Congressman Kustoff Speaks About Issues Facing Nation
BY JOEL WASHBURN
HUNTINGDON (April 14) — Healthcare, tax reform, and banking reform were the three issues Congressman David Kustoff spoke during a breakfast on Good Friday at the Carroll County Sports Shooting Complex.
The freshman congressman said Obamacare will implode in Tennessee after 2017 because so few insurance companies are participating and more have announced a departure from the program after 2017.
Healthcare represents 20 percent of the U.S. economy and Obamacare is flawed because it puts a strain on doctors, patients, and hospitals. Insurance deductibles have increased along with insurance premiums, said the congressman. While he blamed the Democrats for not supporting the reform plan, he also acknowledged the Republican group known as the Freedom Caucus also did not support the legislation.
He said Congress has an obligation to make the right decisions on healthcare. He said he supports a plant to allow health insurance providers to sale across state lines.
Tax reform is also necessary to lower the corporate tax rates, some of the highest in the developed economy. He said many companies locate their headquarters in foreign countries to avoid the high U.S. taxes. He hopes legislation can be drafted to repatriate some of the excess corporate profits that are parked overseas.
The tax system is far too difficult, said Kustoff. He said he, along with many others, cannot complete their tax returns because of the difficulty of the process. He said he hopes tax reform will also eliminate the estate taxes.
He said a proposal to add a border adjustment tax for imported goods would raises revenues for the U.S. government, but it would also force increases in costs to consumers of foreign- made items. The cost of gasoline, automobiles, and consumer goods would increase. The congressman said some of the domestic manufacturers are encouraging the tax, while other companies, such as Wal-Mart and Target are discouraging passage of the tax.
Economists believe the U.S. dollar will appreciate in value, get stronger, making imports cheaper, said the congressman.
Banking regulations have stifled business over the past four to six years because of Dodd-Frank legislation. The community banks were forced to comply with burdensome regulations after the collapse of several big banks during the 2008 recession.
If the U.S. can lower the cost of healthcare, offer tax relief, and reduce the burden of banking, the economy should grow.
The event was sponsored by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Brad Hurley introduced Kustoff.
David has served in various roles for the Republican Party, such as chairman of the Shelby County GOP from 1995 to 1999, Tennessee Chairman of Lamar Alexander’s successful run for U.S. Senate in 2002 and Tennessee Chairman of both Bush/ Cheney presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.
According to his website, Kustoff was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee by President Bush in 2006. He set his sights on cleaning up government corruption and fighting violent crime and drugs. He oversaw the majority of the Tennessee Waltz trials that sent 12 defendants, including Senator John Ford, to federal prison.
In 2010, David joined the board of BankTennessee, where he put his leadership skills to work, advising the direction of the Community Bank that has served West Tennessee for more than 80 years.
Governor Bill Haslam appointed David to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in 2015, where he oversaw the implementation of the Tennessee Promise program that provides last dollar Community College scholarships and Tennessee Reconnect, designed to help adults complete their college degrees.
In 2016, David was elected to the House of Representatives for the 8th District of Tennessee. He is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and serves on three subcommittees: Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Oversight and Investigation and Terrorism and Illicit Finance.