July 30, 2014

Santorum calls for complete elimination of corporate tax for manufacturers

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is calling for the complete elimination of corporate taxes on businesses that manufacture things. 

“That’s really going to make America a can-do, innovation, making-things country again,” Santorum says. “And I think that’s really important, that we have someone who believes in the American worker.”

Santorum is making nine campaign stops in Iowa this week, telling voters he has the “courage” to take steps to revitalize the nation’s economy.

“I think it separates me as someone who has stood up and has been, you know, willing to get on the front line on a lot of issues, everything from entitlement reform…to standing up for moral and cultural issues,” Santorum says, “which are not the most popular thing to do when you’re in Washington, D.C. and the east coast.”

Santorum would cut the federal corporate tax rate in half, but then would “go further and cut the tax rate to zero for all manufacturers” — regardless of the size of the business. Santorum made his comments during a campaign stop in Burlington earlier this afternoon. During an interview with reporters afterwards, Santorum acknowledged the long-shot nature of his candidacy.

“We hope to do well in the Straw Poll, but look, I’m not going to have the money that Pawlenty or Bachmann or Paul or any of those guys are going to have. You know, I’m living hand to mouth here,” Santorum said. “…This is a long campaign. We just need to get out there and keep working hard. Heck, I don’t know what it takes to win an Iowa Caucus, but heck, I suspect I’ll meet at least that many people and probably more and that may be all it takes.”

Santorum will visit with local business leaders in the Cedar Rapids area Wednesday morning and tomorrow afternoon he’ll meet with employees of AY McDonald in Dubuque. The company manufactures plumbing valves, fittings and other brass pieces for water systems. Its CEO is a former chairman of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

On Thursday Santorum plans to visit Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield. It’s a family-owned company that manufactures grain handling, drying and storage systems. Steve Sukup, the company’s chief financial officer, is a former state legislator who ran for governor in 2002, finishing in second place in the GOP primary, ahead Bob Vander Plaats and behind party nominee Doug Gross. Charles Sukup, the company’s president, is a former chairman of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

(Reporting in Burlington by Mark Morris of KBUR)