On October 22, 2016, students from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology attended the annual
American Society for Competitiveness conference. In attendance was House Ways and Means Committee member
and IUP alumnus Jim Renacci (R-OH).
Renacci gave students an excerpt of his past, starting
with his attendance at IUP, followed by receiving his CPA, becoming a
successful entrepreneur, and securing multiple terms as a state representative
of Ohio. Students were given advice about leveraging their educational
experiences and setting out to put their skills to work. A heavy focus was set
towards a theme of developing competitive advantage—a necessity given the
nature of the current labor market. Renacci suggested this as a reality
which students must face head-on and be prepared to successfully overcome, given their educational capital.
on a subcommittee for tax reform, also took the time to promote his new tax
plan. Such a program, as described during his keynote speech at the event,
suggested a removal of all corporate income tax. Instead, Renacci described
a policy “approved by economists on both the left and right” which would
institute a single-digit, credit-invoice, value-added tax (consumption tax) on
corporations and businesses. Such a “simplification of the tax code” would
align the U.S. towards competitiveness within the global market and
incentivize companies to migrate operations back into the U.S.,
Despite rhetoric, there is some criticism from both sides of the aisle
regarding a general VAT tax, but the extent of such disagreement, if any, within this
specific plan is up for debate.
Overall, IUP students were granted an excellent opportunity to hear from a
businessman-turned-politician with ample private and public sector experience.
Students learned of the opportunities which lie ahead, and the competitiveness
of the market in which they are about to enter. Lastly, students had a taste of
historically revisited tax policy, which would make a great place for student
—By Robert Schwartz