U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee and a key voice during the tax reform debate, today discussed the many ways in which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already working for the American worker. By replacing the United States’ outdated “worldwide” system with a modernized territorial tax system, American businesses are no longer operating at a disadvantage next to their foreign competitors and have been increasing investments in the U.S. economy, hiring new workers, and increasing wages and benefits for their employees.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, when we set out to do tax reform, we had two big goals we wanted to achieve for the American people.
“First, we wanted to provide them with immediate relief on their tax bills, which we did by lowering tax rates across the board, doubling the child tax credit, and nearly doubling the standard deduction.
“Thanks to lower rates and the new withholding tables, Americans across the nation will start seeing bigger paychecks this month.
“But our objective went beyond tax cuts, as important as that relief is to the American people.
“We wanted to create an economy that would produce the jobs and opportunities that would provide Americans with security and prosperity for the long term.
“Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, our tax code wasn’t helping to create that kind of economy.
“In fact, it was working against it.
“Businesses large and small were weighed down by high tax rates and growth-killing tax provisions, and all of the regulatory and compliance burdens that came along with them.
“And our outdated international tax rules left America’s global businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy.
“That had real consequences for American workers.
“A small business owner struggling to afford the annual tax bill for her business was highly unlikely to be able to hire a new worker or raise wages.
“A larger business struggling to stay competitive in the global marketplace while paying substantially higher tax rates than its foreign competitors too often had limited funds to expand or increase investment in the United States.
“And so when it came time for tax reform, we set out to reform the business side of the tax code to benefit American workers.
“We knew that for American workers to have access to good jobs and opportunities, the American economy has to thrive.
“And that means American businesses have to thrive.
“And so we took action to lessen the challenges facing American businesses.
“We lowered tax rates across the board for owners of small and medium-sized businesses, farms, and ranches.
“We expanded business owners’ ability to recover investments they make in their businesses, which will free up cash that they can reinvest in their operations and their workers.
“We lowered our nation’s massive corporate tax rate, which up until January 1 was the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.
“And we brought the U.S. international tax system into the 21st century by replacing our outdated ‘worldwide’ system with a modernized territorial tax system, so that American businesses are not operating at a disadvantage next to their foreign competitors.
“The goal in all this was to free up businesses to increase investments in the U.S. economy, hire new workers, and increase wages and benefits.
“And I’m happy to report that that’s exactly what they’re doing.
“Even though tax reform has been the law of the land for less than two months, businesses are already announcing new investment, new jobs, better wages, and better benefits for workers.
“Tech giant Apple announced that thanks to tax reform, it will bring home almost $250 billion in cash it has been keeping overseas and invest in the United States.
“It also announced that it will create 20,000 new jobs.
“Fiat Chrysler announced that it will be adding 2,500 jobs at a Michigan factory to produce pickups that it has been making in Mexico.
“Nexus Services is hiring 200 more workers.
“JP Morgan Chase is adding 4,000 new jobs and opening 400 new branches.
“Boeing is investing an additional $100 million in infrastructure and facilities and an additional $100 million in workforce development.
“Regions Financial Corporation is investing an additional $100 million in capital expenditures.
“FedEx is investing $1.5 billion to expand its FedEx Express hub in Indianapolis.
“Exxon Mobil is investing an additional $35 billion in the U.S. economy over the next five years.
“And on and on.
“And we’re starting to see similar results from smaller companies, too.
“For example, Jones Auto and Towing in Riverview, Florida, is putting two new tow trucks into service, which means new jobs for local workers.
“Then there are all the companies boosting their base wage:
“Bank of Hawaii.
“Charter Communications, Inc.
“Berkshire Hills Bancorp.
“Rod’s Harvest Foods in St. Ignatius, Montana.
“Great Western Bancorp in my home state of South Dakota.
“Webster Financial Corporation.
“And the list keeps going.
“Then there are the companies increasing their 401(k) matches.
“Creating or expanding parental leave benefits.
“Improving health benefits.
“Mr. President, tax reform is already working for American workers.
“And as the benefits of tax reform accrue, we can expect more jobs, more benefits, higher wages, and more opportunities for American workers in the future.”