Congressmen Brad Sherman and Tony Cardenas took questions on taxes, trade and of course, President Donald Trump on Friday at the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s annual Congressional luncheon.
Speaking at the Garland hotel in North Hollywood before VICA members and their guests, Sherman kicked off his segment of the program by encouraging anyone who might be alarmed by the state of American politics to turn off the television.
“Politicians yelling at each other is not the sole future of the United States,” he said. “The things that will make this century another American century are the technology, business and entrepreneurship that you won’t see reported often in the news.”
In response to moderator VICA Chairman Kevin Tamaki’s question on whether Congress would pass a tax reform package that eliminated state and local tax deductions, Sherman was doubtful such a bill would be handed down this year.
“I do not think they will repeal the state and local tax deduction, because that’s over $100 billion of tax reduction for California,” he said.
Furthermore, any iteration of tax reform would require either approval by a minimum of 60 senators or reconciliation of the national budget – which legislators still had yet to pass, he added.
On the topic of how the White House administration was affecting the country’s position in global markets, Sherman was less positive.
“The president is not good for our brand,” he said. “We’re going to lose $736 million tourist dollars here just in Los Angeles. ... It’s important that we get the message out there that everyone should come out to Universal City.”
Cardenas opened his segment by reiterating his stance on promoting equal access to education without burdening business with excessive government oversight.
“I’d like to make sure that we have education available for everybody, while also making sure that the government doesn’t get in the way of private industry – that we have a good balance,” he said.
Encouraging science, mathematics, engineering and technology curricula would be helpful for bridging skills gaps in the labor force, which in turn would benefit business in the Valley, he said.