Tom Hebert

Trump Reaches Deal with Mexico & Canada to End Tariffs

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019, 1:38 PM PERMALINK

President Trump recently announced a deal with Mexico and Canada to remove steel and aluminum tariffs on imports and remove retaliatory tariffs imposed on American businesses. This is a big win for American workers and paves the way for swift ratification of the president’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Ending the 25 percent tariff on steel and the 10 percent tariff on aluminum from Mexico and Canada will have broad, positive effects. On net, the tariffs impacted over $400 billion of traded goods on an annual basis. According to a report released by the American Action Forum, steel tariffs increased imported steel costs by $5.8 billion, and aluminum tariffs increased imported aluminum costs by $1.7 billion.

Retaliatory action by Mexico has adversely impacted the cost of American exports by $3.7 billion. Furthermore, Canadian retaliatory action has adversely impacted the cost of American exports by $16.6 billion. 

Trump has been steadfast in his desire to renegotiate trade deals for the benefit of American workers and businesses and the end of these tariffs should pave the way for approval of the USMCA. 

The USMCA updates NAFTA to include new automotive rules, new protections for intellectual property rights, and modernizing agricultural trade to benefit American farmers.

A recent report shows that the USCMA would raise U.S. real GDP by $68.2 billion and create approximately 176,000 American jobs. 

The USMCA would increase U.S exports to Canada by $19.1 billion, and increase U.S. exports to Mexico by $14.2 billion. Under the new agreement, U.S. imports from Canada are projected to increase by $19.1 billion, and U.S. imports from Mexico are projected to increase by $12.4 billion. The report estimates that the USMCA would have a positive impact on all U.S. industry sectors, with the manufacturing and services sectors experiencing the most gains. 

The trade deal would also be a boon for the automotive industry. The Office of the United States Trade Representative estimates that USCMA ratification would add $34 billionin new automotive manufacturing investment, $23 billion in new annual purchases of U.S. automotive parts, and 76,000 jobs in the next five years. 

If implemented, the USMCA would contribute to already robust economic growth. 

In April, the economy added 263,000 jobs, and unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent. Over the past year, the economy has added an average of 218,000 jobs per month, and unemployment for key demographics are at all-time lows. Families all across the country are seeing direct tax reduction — on net, households are paying an average of 24.9 percent in lower taxes according to a report released by H&R Block based on their clients’ tax returns. 

Trump’s removal of tariffs on Mexico and Canada is a huge win for American workers. Now, it is time for Congressional Democrats to work with Republicans in a bipartisan fashion to ratify USCMA.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Binding Arbitration for Medicare Would Establish Backdoor Price Controls

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, May 17th, 2019, 9:00 AM PERMALINK

Recent media reports indicate that a top aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants to impose binding arbitration into the healthcare system as part of drug pricing reform.

This proposal would specifically apply a dispute settlement process to physician-administered drugs under Medicare Part B but could easily be applied to other parts of the healthcare system.

Binding arbitration is a flawed proposal. While there are many unknowns behind how the proposal would work in practice, it should be concerning as it would be another way for Washington bureaucrats to implement backdoor price controls on lifesaving medicine. 

Binding arbitration would be used to settle disputes between two different parties without going through the court system. Each party appeals to a neutral third party that considers the options and chooses one of them as the binding decision.

Under this proposal,  binding arbitration would apply when a subjective value of a drug is exceeded, for new drugs entering the market, and for drugs with no competition. HHS would pick a supposedly neutral third party to arbitrate between the department and the drug manufacturer.

This arrangement creates a critical problem — why would HHS pick panels that routinely rule against the department in arbitration? This would lead to selection bias which would all but ensure that HHS would be able to establish price controls on lifesaving medicine.

Binding arbitration resembles Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which instituted price controls and rationing within the Medicare system. Thankfully, Congressional Republicans repealed the IPAB.

Currently, Medicare Part B drugs are calculated based on market prices using a formula which calculates the “Average Sales Price” of U.S. drugs. This formula factors in discounts negotiated between payers, hospitals, and health plans. In recent years, this system led to a 0.8 percent decrease in the cost of Top 50 Medicare Part B drugs. 

