Americans are better off because of tax reform
Washington, November 4, 2018/UploadedPhotos/HighResolution/62e00b1d-1630-4653-a3b8-9ef6f1685194.jpg
This opinion piece originally appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer. You can read it here.
I could not have said it better myself.
On Friday, the October 2018 jobs report was released. Among the contents of the report: U.S. employers added 250,000 new jobs out-performing economists' expectations, the best pay raise in nearly a decade with average hourly pay up 3.1 percent, the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years at 3.7 percent, and an increase in the labor force participation rate to 62.9 percent.
This comes on the heels of even more good news for Ohio. Last week, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio broke an 18-year-old record for jobs, and the "104,600 jobs [Ohio] has added over the past year are the sixth most in the country and tops in the Midwest. On a percentage basis, job growth in Ohio has exceeded the U.S. average during that period."
Since the signing of tax reform over 2.1 million jobs have been created. More Americans are working, and they are taking home more money. Simply put, Americans are better off now. This economic boom didn’t happen by accident. It came as a result of pro-growth policies like tax reform and cleaning up an overly burdensome regulatory regime.
But, you’re likely not hearing about the economic growth from tax reform. Instead, you’re probably hearing that Republicans in Congress gave a tax break to the wealthy and are ballooning the debt. As I wrote in The Enquirer earlier this fall, the facts tell a far different story.
The truth is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is working exactly as we intended it to. It gave a much-needed tax break to Americans at every income level, helped create jobs for those who were previously on the sidelines of economic progress, and increased pay for hourly workers who need it most without mandating a job-crushing minimum wage increase.
As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board recently explained, you have probably also "read that the federal budget deficit is rising again, and that’s true. But what you probably haven’t heard is that the main reason is spending, not falling revenue from tax cuts." Revenues for the first 10 months following the passage of tax reform were actually up. So, when opponents say tax breaks will be paid for by raiding Social Security and Medicare, that’s simply not true.
I am as committed to reducing deficit spending as I have always been. I also remain committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare. These programs were promised to Americans, Americans paid into them, and they planned on them. Going back on this promise would be wrong.
We need to take a serious, bipartisan look at how to modernize and protect these programs. According to CNN, the Social Security and Medicare trustees "estimate that by 2034 the combined trust funds for Social Security – which help fund the old age and disability programs – will run dry. At that point, Social Security will be able to pay only 79 percent in promised benefits to the retirees and disabled beneficiaries."
We know that job killing tax hikes will not fix the problem. They would force more Americans to rely on these programs while simultaneously decreasing revenues from a slow economy.
The robust economy and increased revenues that have resulted from tax reform provide some of the tools we need to lift Americans out of poverty and save the programs that our government promised decades ago.
We offer a better way. We have come so far in just a couple years under pro-growth policies, and we can continue to grow to ensure Americans are better off.