We Took Money Out of Washington’s Pocket and Put It Back in the Pockets of the Families Who Earned It
‘It hadn’t been done in 30 years - but in 2017, Congress and the White House worked together to overhaul the tax code. We cut rates for families and businesses, expanded key deductions, closed wasteful loopholes, and repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate tax. We took a lot of money out of Washington’s pocket and put it back in the pockets of the middle-class families who earned it.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the benefits Americans are seeing across the country thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“Anyone who has read the news lately will have come across some pretty remarkable headlines about the state of the U.S. economy. On Tuesday, Gallup announced that at the close of 2017, Americans’ optimism about the job market set a new record. That same day, the S&P 500 hit an all-time high. Last week, the New York Times ran a story about, quote, ‘a wave of optimism [that] has swept over American business leaders.’
“This optimism, the reporters continued, ‘is beginning to translate into the sort of investments in new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolsters economic growth, spurs job creation – and may finally raise wages significantly.’ Markets are optimistic. Manufacturers are optimistic. Workers are optimistic. Investment is ramping up. Wages are growing. Unemployment is low. By all accounts, 2018 is off to a very bright start.
“Of course, Washington D.C. is not the source of all this. The engine of American free enterprise is not here in the nation’s capital. It’s in the ingenuity, talent, and work ethic of workers and entrepreneurs across the nation. Government does not create prosperity. The American people do.
“But the federal government can get in the way. Draconian tax policy and runaway regulation make it more difficult for American workers to find jobs and get pay raises. It becomes harder to start new businesses, harder to expand and invest in existing American businesses, and more tempting to send money and jobs overseas.
“During the Obama years, that is precisely what happened. For eight years, his administration seized every opportunity it could find to increase taxes, pile on more regulations, and micromanage the lives of the American people. Many middle class families - like the ones I represent in Kentucky - were drowning.
“Now, all that is changing. In 2017, a Republican president, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate brought back bedrock free market principles: Tax less, regulate less, micromanage less, and empower the American people to work hard and keep more of what they earn. We’re already seeing results. The most significant accomplishment was the historic tax reform law the president signed into law just over three weeks ago. It hadn’t been done in 30 years – but in 2017, Congress and the White House worked together to overhaul the tax code.
“We cut rates for families and businesses, expanded key deductions, closed wasteful loopholes, and repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate tax. We took a lot of money out of Washington’s pocket and put it back in the pockets of the middle-class families who earned it.
“Earlier in the year, we also made major progress in rolling back the tangled web of Obama-era red tape. Using the Congressional Review Act, Congress repealed 15 major federal regulations that were stifling American enterprise. This alone is expected to save employers up to $36 billion in compliance costs. And this was in addition to the 860 obsolete rules the Trump administration revisited in 2017.
“Small businesses and large companies are all benefitting from these victories – and so are their workers. Boeing has announced plans to invest $100 million in developing its workforce, and another $100 million to enhance its facilities and infrastructure. AT&T intends to invest $1 billion in capital upgrades.
“Just this morning, Walmart announced it would raise starting wages for hourly associates, along with bonuses and an expansion of paid family leave. That’s great news for more than a million people, including the nearly 30,000 people working at more than 100 Walmart stores across my home state of Kentucky. This in addition to all the other employers across the state who have already begun passing tax reform savings along to employees. And what’s true for nationwide employers is proving to be true on Main Streets across the country, too.
“In New Jersey, a family of car dealerships is giving each of its full-time employees a $500 bonus and looking to create more jobs. In Florida, a family-owned cookie bakery is planning to immediately expense new equipment purchases, enabling them to develop specialized products and boost wages for the team.
“All told, more than 100 companies have announced intentions to deliver special bonuses, pay increases, or other benefits to employees as a result of tax reform. And this is in addition, of course, to the direct savings from tax cuts. Thanks to lower rates and bigger deductions, American workers will get to keep more of their paychecks.
“These are just a few of the ways a growing economy can make life better for the American people. This is what happens when a Republican president and Republican majorities in Congress work to get Washington out of the way. It is a shame that none of our Democratic colleagues – in the House or the Senate – voted for tax reform. Not one.
“If they’d had their way, American businesses wouldn’t have a twenty-first-century tax code giving them a fairer fight with overseas competitors. American workers wouldn’t have these bonuses and special benefits. And a typical family of four earning just over $70,000 wouldn’t be on track to keep $2,000 more of their own money this year. Fortunately, Republican majorities passed the bill anyway. The American people are sure glad that we did.”