Using government power to lower prescription drug costs would have the unfortunate effect of reducing access to lifesaving medicine for American healthcare consumers.

Price controls reduce access to lifesaving medicine for patients. As noted in a recent study by the Galen Institute, roughly 290 new medical substances were launched worldwide between 2011 and 2018. Of these medicines, the U.S. had access to 90 percent. In contrast, foreign countries have access to far fewer. The United Kingdom had 60 percent of medicines, Japan had 50 percent, and Canada had just 44 percent.

The United States is a world leader in research and development of lifesaving medicine because our healthcare system is based around the free market. Rejecting price controls in all forms is essential to maintaining a healthcare system that encourages innovation and near-total access to lifesaving medicine.

While binding arbitration may sound like a reasonable proposal, it would actually put healthcare policy in the hands of faceless Washington bureaucrats and should be rejected by policymakers.

Photo Credit: Flickr


Return-Free Tax Filing Would Be a Disaster

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, May 10th, 2019, 11:44 AM PERMALINK

Tax season is inherently stressful for Americans across the country because of the extensive complexity and compliance requirements of the tax code.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I — Vt.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D — Mass.), and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D — N.Y.) want to solve this problem by giving the IRS the power to file your taxes for you. This massive expansion of government would be a disaster if implemented in the U.S as noted in a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

Return-free tax filing would require a dramatic overhaul of the tax code that could increase taxes on middle and low-income families all across the U.S. 

Under this system, the IRS would also have a perverse incentive to overcharge taxpayers and withhold information as the agency would calculate how much you owe in taxes, and then give you the opportunity to contest.

As noted by the BPC report, countries that use return-free filing have tax codes vastly different than the U.S. For instance, these countries: 

  • Apply something close to a flat marginal tax rate on most taxpayers
  • Tax individuals as opposed to households or couples
  • Little to no taxes on capital gains
  • Few deductions, exemptions, and exclusions
     

In order to make return-free filing work in the U.S., Congress would have to repeal widely-used deductions and credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). 

Both provisions are inherently complex and taxpayers would be required to provide detailed information to the IRS in order for them to properly administer the provisions. 

Return-free filing has been tried in California, and it was an abject failure. Only 3 percent of taxpayers used the system, and its total participants topped out at 90,000 filers. Giving the government the power to file taxes is also broadly unpopular with taxpayers.

Return-free filing is also wildly unpopular. A recent poll shows that:

  • 60 percent of taxpayers oppose letting the government file their taxes
  • 72 percent of taxpayers thought the IRS would make mistakes when calculating tax returns.
  • 82 percent of taxpayers said they would feel comfortable rejecting the IRS-prepared return and preparing their own return.
  • 64 percent of taxpayers believed that the IRS did not have the necessary personal and financial information to calculate an accurate return.
  • 68 percent of taxpayers said that they would not trust the government to produce “accurate and fair” tax returns.
     

Despite what Democrats are saying, giving the government the power to file your taxes would raise taxes on the middle class, has failed spectacularly in California, and is broadly unpopular. Congress should reject any attempt to move towards a return-free filing system.

 

Photo Credit: GotCredit


ATR Supports H.R. 2505, the “Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act of 2019”

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, May 3rd, 2019, 11:08 AM PERMALINK

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) has introduced H.R. 2505, the “Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act,” a bill that would empower Congress to shrink the size and scope of the federal government. Americans for Tax Reform supports this legislation and urges its passage. 

Congress establishes federal programs via authorization bills. These programs can be authorized to operate for a specific period of time or indefinitely. After the programs are established, Congress then authorizes the appropriation of money to fund the programs. 

Congress routinely appropriates money to programs that are no longer authorized. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Congress appropriated $340.7 billion to 261 programs or activities with expired authorizations in Fiscal Year 2018. 

H.R. 2505 would defund these zombie programs by putting all unauthorized programs on a pathway to sunset in 3 years. After the first year, an unauthorized program’s budget is reduced by 10 percent. In the second and third year, its budget decreases by 15 percent until sunsetting at the end of the third year. If Congress decides to reauthorize the program during this three-year period, the program ceases to sunset and remains fully funded. 

