Effective tax rates are no where near the figures you quote. The best job creators are those that haven't gotten their great ideas to market yet. Please Mr Sensenbrenner, if you don't understand how this works, please move on to a different occupation.

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