Tags: tom cole | competition | tax bill | tax reform

Cole: Tax Bill's Benefits Will Help Competition, Americans

Cole: Tax Bill's Benefits Will Help Competition, Americans
Rep. Tom Cole (Tom Williams/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 02:14 PM

As a conservative, Rep. Tom Cole said Tuesday he's naturally concerned about the nation's growing debt, but he also likes "a lot" of aspects of the tax bill that's coming up for a vote.

"I like doubling the standard deduction," the Oklahoma Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I think that helps people at the bottom end. I like the expanded child tax credit. That's a good thing. Frankly, I like the fact that most of the rates are lower. I would have kept the top rate the same and just raised the threshold."

Cole said he also like the corporate tax reductions, as that will make American businesses more competitive.

"People forget that President [Barack] Obama favored a cut in the corporate income tax down to 28 percent, and frankly, the chief tax writer on the Democratic side said he would favor between 25 and 28," said Cole. "Twenty-one percent doesn't seem all that unreasonable."

The CBO has estimated that the bill will increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years, but Cole said the debt would go up regardless, unless entitlement reform is handled.

"When people focus on the tax, which is a small part of the debt over a decade, I say let's talk about the things that matter, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid," he said. "They don't pull in enough money in the taxes they generate to pay for themselves. The income tax pays for all the discretionary spending we have and helps finance some of the mandatory programs. We need to look at the funding streams and make reforms."

Cole said the tax changes will help the people in his district by giving them a tax cut, as will the region's oil industry.

"Chesapeake and Continental both win and lose," Cole said of the oil businesses. "That is, they lose some tax credits they've had in the past, called enhanced oil recovery which helps on frankly low yield wells. But they get the corporate income tax, and probably the big win for them is what's called expensing. For the first five years a capital equipment they buy, they can write off the bottom. That encourages drilling and activity. Employs a lot of people. I'm certainly not unhappy that people who are employers are going to do well."

Cole said he can't guarantee businesses will return recouped money to their employees, as owners must make the best decisions for themselves and their shareholders.

"I don't have any problem with people injecting money in the economy by buying back shares," Cole said. "That puts the money out there. It's not as if it's not going to be invested. It doesn't disappear into a magic ball. I think it generates activity."

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As a conservative, Rep. Tom Cole said Tuesday he's naturally concerned about the nation's growing debt, but he also likes "a lot" of aspects of the tax bill that's coming up for a vote.
tom cole, competition, tax bill, tax reform
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2017-14-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 02:14 PM
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