H.R. 2505 also establishes a Spending Accountability Commission (SAC) with three main objectives: establishing an authorization schedule of all discretionary programs, conducting reviews of all mandatory spending programs, and assisting Congress in finding prudent spending cuts to mandatory programs. The SAC would be responsible for maintaining a three-year schedule for discretionary federal programs, and would offer proposed cuts in mandatory spending in the event Congress cannot agree on reauthorizing a program. 

If implemented, H.R. 2505 would establish a three-year reauthorization cycle for all discretionary programs. At the end of the three-year period, the sunset and sequestration cycle would begin if the program is not reauthorized. If Congress wishes to override the sequester, it must agree to mandatory spending cuts as reported by the SAC. 

With the national debt at over $22 trillion and counting, Congress must work on streamlining and reducing government spending as much as possible. While Democrats control the House of Representatives, relying on Congress to reduce spending in and of itself is a difficult proposition, which is why an automatic sunset and sequestration period for unauthorized programs is necessary. H.R. 2505 is an important piece of taxpayer-friendly legislation that sets Congress back on a path of fiscal accountability. Congress should swiftly pass it, and President Trump should sign it into law. 

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Unemployment Rate Hits 50-Year Low

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, May 3rd, 2019, 10:31 AM PERMALINK

The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in April and unemployment is at just 3.6 percent, a 50 year low. Wage growth is also strong – average hourly earnings have grown 3.2 percent over the past year.

This latest news, released by the Department of Labor, shows that the Trump tax cuts and Republican regulatory relief are continuing to have positive effects on the U.S. economy.

Unemployment has been at or below 4 percent for the past 14 months, and the economy has added an average of 218,000 jobs per month over the past year.

Key demographics are also seeing record levels of unemployment:

  • Unemployment for adult women is at 3.1 percent, a 66 year low.
  • Unemployment for Hispanics is at 4.2 percent – the lowest rate since this data was first collected in 1973.
  • Unemployment for veterans is at 2.3 percent, a 19 year low.
     

The labor force participation rate remained steady at 62.8 percent, a stark contrast to the 40-year lows the labor force participation rate hit under the Obama Administration.

This April Jobs report is just the latest proof that the Trump economy is strong.

GDP grew by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and has averaged 3 percent quarter-to-quarter growth since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed into law.

Businesses have responded to the tax cuts by giving employees higher wages and creating new employee benefit programs, while utility companies are passing tax savings onto consumers in the form of lower rates.

Families are also seeing direct tax reduction – a family of four with annual income of $73,000 (median family income) will see a tax cut of more than $2,058, a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. In net, households are paying an average of 24.9 percent in lower taxes according to a report released by H&R Block based on their clients’ tax returns. 

While the Democrats continue to downplay or mislead the American public on the positive economic news, the April jobs report again shows that the economy is strong and that the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is benefiting the working class with higher wages and more job opportunities.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


RSC Budget Reforms Entitlements, Fixes Healthcare System

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, 3:27 PM PERMALINK

The Republican Study Committee Budget,  “Preserving American Freedom,” contains numerous reforms that would reform our federal welfare system, stop Medicare and Social Security from becoming insolvent, and fix our broken healthcare system.

The budget, proposed by RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.) and RSC Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN), provides a stark contrast to the House Democrats that didn’t even release a budget this year.

Fixing Welfare and Enabling Upward Mobility

By any objective measure, the federal government’s decades-long war on poverty has failed. President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs have done very little to help people escape the vicious cycle of poverty. Since 1965 when these programs were created, the government has spent $27.8 trillion. Throwing money at the problem has clearly not worked, yet in many instances, the programs actively thwart the upward mobility necessary for individuals and families to break out of poverty.

