Ka­sich wants new tax sys­tem for off­shore prof­its

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JOHN SOLOMON

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.”


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