The majority of the attendees to the meeting seemed to be in political opposition to the Republican Senator, as has been the pattern in town-hall meetings in other states since the Presidential election. The convener of the meeting and the Senator asked for respect at the beginning of the meeting. The crowd was boisterous on contentious issues, but generally well behaved. The Senator invited attendees to speak to members of his team, if we had additional comments. I spoke to one of his staff members afterwards, and met with her the following week to discuss my concerns. The following document contains my talking points for my meeting with Senator Sullivan's staffer. We discussed these issues for 50 minutes. My meeting with the staffer was generally cordial, although there were a few moments when she simply glared at me. I plan to follow up our discussion with an e-mail after one week, to see if our discussion had any impact at all on the Senator, or his staff.
I prioritized my talking points according to my guess about the likelihood of positive action by the Senator.
[Actual figures for the year 2015 are $1583 billion for after-tax corporate profits (Federal Reserve database) and $343.8 billion in actual tax paid (Economic Report of the President, 2017). Pre-tax profits are therefore $1927 billion.]
The Bush tax cuts on investment income were justified on grounds of double taxation of corporate profits and dividends. If Congress reduces the corporate income tax, will it raise individual taxes on investment income to compensate? How would Senator Sullivan propose to compensate for the loss of tax revenue?
2) During the town-hall meeting, Senator Sullivan claimed that the United States had one of the highest corporate tax rate in the world. According to the OECD statistical database, the United States has the 10th lowest corporate tax of the 35 countries in the OECD (2015) as a percentage of GDP. OECD countries with higher corporate taxes include Greece, Spain, Canada, Austria, Italy, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Iceland, Czech Republic, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and Norway.
- Establishing a system of local health-care clinics, staffed by nurse practitioners rather than doctors.
- Establishing a medical school at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
- Reform patent law, so the drug companies can recoup their costs over a longer period of time, and justify lower drug costs. Also, regulate the pricing of drugs under patent as monopolies.
- Conduct a study of the cost structure of health care, and apply regulatory solutions to the areas of greatest cost and least benefit.