The RSC budget contains numerous substantive changes to the welfare system in order to promote upward mobility. For example:

  • The RSC budget would strengthen federal welfare programs with work requirements that would help Americans move away from dependence and toward self-sufficiency.
  • The RSC budget includes important reforms that would modernize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for future recipients. The cost of SNAP is growing and its efficacy is dwindling. The RSC budget would distribute funds to states based on a formula that accounts for factors such as poverty and unemployment. States would then have the flexibility to administer their own programs at optimal efficiency and subject to several federal requirements. The budget would also implement asset tests for SNAP recipients to ensure the program is benefiting the truly needy.
  • The RSC budget contains a number of different reforms to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The budget strengthens work requirements, requires states to actually use TANF funds for TANF instead of plugging holes in the state budget, and adopts Rep. Kevin Brady’s important Jobs for Success Act, which ATR has praised here.
     

Saving Social Security

Social Security is on a fast track to bankruptcy. According to a recent report by the Social Security Trustees, the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund will be out of money by 2035. Upon depletion, recipients will face an automatic benefit cut of 25 percent that will only increase over time.

The RSC budget contains numerous reforms that would keep Social Security solvent for future generations. For example:

  • The budget gradually phases in an adjustment of the retirement age to reflect increased life expectancy. In order to protect the solvency of the program, the budget would increase the retirement age at three months per year until it hits 69 for those turning 62 in 2030. The budget will also link the normal and early retirement ages to life expectancy so the program does not fall off track in the future.
  • The budget would focus the Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) on beneficiaries who need it most.
  • The budget modernizes the formula Social Security uses to calculate retirement benefits so that low-income workers receive higher retirement benefits than they do in the current law.
  • The budget removes perverse incentives that discourage active seniors from remaining in the workforce as they collect benefits.
     

Reforming Medicare

Medicare is unsustainable in its current form as the population ages. More than 10,000 Americans reach retirement age every day which will add to the 60 million Americans currently covered. 

Modernizing Medicare for the benefit of future generations is key and the RSC budget contains numerous reforms. For example:

  • The RSC budget would transition all of Medicare to a flexible health insurance program that federal employees enjoy. According to CBO scoring, this new system would lower beneficiary premiums by 7 percent.
  • In order to ensure the solvency of the program for future generations, the budget gradually phases in a premium increase so that the contributions of senior citizens are equivalent to taxpayer contributions. The budget also adjusts the age of eligibility to bring the program in line with current life expectancy rates.
  • The budget improves patient freedom by allowing seniors enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B to contribute to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). This budget also allows seniors to keep their Social Security benefits if they keep their private insurance and opt out of Part A.
     

Repealing Obamacare and Fixing Healthcare

For far too long, Washington bureaucrats have had undue influence on the healthcare system. The RSC budget contains numerous reforms that bring healthcare choices back to patients, states, and doctors, saving taxpayers $3 trillion over ten years. For example:

  • The RSC budget expands Health Savings Accounts (HSA) so that healthcare consumers have greater flexibility and better control over their healthcare spending.
  • By any measure, Obamacare has been disastrous for the American people. Premiums have doubled in the past six years and healthcare choices are dwindling for families all across the country. The RSC budget fully repeals Obamacare and all of its tax hikes on the American people. This would save $1.3 trillion in taxpayer money over the next decade, and return critical healthcare decisions to patients and their doctors.
  • The budget creates new block grants out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in order to give states increased flexibility. The budget expands CHIP eligibility by removing the income floor so that states can help all children in low-income families. These new grants would allow states to cover the four core groups that Medicare is supposed to cover. A flex grant would also be available to subsidize the care of the remaining population.

Photo Credit: GotCredit


Grover Norquist and Bill Maher Agree on Stupidity of “Free College” Proposal

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, 12:56 PM PERMALINK

On HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, ATR President Grover Norquist and host Bill Maher came to agreement in opposing Elizabeth Warren's "free" college plan. 

Click here to watch the video. 

"So nothing is free like a free lunch," Maher said. "Neither is college. Somebody will be paying for this free college and it will be taxpayers. so are we really saying that someone who didn't go to college should be subsidizing the people who went and got the benefit of going to college and made more money?" 

Norquist agreed, and highlighted the massive disparity in the plan's beneficiaries. 

"That's an incredible transfer from lower income people to higher income people," Norquist said. "If you look at the beneficiaries of that proposal, it is a huge subsidy to the higher income people." 

"If you're out buying votes, you go with the people you think are going to vote," Norquist continued. 

