House Speaker Paul Ryan touts lower taxes in Boeing visit

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EVERETT — House Speaker Paul Ryan toured the Boeing plant in Everett, answered workers’ questions on a variety of matters and pitched the Republican plan to cut taxes for corporations.

The Daily Herald reports Ryan on Thursday saw the 767, 777 and 787 production lines before sitting down with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg for a 45-minute town hall attended by about 80 employees.

Ryan said reducing the tax rate for businesses and simplifying the tax code for individuals will spur economic growth.

State lawmakers agreed in 2003 to reduce the business and occupation tax rate paid by Boeing and the company will save about $8 billion by 2040. But Boeing cut 6,344 jobs in 2016 and is down roughly 4,000 in 2017. Democratic lawmakers and aerospace workers have tried, without success, to require that Boeing sustain a minimum number of jobs in the state if it wants to keep the lower tax rate.

About a dozen protesters gathered outside the Boeing plant to mark Ryan’s visit.