100 People to Watch This Fall : Page 102 of 102

John Engler President of Business Roundtable

To Engler and the corporate giants in the Business Roundtable, the end game for tax reform should be pretty clear: reducing the corporate rate to 25 percent and limiting U.S. taxation of offshore corporate income. 

But don’t expect Engler and his group of corporate chief executives to give Congress or the White House much advice on how to pull that off.  

Engler, the Roundtable’s top voice in lobbying on tax reform, is no stranger to lobbying and no rookie at helming some of K Street’s best-known shops. Before heading over to the Roundtable in 2011, Engler, a former GOP governor of Michigan, spent more than six years leading the National Association of Manufacturers.  

To date, the Roundtable’s pitch on tax reform has also included seeking a comprehensive rewrite of the code, and pouring all revenue gained from ending tax preferences into lower rates.

On some level, it’s no surprise the CEO group doesn’t want to weigh in on which incentives should be chopped to pay for those lower rates, given the diverse industries in the Roundtable.  

A recent Roundtable letter to senators, for instance, said a review of tax breaks “should not unfairly target or favor any industry, but rather should acknowledge that a neutral tax system would better allow the engine of the economy to operate.”