The left has pushed "free" college proposals for years. 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pushed a free community college plan that would have increased income taxes by $350 billion. 

Warren's plan goes even further, cancelling student debt for 95 percent of Americans and making tuition free for public universities. In her proposal, Warren buries the cost of her plan — $1.25 trillion over 10 years. The debt cancellation portion would create a "one-time cost" to the taxpayers of $640 billion.

Predictably, Warren plans on paying for "free" college with her horribly misguided (and probably unconstitutional) wealth tax

As it turns out, Americans don't like massive tax hikes to pay for costly new entitlement programs. 

Photo Credit: Janet Van Ham/HBO


Economy Roars On With 3.2% GDP Growth

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, April 26th, 2019, 10:38 AM PERMALINK

America’s real GDP grew 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, shattering industry expectations and showing that the GOP tax cuts and regulatory relief are continuing to have positive effects on the U.S. economy.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis report shows that expanded exports and increased private investment drove this economic upswing. This 3.2 percent growth is up from 2.2 percent real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, showing that the economy continues to charge ahead in leaps and bounds. Quarterly GDP growth has averaged 3 percent over the five quarters since President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law.

"More economic growth is not just a nice number. It means more jobs, higher wages, more opportunities and a stronger nation," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
 

The BEA report also shows that disposable personal income increased by 3 percent, or $116 billion, in Q1 of 2019. Additionally, gross private investment is up by 5.1 percent.

This explosive growth comes alongside a host of other economic good news. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.6 million jobs were created in 2018, and nearly 5.5 million have been created since President Trump took office. Job openings sit at 7.6 million, a record high. The unemployment rate is a near-record low of 3.8 percent, and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is at a 50-year low. Nominal wages have grown by 3.4 percent over the last year, a 10-year high. The stock market is also hitting record highs and the trade deficit is narrowing.

Home values have also remained stable, proving opponents of the GOP tax cuts wrong yet again. According to the left-wing Washington Post, home sales rose 12 percent in February, the largest month-over-month gain since 2015. Median home prices also rose 3.6 percent in February, a continuation of 7 years of month-over-month gains.

This economic report is yet another sign that the Trump tax cuts are working as intended. Contrary to Nancy Pelosi, who said that letting people keep more of their own money was “Armageddon,” the sky is not falling. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, American is open for business again.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Trump’s Trade Deal Is A Win For American Workers

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Monday, April 22nd, 2019, 4:04 PM PERMALINK

A new report from the U.S. International Trade Commission indicates that President Trump’s new trade deal will create American jobs and grow the economy.

Trump has put renegotiating trade deals with other countries at the forefront of his legislative agenda. The United States — Mexico — Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) updates NAFTA to include new automotive rules, new protections for intellectual property rights, and modernizing agricultural trade to benefit American farmers.

According to the report, the USMCA would raise U.S. real GDP by $68.2 billion and create approximately 176,000 American jobs. The USMCA would increase U.S exports to Canada by $19.1 billion, and increase U.S. exports to Mexico by $14.2 billion. Under the new agreement, U.S. imports from Canada are projected to increase by $19.1 billion, and U.S. imports from Mexico are projected to increase by $12.4 billion. The report estimates that the USMCA would have a positive impact on all U.S. industry sectors, with the manufacturing and services sectors experiencing the most gains.

The USMCA would contribute to already strong economic growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.6 million jobs were created in 2018, and nearly 5.5 million have been created since President Trump took office. Job openings sit at 7.6 million, a record high. The unemployment rate is a near-record low of 3.8 percent, and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is at a 50-year low. Nominal wages have grown by 3.4 percent over the last year, a 10-year high.

Thanks to Republican pro-growth policies like tax reform and deregulation, the U.S. economy is working for American workers. Swift ratification and adoption of the USMCA would continue to build on this economic success.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


10 Facts the Media Won’t Tell You About the GOP Tax Cuts

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, April 12th, 2019, 1:45 PM PERMALINK

[Click here for a PDF of this list]

Here are 10 facts about the Republican-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that the media doesn't want you to know. 

