Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson tour United Alloy

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Jake Magee
Saturday, November 5, 2016

JANESVILLE—House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson's tour of Janesville's United Alloy on Saturday ended with talk about jobs and tax breaks and jabs at Johnson's opponent, Russ Feingold.

The two Republicans stopped at the metal fabrication facility as part of their bus tour around the state, just days before the election.

United Alloy President Stephan Achs gave the candidates a short tour to show how their work has created jobs and, Achs said, allowed the business to thrive despite the economic downturn a few years ago.

“This facility is truly the product of our partnership with the state, local community leaders and ongoing commitment and investment to the Janesville-Beloit area …” Achs said in a prepared statement.

“Now here's our issue in Janesville, like it is in many parts of America: We have seen some really tough economic times here,” Ryan said.

He said after General Motors closed, thousands of people lost jobs, but the area is slowly but surely bringing them back.

“It's because of businesses like United Alloy that that is being made possible,” Ryan said.

Ryan noted that broken policies in Washington are making that difficult. The federal tax rate cap on a business such United Alloy is 44.6 percent.

“You add Wisconsin's taxes on top of that, this business is being taxed at over 50 percent,” Ryan said.

An equivalent business in countries such as Canada, England, Ireland and China would pay a fraction of the taxes, he said.

Ryan said his “Better Way” agenda would lower the tax rate on such a business to 25 percent. That would allow it to expand and hire more workers.

In three years, United Alloy has doubled its size and number of employees because of the work Ryan and Johnson have already done, Achs said.

Johnson echoed Ryan's points and took swipes at Hillary Clinton and Feingold. He said Feingold's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour would destroy 6 million to 7 million American jobs.

"We actually know how to create jobs. The policies of Secretary Clinton and Russ Feingold actually destroy jobs,” Johnson said.

He also criticized Feingold's support of Obamacare, which he called a “massive consumer fraud.”

A recent poll showed the race between Johnson and Feingold is tight with Johnson only 1 point behind Feingold. If  voters elect Johnson again, he said he would work hard to solve the state's problems. If not, he'll return to a life “I truly miss.”

“I'm concerned about our country. I'm not worried about myself,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said Feingold has run dishonest attack ads against him and that Vice President Joe Biden recently called Johnson a “carbon copy” of Donald Trump.

“About all he (Feingold) can really resort to is lies, distortions, and it's really quite sad, and it's kind of sad to see Vice President Biden kind of hopping on that train,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he respects Biden but noted that he is his “own person.”

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