I Voted for Tax Reform. Here’s Why It Will Help America.
Sen. Mike Lee /
The tax cut bill just passed by Congress and signed into law by the president is not perfect. But I voted for it because it will help working families and small businesses, give almost all Americans an immediate pay raise, and create millions of new jobs.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. In fact, as citizens, you shouldn’t take any politician’s word for it. And happily, you won’t have to.
As in any political debate, there has been a lot of overheated speculation about this bill. Some Republicans who opposed my work with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to change the bill to provide more tax relief directly to working and middle class said that would destroy the bill and crush its chances to spur economic growth. The argument was silly.
But so are many of the criticisms of the bill coming from the left. Some Democrats say the bill will only cut taxes for businesses, not individuals.
That’s false. The centrist Brookings Institution says the bill will reduce taxes for all income groups in 2018 by an average of $1,600.
Some congressional Democrats argued this tax rate reduction plan was the worst bill in American history, apparently forgetting about the Fugitive Slave Act, or the Alien and Sedition Acts. These criticisms are nuts.
In total, the bill is estimated to cut some federal taxes by a total of $6.5 trillion over the next 10 years, and raise others by $4 trillion over the same period, coming out to a $1.5 trillion tax cut.
I am not thrilled about the potential hit to the deficit. But I also believe we cannot tax our way to a balanced budget. The only way to close the deficit is with economic growth and spending discipline.
With new jobs, higher wages, and more investment, the larger overall economic pie will give a bigger slice both to American workers and to their government.
Over the last two decades, the United States’ 35 percent corporate tax rate has cost us trillions of dollars in aggregate international investment. The new 21 percent rate in this bill will help bring more of the global economy to our shores, instead of having us send so much of ours overseas.
And of course the doubling of the standard deduction and child credit will deliver immediate, substantial tax relief to middle-income families.
And the good news is, in a few weeks, we will be able to ignore the political speculation and rhetoric and just see for ourselves.
Now that the bill is law, the IRS will begin to implement the new rules, and paycheck withholding guidelines will change. In another few pay periods, you either will or won’t see a raise in your take-home pay.
Over the course of the next year, two years, three years, we either will or won’t see more “Help Wanted” signs in business windows. We will or won’t see more listings on job search websites. We will or won’t hear about this or that business expanding, opening a new branch or a new plant.
The new, $2,000 per-child tax credit—which Rubio and I successfully fought to make available to millions of additional working families—won’t make raising kids easy. But it will make things like diapers, braces, little league, or piano lessons more affordable again.
I voted for this tax bill because I believe it will deliver higher take-home pay, more relief for middle-class families, and business tax reform to spur hiring, wage growth, and investment. Every Democrat in the House and Senate voted against the bill because they thought it would not do those things.
In a few weeks, we’ll start to see—in your paychecks, at your office, in your community—who was right.