CLEVELAND – Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, told PJM that GOP nominee Donald Trump should consider eliminating the corporate income tax if he becomes president.
“We’ve got to reduce taxes for the hardworking middle class. At the same time, I am a big believer that we’ve got to eliminate and replace the corporate income tax with another type. I’m actually doing a business activity tax,” Renacci said in an interview at the Republican National Convention.
“I think it’s important that we do that. Corporate income tax gets passed on to the American consumer. What we really need to do is make sure the corporate income tax is a consumptive tax that really helps grow the economy,” he added.
Renacci said his tax plan would make the United States “the No. 1 country in the world to do business in.”
“I am hoping that if Trump is successful, which I hope he is, that he takes a look at other plans that will work and make this country the most successful country to do business in,” he said.
To accomplish tax reform, Renacci said Trump must be able to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“The most effective president is somebody who is going to be able to step up, understand the issues and then work with both sides to get the agreement of both sides. You cannot change tax policy just with Republicans and you can’t change tax policy just with Democrats. You’ve got to change tax policy as Americans,” he said.
PJM asked Renacci what Trump has to do to win the battleground state of Ohio.
“Look, 70 percent of America does not like the direction this country is going in, so what Donald Trump has to do is he has to show people how he can change that direction. And I think if he does that he’s not only going to win Ohio but he’s going to be able to win other states as well,” he said.
Renacci and Homeland Security Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) praised Trump’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as vice president.
“Mike Pence is a great man. Mike Pence is somebody that came into Ohio when I first ran. I used to always say when I first got in Congress, people would say, ‘who would you most like to be to learn?’ And I would always say Mike Pence. He is a good man. He is going to be a great leader with Trump to change the direction of this country,” Renacci said.
Trump has often said he would have an “America First” foreign policy. PJM asked Johnson what he thinks an “America First” foreign policy should look like. In his answer, Johnson applauded Trump’s decision-making and his business record.
“Understanding that the best way for America to lead is for us to be strong economically and quite honestly, militarily. The way you project American power is really by projecting American leadership and values. If we can’t do that and we’re not strong economically, and that’s why I’m a business guy, there aren’t enough of us in Washington – not enough people to realize what business is and how the federal government makes it a whole lot harder to succeed, and that’s something Donald Trump completely understands,” Johnson said.
“I mean, the guy listens. I’ve been in enough meetings with him now. Who would expect him to be deep, deep in all these policy debates? He’s been running his business just like I ran my past business. He’s got a smart mind. He’s got a good way to pick people. Look at his kids – first class. His decision for vice president – Mike Pence, how can you disagree with that one? So he’s making good decisions now, so we’ll move forward as a unified party,” he added.
Johnson said he is “not personally” advising Trump at this time.
Pence voted in favor of the Iraq War as a member of Congress. Renacci was asked if his support for the war could hurt Trump, who has made his opposition to the war a key part of his campaign.
“I was in the business world. Sometimes the best partners were two partners and myself, who disagreed on a few things but were able to figure out how to move forward in the best way. I think that’s actually going to make a stronger team,” he said.