  1. Thanks to tax reform, middle class families are seeing  increased take-home pay:
    • A family of four with annual income of $73,000 (median family income) will see a tax cut of more than $2,058, a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes.
    • A single parent with one child with annual income of $41,000 will see a tax cut of $1,304, a 73 percent reduction in federal taxes.
    • Married small business owners with annual income of $100,000 will see a tax cut of $2,603, a 24 percent reduction in federal taxes.
       
  2. Americans at every income level are seeing significant tax reduction because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
    • 90 percent of households with income between $40,000 and $64,000 saw a tax cut. Average size of that tax cut: $810.  
    • 91 percent of households with income between $64,000 and $108,000 saw a tax cut. Average size of that tax cut: $1,400
       
  3. Taxes are down 25 percent this year and biweekly paychecks are up by $50 on average:
    • Households are paying lower taxes, down 24.9 percent on average following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to a report released by H&R Block based on their clients’ tax returns.
    • The tax cuts caused biweekly paychecks to increase $50 per paycheck.
    • The report also breaks down change in tax liability by state. Taxpayers in every state have seen average tax reduction of at least 18 percent: “all 50 states and D.C. saw their average tax liability decrease anywhere from 18.0 percent to 29.1 percent.”
       
  4. Tax rates were cut and pro-middle class provisions were implemented across the board:
    • The middle class marginal tax rates were slashed from 15 and 25 percent to 12 and 22 percent
    • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction for an individual from $6,000 to $12,000 and for a family from $12,000 to $24,000.
    • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child.
    • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the threshold of the Alternative Minimum Tax so fewer taxpayers are forced to comply with the provision. 4,464,430 families and individuals paid the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2015.
       
  5. Wages are growing and the job market is strong:
    • Over 2.6 million jobs were created in 2018 and over 5.4 million jobs have been created since the beginning of 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    • Nominal wages have grown by 3.4 percent over the last year, a ten-year high.
       
  6. Unemployment is hitting historic lows:
    • The unemployment rate is at 3.8 percent. In September, the unemployment rate hit 3.7 percent, a 50 year-low.
    • The hispanic unemployment rate in March 2019 was 4.7 percent, and reached a record low of 4.3 percent in February 2019
    • The African American unemployment rate in March 2019 was 6.7 percent, hitting a record low of 5.9 percent in May 2018. 
    • The number of people collecting unemployment benefits is at a 50-year low, and jobless claims have dropped to the lowest level since 1969. 
       
  7. Thanks to tax reform, American families saw relief from the highly regressive Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty:
    • Obamacare imposed a tax penalty of $695 for an individual and $2,085 for a family of four for failing to buy “qualifying” health insurance as defined by the federal government. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed this unfair tax.
    • The Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty is one of the most regressive taxes in the code as it disproportionately impacts low and middle-income families:
    • 6,665,480 individuals and families paid a total of $3,079,255,000 in individual mandate tax penalties in 2015.
      1. 37.35 percent of taxpayers (2,489,490 households) that paid the individual mandate made less than $25,000 in annual income.
      2. 78.98 percent of taxpayers (5,264,380 households) that paid the individual mandate made less than $50,000 in annual income.
         
  8. Business confidence is hitting all-time highs following tax reform:
    • Small business optimism is strong, hitting a record high of 108.8 in August 2018 and continues to trend above the historical average at 101.2.
    • Optimism amongst manufacturers hit a record high of 92.4 percent in 2018 according to the National Association of Manufacturers. 
    • Optimism among middle market businesses hit a record high of 136.7 in 2018. 
       
  9. Employers large and small have responded to tax reform by raising pay, creating new jobs, increasing employee benefits, and expanding operations. 
    • Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a list of powerful stories of business owners explaining how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has helped them grow their businesses and help their employees.
    • Click here for ATR’s list of over 800 in-their-own-words examples of how the Republican tax cuts have helped businesses large and small.
       
  10. Utility companies in all 50 states are passing on the tax savings in the form of lower rates for customers:
    • This means lower electric bills, lower gas bills, and lower water bills for Americans than if the corporate rate cut had not occurred.

 

[Click here for a PDF of this list]

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Pages

×