OPINION: LaHood: Tax Relief: Promises made, promises kept
“The impossible became the inevitable.”
Ronald Reagan made this statement at the 1985 tax bill signing ceremony. While a monumental moment, it was over 30 years ago. The world has changed, and America’s economy needs to be revitalized.
Too many individuals are living paycheck to paycheck and not saving enough for retirement. Newly-married couples are putting off buying a home. Parents are struggling to send their kids to college and worry that they will not end up better off than they were. We live in the greatest country in the world, but need to change our economic policy to help the middle class and get the economy thriving again.
This is why Republicans are following through on our promise to change the status quo. We need a tax code that allows low- and middle-class individuals and families to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, as well as incentivizes businesses of all sizes to stay in the U.S. and hire more workers.
My colleagues and I delivered on a transparent, regular-order process to reform our broken tax code, making it simpler and fairer. After multiple blueprints, legislative drafts and committee hearings, the House and Senate worked diligently to negotiate differences and produce the final bill.
Our tax bill doubles both the standard deduction and the child tax credit for families, preserves the child and dependent care tax credit, and maintains the adoption tax credit. It preserves the mortgage interest deduction, provides relief for medical expenses, and retains popular retirement saving mechanisms like 401Ks. For the single parent of one child earning $41,000, those savings would be more than $1,300. For a family of four making the median income of $73,000, the savings would be $2,059.
Our bill also puts small-, medium- and large-sized businesses on a level playing field when competing around the globe. That is why Caterpillar, State Farm, John Deere, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and every other major employer in our district and the surrounding area is in full support of our tax bill.
Lastly, and importantly for the 18th Congressional District, our bill maintains the Historic Tax Credit, tax-exempt status of Private Activity Bonds, the teacher deduction for school supplies, student deductions for higher-education costs, and keeps university employees’ tuition benefits tax-free.
We’ve all seen the news reports that the stock market is rising. But we need to ensure that this boom is felt not only on Wall Street, but also on Main Street. Tax reform is not the silver bullet to all problems, but getting our economy healthy again will make it easier for middle-class Americans who work hard and play by the rules to succeed. This bill achieves those goals.
– Darin LaHood represents represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional District.