Kasich wants new tax system for offshore profits
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, fighting to rise in the Republican presidential race, says he would allow U.S. companies to repatriate without penalty trillions of dollars they have earned and kept offshore and then create a new system ensuring Americans aren’t double-taxed on foreign profits.
“I’m for bringing the taxes down, and I’m for repatriation at no charge. Just bring the money back,” Mr. Kasich told The Washington Times. “I would let them bring it back, and then I would have a territory program where you don’t get double-taxed. You pay taxes where you do your operations. If you do an operation in Poland, then you get taxed there. And then you bring your profits home.
“I think it would be the most significant stimulus package we’ve seen in modern times, because there are so many dollars that can come back and be invested in plants and equipment, which would help workers to get higher wages,” he added.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Times after last week’s CNBC candidates debate in Boulder, Colorado, Mr. Kasich also made clear that he intends to significantly reshape government by freezing federal hiring, privatizing certain programs and turning over others to the states backed with federal funds without the bureaucracy.
“I don’t think we should hire any more people,” he said. “I have the lowest number of state employees in Ohio in 30 years. And that comes from managing, not hiring more people, and being able to manage things to get them done better.”
Among the federal agencies, he recommended keeping the Environmental Protection Agency, which most conservatives revile, but he suggested that the Education Department, Transportation Department, Labor Department, Medicaid and foreign corporate assistance programs such as the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Protection Insurance Corp. could be radically restructured.
“We need an EPA that is going to balance the environment with economic growth, using common sense like we do in Ohio. We need to do that federally,” he said. “But I think that programs like Education, welfare, Medicaid, infrastructure, job training, all of those programs ought to be sent to the states.
“I wouldn’t exactly call them bloc grants, but I would begin to shift the power and money and the influence,” he said. Mired in the single digits in the polls, Mr. Kasich has positioned himself as a common-sense fiscal conservative whose record in Ohio shows he can achieve a balanced budget, lower taxes and economic growth while appealing to non-ideological voters. He won 51 percent of the union vote in Ohio, for instance.
“You can’t overregulate, you have to reduce your taxes and you have to be fiscally responsible. And we have to take advantage of this energy boon that we have in this country,” he said, succinctly repeating his stump speech agenda. “All of those things together are going to give you the kind of economic growth you want. And then you get to a balanced budget by both trimming your expenses and growing the economy.”
He told The Times he has a patient strategy that plans to use the primary in New Hampshire, where votes are fiscally conservative, as a slingshot toward the upper echelon of the Republican field.
Asked when he expects his poll numbers to start rising, Mr. Kasich answered: “After New Hampshire. That’s what I think. We’re in for the long haul, of course.”
The Ohio governor’s positioning has put him at loggerheads with some of the leading candidates in the field right now on issues such as immigration reform, Obamacare and fiscal planning. He has even suggested that some of his rivals’ tax plans are “fantasy.”
On the trail, it has been clear that Mr. Kasich has taken aim at the fiscal policies of front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, but during the interview he repeatedly declined to single out any candidates whose plans he thought were fiscally unsound. Instead, he called on the media and voters to analyze details carefully and to make sure the math adds up.
“I’ve said enough about all of these numbers,” he said, even throwing a bone to one of his rivals: “I’m starting to hear that some people think maybe Ben Carson has some good ideas on Medicare.”