Tax reform 2.0 introduced in House, secures Trump tax cuts

The economic boom America is experiencing has received a boost in the form of legislation introduced in the House this week. Buried in the midst of the stories garnering headlines – Hurricane Florence, Obama’s speeches vilifying Republicans as he bemoans a lack of civility in Trump’s America and the debunking of partisan attacks against Judge Kavanaugh, among others – House Republicans introduced three bills to continue slashing taxes and reforming the tax code. Most importantly, the legislation will make permanent the legislation passed in 2017 for individuals and small businesses. They also ease rules for retirement savings and for start-up businesses.

H.R. 6760 – Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cut Act – makes the last tax cuts made in 2017 permanent, eliminating the expiration in 2025. The Family Savings Act – H.R. 6757 – amends the tax code to encourage family and retirement saving. The American Innovation Act – H.R. 6756 – promotes new business innovation.

Does this all have time to be voted on and move to the Senate before the session’s end? Probably not. But, it can be re-introduced in the new session and move through Congress (as long as both the House and Senate hold GOP majorities) to keep the Trump economic boom rolling along. If Democrats gain control of the House, rest assured that the tax cuts will not become permanent and they will look for ways to increase taxes, not lower them, to increase funding of social programs.

In their bid to retake control of Congress, many Democratic candidates are pointing to the $1.5 trillion tax cut — and what they say are its exclusive benefits for corporations and wealthy individuals — as a roadblock to expanding benefits like Social Security and Medicare. Chipping away at some of the law’s costly provisions will help to fund those programs, they say.

House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued a statement after the bills were introduced and concluded on a hopeful note.

“Under our new system, we’re seeing incredible job growth, bigger paychecks, and a tax code that works on behalf of families and American businesses. Now it’s the time to ensure we never let our tax code become so outdated again. We look forward to bringing these bills to the committee soon.”

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist gave his blessing to the legislation, too.

“It sets up efforts so your 401(k), your IRA, your health savings account, your education savings account can come together and be more portable, be larger and allow you to save more tax-free,” Norquist said on Tuesday.

Some further good economic news is in the headlines today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, middle-class family income is now at an all-time high.

The median U.S. household earned $61,372 last year, meaning half of the families in the country brought in more income than this and half earned less.

Crossing the $61,000 mark was important as it signals the American middle-class is earning a little more than it did in 1999, although the Census Bureau cautions median income is still not “statistically significant” from the late 1990s. All the income figures have been adjusted for inflation and are reported in 2017 dollars.

The tax cuts and economic policies of President Trump have set the economy on a course that benefits the very voters to whom he made economic promises. Though Democrats continue to pooh-pooh the policies and utter the tired, wrong-headed trope that only the wealthy benefitted, the middle-class is being lifted up from the stagnant Obama economy inherited by President Trump. The crumbs, as Minority Leader Pelosi calls the tax cuts, are certainly adding up for the average American worker. What may seem as nothing to a multi-millionaire like Nancy Pelosi are very real dollars for working folks who can parlay the savings into family vacations, increased savings for their kids’  education and their own retirement savings. This is why consumer confidence is at an all-time high. Regular Americans get it, despite Democrats assuming they are ignorant of some real facts.

The jobs market is helping improve the economic reality for families, too. Many people have been able to move from part-time work to full-time employment as a result of businesses expanding and hiring, thanks to the growing economy.

“We’re continuing to see a shift from part-time to full-time work, so some of that could explain an increase in income,” said Trudi Renwick, an assistant division chief at Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau also reported that the U.S. poverty rate declined modestly to 12.3 percent, the lowest level in years and a sign the economic devastation from the Great Recession is subsiding.

All of this good news is at the hands of a Republican president and administration. With American economic development at the forefront of his agenda, President Trump deserves the lion’s share of credit, despite what Barack Obama tells his audiences. Obama oversaw the slowest economic recovery from the 2008 crash since the Great Depression. The economy was stagnant and Americans were in a malaise not seen since the disastrous Jimmy Carter administration. Trump brings real hope and change in the minds of working Americans. White House Council of Economics Chairman Kevin Hassett laid it all out in a White House press corps press briefing this week.

Hassett explained that small business optimism had been on the decline before the November 2016 election. The percentage of businesses saying it’s a good time to expand was, too. Business investment was stagnant. All those turned upward starting in 2017. Applications for new businesses are now well above the trend over Obama’s entire second term, Hassett noted. And blue-collar jobs are growing faster than any time since the Reagan administration.

Who would want to go back to the old days of the slowest economic growth in American history? Not me.