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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

Creating opportunity for the American taxpayer

October 23, 2018
Op-Ed

In his pervasive opinion, in McCulloch v. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall penned the famous words, “The power to tax involves the power to destroy; that power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create.”

Two-hundred years later, Marshall’s judicious words ring true as Republicans’ in Congress are poised to vote on Tax Reform 2.0, which is about creating a culture in Washington, D.C., so we don’t wait another 30 years to improve our tax code. Last year, we modernized our nation’s tax code, reinvigorating our economy by putting more money in the pockets of hard working Americans; and we intend to make sure the positive results are here to stay.

Following years of stagnant economic growth, our economy has re-emerged stronger thanks to our pro-growth policies; and Americans are seeing the results. This month, the Labor Department reported that our economy added a robust 201,000 jobs in August, bringing the total number of jobs created since tax reform to 1.7 million. Take-home pay is up 4.9 percent, jobless claims are at a 49-year low, and unemployment has dipped below 4 percent this year for the first time since 2000.

Tax Reform 2.0 is about providing certainty to American taxpayers that the gains they have seen in the past nine months remain for years to come. We are creating an economic climate that puts hard-working taxpayers first and alleviates barriers for small businesses so they can move to Main Street and beyond.

Critics of these policies have levied claims that tax reform would be a “gut-punch” to middle-class Americans, raising their taxes. Yet the facts tell a different story. In Illinois’ 18th District the average middle-class family has seen a savings of $2,100 more in your wallets due to tax reform. This is more money that families can reinvest in college savings, save for retirement, make home improvements or pay down a credit card. In Tax Reform 2.0, we make these tax cuts permanent, creating certainty for taxpayers, and provide incentives so Americans start saving at a younger age.

Critics have claimed tax reform would only benefit Wall Street and big corporations, yet again, the facts have proven these claims false. This past week, the National Federation of Independent Business released a report that its Small Business Optimism index had surpassed a 45-year-old record, due in large part to, “Small business owners executing on the plans they’ve put in place due to dramatic changes in the nation’s economic policy.” Business is booming, including here in Central Illinois, and companies of all sizes are hiring and reinvesting capital into their business.

As I’ve traveled our district, I’ve seen how these policies are creating optimism among the small business community. In one example, in August, I toured a thriving manufacturer that is adding jobs and expanding their operation, thanks in part, as they put it, to tax reform. Another small business has expanded employee-focused resources to help provide better guidance on retirement plans and even health incentives, all after handing out cash bonuses when tax reform was signed into law. Job creators have been empowered by our policies and we intend to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary resources so startup companies can innovate and grow into globally competitive businesses.

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