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Pence Sells Tax Plan To Willing Business Owners In Oakland County

October 3, 2017

(AUBURN HILLS) — Vice President Mike Pence told a small group of business owners Thursday about the principles the President Donald Trump administration will be using as part of its “across-the-board” tax cut plan. 

Calling it “a middle-class miracle,” Pence promised an end to the “estate tax,” otherwise known as the “death tax,” a reduced corporate rate and a new rate for “pass-through” businesses. 

He said that as part of this “historic” tax cut, job creators like American Axle, where he was speaking, would be back on the road to success because more money will be going in the pockets of the American people. 

Working families will pay no federal taxes on their first $24,000 in income under the plan to double the standard deduction for working families. Also the child tax credit would be expanded. 

“President Trump’s tax-cut plan will empower American companies and workers to compete on a level playing field with anyone, anywhere, anytime and — as Michigan proves every day — when the field is level, American workers always win,” he said. 

The Vice President entered a small, drop-ceilinged break room off the factory floor at American Axel in a dark gray suit and striped red tie. The room was arranged with four tables, each occupied by an individual or family running a small business – that is, who file business income on their individual returns, rather than a corporate filing. 

Pence, accompanied by Gov. Rick Snyder, sat at each table in turn to speak with the families. He asked each group whether they had heard Trump’s speech on Wednesday, and what they thought of it and the tax proposal. 

Each table was enthusiastic about the plan, saying they paid too much in taxes and spent too much time in preparing their tax returns. 

“It would be a big deal for our company,” said Russ Knopp, chair of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) board of directors, who said he employs about 200 workers at his firm, Comfort Keepers, an in-home care provider. 

Jim Thienel, owner of Berkley Appliance, said he has six employees beside himself, and spends about $5,000 a year to file his tax paperwork. “That’s a lot of money I would rather have to reinvest in my company.” 

Thienel also thanked Pence for being open about his faith: “Thank you for making being a Christian popular again.” 

Others who spoke include Ralph Beebe, owner of Highland Engineering, which makes portable water purification units, and Hank Choate, who owns a family farm that has been in the same family since 1837.  

Pence took the stage at American Axle Manufacturing at 12:20 p.m. He praised the work Trump has been able to accomplish in their time in office thus far, particularly the signing of bills that rolled back some of President Obama’s regulations. 

He said Trump’s policies would be a great benefit to companies like American Axle. 

“President Trump will be the best friend American manufacturing will ever have. 

“Confidence is back. Manufacturing is back. And under President Donald Trump? America is back.” 

Pence then said that while the Senate “ran out of time” to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this year, that it would get done. 

“I’m going to make you a promise: Before this session of Congress ends in December of 2018, we will repeal and replace Obamacare. 

“Obamcare is failing, and Obamacare must go.” 

Responding to today’s visit, Democratic National Committee Midwest Press Secretary Mandy McClure said the following on what she called a “thinly veiled giveaway to big corporations and the 1 percent.” 

“The only thing we know about the Republican tax plan is that it would benefit giant corporations and the richest 1 percent of Americans at the expense of everyone else,” she said. “We won’t know the specifics of the plan until the last minute, because Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and their Republican colleagues know that if they’re honest about what’s in their tax plan, Americans will oppose it. 

“We saw this intentional secrecy with health care, and now we’re seeing it with tax reform. Democrats believe in real tax reform that helps the middle class and ensures that big corporations and the one percent pay their fair share. 

“Trump, Pence, and their Republican colleagues owe it to the American people to stop writing their plan behind closed doors and explain exactly how their proposals will impact Michigan families.”

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