A preliminary vote is scheduled today in the U.S. Senate on a bill which supporters say would raise taxes on companies that outsource jobs while closing their American factories. While it may sound like an incentive to save U.S. jobs, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll oppose the bill, which in his words, is a “tool of political demagoguery.”
“The overall bill is being sold as somehow having the potential to create American jobs, that’s where the demagoguery comes in,” Grassley says. “It would more likely have the exact opposite effect and lead to a net decrease in American jobs.” Grassley, a Republican, says the bill aims to tilt the tax playing field away from U.S. companies and toward foreign companies by leaving American businesses with an extra tax of up to 35-percent compared to their foreign competitors.
“Now it would really hit companies like John Deere, where they have big overseas markets,” Grassley says. “John Deere, from Waterloo, exports somewhere between 20 to 25% of their tractors, just as an example.” He says the legislation would discourage assembly jobs in the U.S. and could add tens of billions of dollars in new taxes on small businesses.
Grassley says he’ll offer two amendments to the bill, on the chance it passes, though he doubts he’ll vote for it even with his amendments. He says, “The first amendment would prevent any company engaged in a mass layoff of American workers from importing cheaper labor from abroad through a temporary guest worker program.” Grassley says his second amendment would root out fraud and waste in the visa program while making sure American workers have the first chance at high-skilled jobs.