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Tax reform has provided a ripe opportunity for American workers

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Washington, May 25, 2018 | comments

Since President Trump took office, our economy has been strong – low unemployment, the lowest African American unemployment since the statistic has been kept by the Department of Labor, high consumer confidence, and record setting stock market gains.  Since February 2017, 2.28 million jobs have been added to the economy.

Now, America can add wage growth to this impressive list. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law, wage growth had been essentially stagnant since the end of the 2008 financial crisis and plagued the American worker.

Since the TCJA was signed into law in late December, wages have been growing. In January, the Labor Department reported that wages rose by 2.9 percent, the largest increase since the financial crisi

The new tax law created by the TCJA is expected to create 10,000 jobs in my home state of Georgia alone. Across the nation, the Tax Foundation estimates that the TCJA will create approximately 350,000 jobs.

With unemployment already low, this creates a demand for the American worker, leading companies to boost wages, enhance benefits, and simply be more attractive for potential employees to gain the workforce needed to serve more Americans that now have more buying power from tax cuts.

Some may say that this demand for employees strains businesses to find a workforce. However, this presents another opportunity – transitioning individuals from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), unemployment insurance, and other government programs, into our nation’s workforce. 

I understand that these are important programs to help people in need, but these government safety nets also comprise untapped potential in our American workforce that companies need. Low unemployment, plus job creation through the TCJA, presents a ripe opportunity to give these Americans steady jobs, more buying power, and a decrease in their reliance on the government, in turn, decreasing government spending.

All of this works in tandem with the Treasury Department’s announcement that the withholding tables will be changed for 2018 to reflect lower taxes due to the TCJA.  As you may know, the U.S. uses a ‘pay as you go’ tax system.  Taxpayers lend money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in each paycheck they receive that they then account for when tax payers file at the end of the year. 

It is estimated that a single tax filer, with no kids, will see a $450 boost in his or her annual pay because of the TCJA and the altered withholding tables. A joint filer with two kids would receive $1,350 boost in annual pay.  Those extra funds are not crumbs, but instead help people to save for education, retirement, a vacation, care for loved ones, Christmas presents and more.

The TCJA presents a ripe opportunity for the American worker. An opportunity that the Obama administration could never quite attain. 

With the TCJA and the Trump Administration we are seeing the beginnings of wage growth with the altered withholding tables and over 450 companies announcing bonuses or wage increases for their employees. 

This is only the beginning of what we will do with a simplified, fair tax code and an administration that focuses on the well-being of our national economy.    

Rep. Buddy Carter represents the 1st District of Georgia in the United States House of Representatives. Carter is the only pharmacist in Congress.

The Hill

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