Op-Ed: Tax Reform Works
April 17, 2018, marks the last time that Americans will file their taxes under the old federal tax code. For the first time in more than 30 years, America will do business under a fairer, simpler tax code that lowers rates for everyone and creates new jobs and opportunities.
It’s only been a few months since the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was signed into law, but Americans across the country are already reaping the benefits. More than 500 businesses have announced new investments in their employees such as bonuses, higher wages, and increased benefits. This includes dozens of companies that conduct business in South Louisiana like Entergy, IBERIABANK, and the LHC Group.
New IRS tax withholding tables were implemented in February, and as a result 9 in 10 taxpayers are keeping more money from each of their paychecks. In fact, a typical, middle-income family of four in Louisiana will see a federal tax cut of $2,073 when they file next year.
Some have dismissed these investments as “crumbs,” but working-class folks may call them a new refrigerator, a new transmission, or new school clothes for the kids.
We are beginning to see tremendous economic growth as a direct result of historic tax and regulatory reform efforts. It’s estimated that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will raise GDP by an estimated 1.3 to 1.6 percent over the next three years. Businesses of all sizes are creating new jobs and investing billions into the U.S. economy.
Just this month, I had the opportunity to visit a fishing facility in Vermilion Parish, where Omega Protein has invested $5 million adding a vessel to its fleet. I also toured Mashburn Machine Shop in Lafayette, which serves the oil and gas industry. Owners there are reporting a major upturn in business over the past 15 months.
These examples from right here in Acadiana are reflective of what is being seen across the country because of historic tax and regulatory reform.
The good news is that this is only the beginning. Tax reform delivers conservative priorities with long-term impacts that are here to stay.
Parents and families win with the enhanced Child Tax Credit, which has been doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 to help with the cost of raising children. The standard deduction increases to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples, and across-the-board rate reductions are a win for all filers. Workforce development has been prioritized with enhanced savings options for college or vocational schools, and popular deductions that incentivize home ownership and retirement savings have been preserved.
Under the new tax code, Congress has also restored health care freedom by repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate. You will now be able to make the healthcare choices that best meet you and your family’s needs without being penalized or forced to purchase health insurance that you can’t afford.
With these changes, Louisiana and all of America wins. Creating new jobs and opportunities for South Louisiana is my top priority as your congressman.
Constitutionalist, conservative policies work. Regulatory reform works. Tax reform works, and through cooperative, optimistic engagement with President Trump, we are bringing America back.
Congressman Clay Higgins represents Louisiana’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.