Category: politics

By the end of this month, nine out of 10 Idahoans will begin receiving bigger paychecks because Congress and President Trump enacted the most significant tax reform in 31 years.

I voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December because it simplifies the tax code, lowers overall rates for Idaho families and eliminates loopholes that benefit special interests. This bill helps keep the promise I made to the people of Idaho and I was proud to support it.

The new lower rates are putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Idahoans. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, a four-person family in Idaho’s First Congressional District making the median household income will receive a tax cut of $2,102 this year. An individual will pay $1,258 less.

On top of that, almost 300 employers have been spurred by the tax cuts to implement a wide range of benefits for 3 million American workers, including wage and salary increases, bonuses, or 401(k) match increases, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

Thanks in part to changes in the tax rate, companies are making lasting commitments to invest in America. Exxon-Mobil is investing more than $50 billion. Pfizer says it will spend $5 billion on capital projects, FedEx is adding $3.2 billion, and Starbucks earmarked more than $250 million for employee wages and benefits.

Dozens of Idaho businesses have made similar announcements, including Ball Ventures, Home Depot, Wells Fargo, Washington Federal and Melaleuca. Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said his 2,000 workers are getting a one-time bonus of $100 for every year they have worked at his company. Of those 2,000 workers, 147 have worked there for at least 20 years.

Washington Federal announced that it would add an additional tech office in Boise. Walmart, which employs about 7,900 Idahoans, is raising the starting wage for hourly workers to $11, expanding benefits and providing bonuses of up to $1,000. AT&T, with about 1,100 Idaho employees, is investing $1 billion this year and paying workers a $1,000 bonus.

Unfortunately some who opposed tax relief and want the President to fail have turned their noses up at the good news, among them House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi who called the increases “crumbs.”

But the fact is the tax bill is doing what we said it would, letting workers keep more of their hard-earned pay and stimulating growth. Citing the tax cuts, the International Monetary Fund boosted its estimate for 2018 growth in the U.S. to 2.7 percent, up from 2.3 percent.

In the month following the passage of tax cuts, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up about 1,500 points, reaching the 26,000 mark for the first time. During the President’s first year in office, the Dow rose 31 percent – the best annual gain of any president since Franklin Roosevelt. And while U.S. unemployment is at a seventeen-year low, we have every reason to believe that job growth will accelerate as consumer confidence rises thanks to expectations for a better economy, according to The Conference Board.

Despite the attempts of Pelosi and others, the popularity of the new tax law is quickly rising as Americans begin to see the benefits to their families. A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows a remarkable 21-point swing between December and January.

To help you learn how the bill benefits your family, check out the New York Times Tax Bill Calculator. For more information, you may read the House and Senate Conference Committee Report on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

I hope you’ll join me in expressing optimism about our economy. History is on our side. Major tax relief laws passed under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and George W. Bush were followed by significant job creation, stronger growth, and even higher tax revenue. I expect a similar impact from the 2017 bill.