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COLUMN: Promise Kept on Reducing Tax Burdens

December 25, 2017
Weekly Column and Op-Ed

For hard working families and entrepreneurs in Central Washington, keeping more of your own paycheck was my goal in supporting historic legislation approved by Congress, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The last time the nation’s federal tax system was overhauled was in 1986, under President Ronald Reagan. But with the leadership of President Trump and Republicans in the Senate and House, and with my support, we succeeded in pushing major tax reform for American families and businesses across the finish line.

Reducing the rate for American corporations and small businesses has already begun to have a positive impact for workers. Instead of the 35 percent rate that sets the U.S. apart as one of the highest in the industrialized world, we succeeded in reducing the corporate rate to 21 percent so that American companies no longer face a disadvantage. After passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and others announced rounds of Christmas bonuses and benefits for workers. A major employer in Washington State, Boeing, even announced $300 million dollars in employee-related and charitable investment as a direct result of the approval of tax reform. I hope to see even more companies step up and invest in workers and communities here at home.

In the 4th Congressional District, 80 percent of filers file using the standard deduction. Our reform doubles the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 and $12,000 to $24,000 for individuals and married couples, respectively. It also doubles the child tax credit, from $1,000 to $2,000, to help families with the cost of raising children. 88 percent of taxpayers in Washington who pay the individual mandate make $75,000 or less. The tax penalty of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is also eliminated by our reform. These changes alone will help the vast majority of families in Central Washington.

Returning more of your own paycheck to you used to be a goal that crossed party lines. As difficult as it might be to remember considering today’s sometimes apocalyptic rhetoric about the successful passage of the first major tax reform in 31 years, Democrats once supported the notion of tax cuts. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, "Every dollar released from taxation that is spent or invested will help create a new job and a new salary. And these new jobs and new salaries can create other jobs and other salaries and more customers and more growth for an expanding American economy." How right President Kennedy was. Sadly, not a single Democrat supported historic tax reform expected to be signed into law by the President in early January.

I was proud to fulfill our promise to provide pro-growth tax reform. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Lower tax rates mean greater freedom, and whenever we lower the tax rates, our entire nation is better off.”