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Kenosha, Wisconsin

Rep. Paul Ryan
Welcome to Wisconsin

I am completing my spree of town hall events over the past two weeks with a visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin to pop in at a town hall hosted by Rep. Paul Ryan. As a member of the House Committee on Ways & Means, the Congressman spends a lot of his time working on tax issues. However, Southeastern Wisconsin is also home to a host of health-related companies such as United Hospital System, Aurora Health Care, and Abbott Laboratories. Thus, health care is an issue of importance for Rep. Ryan.

Rep. Paul Ryan

The Kenosha event was one of a series of listening sessions held in the 1st District of Wisconsin to call attention to a comprehensive proposal recently introduced by Rep. Ryan called “A Roadmap for America’s Future.” The three key objectives of this legislation (H.R. 6110) are to address health and retirement security as well as American competitiveness as it relates to jobs and businesses while also minimizing the debt burden on future generations. Rep. Ryan’s legislation is very in depth and takes on the hot button issues that are critical to our nation. To listen to his remarks on the fiscal state of our nation, please view our video.

Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future

For full detail on the proposal, click on the “A Roadmap for America’s Future”. However, here are some highlights of importance to small business:

Heath Care

  • Creation of a refundable and advanceable tax credit ($2,500 individual and $5,000 family) for all Americans.
  • Will allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines. For example, a self-employed business owner in New York could purchase a health policy being sold in the state of Pennsylvania. The goal of this is to expand options and encourage competition amongst private insurers.
  • Provides additional support for state high risk pools which
  • Individuals would be able to take their health insurance from job to job, or state to state.

Social Security

  • Offers workers under 55 the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to Federal employees.
  • Includes a property right so they can pass on these assets to their heirs, and a guarantee that total benefits from the personal accounts will not be less than they would have been under the current system.

Tax Reform

  • Creates a new simplified tax option for individual taxpayers. Taxpayer can choose to:
    • Continue to file using existing tax code, or
    • Use the simplified tax option with only two rates -10% on income up to $50,000 for individual filers and $100,000 for joint; 25% above this income level.
    • However, this simplified tax option will offer virtually no special tax deductions, credits, or exclusions.
  • Eliminates the alternative minimum tax (AMT)
  • The proposal replaces the corporate income tax with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5%.


The High Price of Energy
While the Congressman’s goal was to emphasize his new plan, there was definitely one thing on the mind of his constituents in attendance at the Kenosha town hall: high gas prices.

Energy issues took center stage for attendees. Rep. Ryan expressed his support for drilling in oil rich areas of Alaska to alleviate some of the cost pressures we are facing here at home. He indicated that the U.S. has access to a massive amount of oil on the outer continental shelf which Congress has placed off limits. He believes we need to rethink this policy.

From the Congressman’s perspective, our nation is lacking a comprehensive energy policy. In order to address our energy issues, Rep. Ryan suggests Congress take the following steps: 1) Drill for oil in our oil rich areas; 2) Build more oil refineries; 3) Streamline fuel blends; 4) Do not rely on food for oil programs; 5) The Federal Reserve must stop stoking inflation.


To join me at a town hall event in your area, please sign up on our NASE Town Hall website. Stay tuned for our next stop on the trail!


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