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Category: politics

President Trump recently signed one of the most consequential tax reform bills in history. This bill, which I voted for, reflects the priorities that I have championed since I first came to Washington: simplifying the tax code, lowering overall rates for Idaho families, and eliminating loopholes that benefit the special interests. This bill helps keep the promise I made to the people of Idaho. It lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Idahoans; nearly doubles the standard deduction; expands the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000; and retains retirement savings options, such as 401(k)s and IRAs.

What does this bill mean for everyday Idahoans?

Not a single liberal in Congress voted for the tax bill, and several of them are circulating claims that are just plain wrong. 

First, some liberals are claiming this legislation will raise taxes on middle class families. The Washington Post fact-checked this claim and gave it “four Pinocchios,” concluding that most middle-income families will get a tax cut.

Second, some liberals are claiming that 83 percent of the bill’s benefits will go to the wealthiest 1 percent. However, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and the Tax Policy Center both agree the Republican tax bill will lower taxes for all income levels. 

The last misleading claim is that repealing the individual mandate tax will force 13 million people to lose their health insurance. The Washington Post fact-checked this claim and gave it “two Pinocchios,” concluding “the impact of repealing the individual mandate is mostly describing a voluntary action not to buy health insurance. That’s not the same as “‘kicking off’ 13 million people.”

Within one month of the tax bill passing Congress, hundreds of American businesses (who collectively employ three million Americans) announced they were giving bonuses, giving pay raises, or making new investments as a direct result of the tax bill. Apple alone announced that it would contribute more than $350 billion over the next five years to the U.S. economy and add 20,000 jobs.

Dozens of Idaho businesses have made similar announcements, including Ball Ventures, Melaleuca, Home Depot, Wells Fargo, and Washington Federal.

Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said that 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.

While U.S. unemployment is at a seventeen-year low, we have every reason to believe that job growth will accelerate because of the recent tax bill.

Three times in recent history – under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and George W. Bush – major tax relief was followed by significant job creation, stronger growth, and even higher tax revenue because of the stronger economy. Under President Reagan alone, major tax relief helped create 14.8 million new jobs over a five-year period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 2017 tax bill could easily have a similar impact.  

For more information about the 2017 tax bill, I encourage you to read the House and Senate Conference Committee Report to Accompany H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its summary. Many have also found The New York Times calculator very helpful in understanding the changes to the tax code as it pertains to their filing status.

I appreciate hearing your opinion on this important matter. For more information, to sign up for my e-newsletter, or to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, please visit my website at http://labrador.house.gov. For help with a government agency, please visit my “Constituent Services” webpage or call my Meridian office at (208) 888-3188. As your elected representative, my staff and I are here to help. It is an honor to serve you in the U.S. House of Representatives.