McConnell touts tax reform; discusses tariffs in Louisville

08/10/2018 04:31 PM

LOUISVILLE- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is back home for a brief recess, used a local fabrication headquarters to tout the GOP tax reform bill.

McConnell appeared alongside workers of Caldwell Tank in Louisville where he highlighted the benefits the company was receiving since the Republican-controlled Congress passed the sweeping tax reform legislation.

Before taking questions from the media, McConnell took time to highlight some economic growth numbers.

“Kentucky’s unemployment hit a 42-year low in March when it hit 4 percent, it’s currently 4.2 percent. It’s estimated since tax reform the U.S. has created an estimated 1.5 million new jobs,” he said.

While McConnell, as usual, stayed on message touting the benefits of the tax reform, he wouldn’t commit to saying whether the current economy would be permanent.

“By any objective standard this a very robust economy,” McConnell stated. “I think the stimulative effect of the tax cut and deregulatory environment are producing this and I think it’s going to go on for awhile. But I don’t think anyone can predict the future of the economy.”

Always looking to maintain power, McConnell used the opportunity to remind the crowd that the tax cuts will only remain if Republicans maintain control of Congress.

“The way for the tax cuts to be sustained is at the ballot box. Our Democratic friends have made it clear that if they gain control of the government they are going to raise everyone’s taxes,” he stated.

The conversation quickly moved to the impact of tariffs on companies like the one being used as a backdrop for McConnell.

Caldwell Tank uses steel to produce their tanks, such as water tanks. But the president of the company says they have not seen the negative effects of the Trump Administration’s 25 percent tariff on aluminum and steel.

“We are experiencing a little bit of a tight supply to get steel but it’s only temporary,” said Bernie Fineman, President of Caldwell Tanks. “It’s not forcing any long-term issues for us nor for our customers.”

McConnell chimed in that he believes the impact the steel tariffs have vary from company to company.

“I think it’s kind of a mixed picture. For myself, I hope the trade war is short. Because if it is taken to its ultimate conclusion, that would not work out well for either side,” he said.

But, McConnell insists that legislation will not be created in order to end the tariffs.

“If Congress were to decide to legislate in this area, I think the president believes deeply that this is going to work out in the end, and seems to acknowledge that there is some short-term pain here,” McConnell said. “I think the honest answer is legislation would probably not be achievable, even if it were desirable.”

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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