Congressman Bill Johnson talks tariffs, taxes, guns and more
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio —
(The full interview with Congressman Bill Johnson is at the bottom of this story)
A day after President Trump announced he would impose tariffs on foreign steel, local lawmakers in congress gave their reaction.
Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) offered his thoughts not only on tariffs, but also taxes and gun safety laws.
Johnson expressed a wait-and-see approach to the proposed tariffs, saying he was not expecting the president's announcement for a 25 percent tariff on imported steel.
"Tariffs don't always work,” Johnson said. “President George W. Bush did that during his administration and the countries that were subject to those tariffs simply shifted the cost of the goods that weren't covered by the tariffs: it was a balancing issue on their general ledger and it didn't hurt them at all. But it hurt Americans."
On the economy, Johnson is still touting the major GOP legislative victory of 2017: tax cuts that he said were better than those under Reagan.
"Bringing the corporate tax rate down from 35 to 21 percent; giving small business owners - those who create 60 percent of jobs in America - an effective tax rate of 29 percent versus the 40 percent that they were taking."
Johnson's priority in D.C. is infrastructure: water, roads, bridges and broadband. But how to pay for it? He said the tax cuts will do the heavy lifting.
"If we get economic growth even up to 2.5 percent, you're not going to see deficits materialize from the tax cut,” he said.
Johnson also addressed school shootings.
"Gun safety is one thing,” Johnson said. “Gun control is certainly something else, and that's where we need to draw the distinction."
That distinction is up for Congress to act on either, but as for school safety measures, Johnson said single-entrance buildings and arming teachers who volunteer to carry weapons are ideas worth considering.
"We've got to be careful how we go about this,” Johnson said. “There's a balance. But it's time for us to have that discussion."
Johnson also made note about the missed red flags by law enforcement in the Parkland shooting.
FULL INTERVIEW HERE: