U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, today highlighted the ways tax reform is benefitting American workers and families. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in December 2017, more than 400 companies have announced ways they were passing on the benefits of tax reform to Americans, from wage increases to increased retirement benefits to reduced utility rates.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery) below:
“Mr. President, the steady stream of good news for American workers continues.
“Just take a look at the headlines:
“‘Craft brewers putting tax savings toward expansions and new jobs’
“‘Grocery chain investing in employees and brand after tax reform’
“‘Quad/Graphics to give $22 million in stock to employees’
“‘Entergy Arkansas files plan to pass corporate tax cuts to customers’
“‘Taco John’s International, Inc. Shares Tax Reform Benefits With Employees and Surrounding Communities’
“‘Largest Health Insurer in New Jersey Says It Will Use Tax Refunds For Members’
“‘Tax reform payday: Kid's clothing giant Carter's giving bonuses, boosting retirement funds’
“‘Tax reform positive for farmers, ranchers’
“‘Express Scripts giving employee bonuses averaging $1,200 following impact from tax law’
“‘Franklin Savings Bank to Give Employees $1,000 Bonus; Cites New Tax Reform”
“‘Sprouts plans to invest tax reform savings in employee programs’
“‘First Horizon announces minimum pay level increase’
“‘NC Blue Cross: Tax cut will hold down rate increases, workers to get $1,000 bonuses’
“‘Hormel to give employees stock shares, increase wages’
“Mr. President, I could keep reading.
“Those are just some of the headlines from the past two weeks highlighting the ways tax reform is benefiting American workers.
“Businesses large and small are seeing the benefits of tax reform – and they’re passing them on.
“More than 400 companies – and counting – have announced good news for American workers, from wage increases to increased retirement benefits.
“Utility companies in at least 39 states are passing tax savings on to consumers.
“CNBC reports that small-business confidence has hit a record high in 2018, driven by small business owners’ optimism about the new tax law.
“In other words, tax reform is working exactly the way it’s supposed to.
“It’s putting more money in Americans’ pockets, and giving them access to new jobs, higher wages, and increased opportunity.
“I don’t need to tell anyone that Americans had a tough time during the last administration, or that our economy had stagnated.
“And a chief priority of the Republican majority this Congress has been turning things around for American families.
“That’s why we took up tax reform.
“The tax code might not be the first thing people think of when they think of economic prosperity, but it actually plays a key role in determining the success of individual families and of our economy as a whole.
“The more money the federal government takes from you in taxes, the less money you have to save or pay bills or buy a house or repair your car.
“And the more money a business has to give to the federal government, the less money it has to grow the business and invest in its workers.
“And if businesses are struggling to grow and succeed, that’s a big problem for American workers.
“In order for American workers to thrive, American businesses have to thrive.
“It’s pretty hard for a small business to hire a new worker or raise wages if the owner can barely pay the tax bill.
“It’s unlikely that an American company is going to have a lot of spare cash for investing in its workforce if it’s struggling to compete with foreign companies paying far less in taxes.
“And it’s unlikely that America’s global companies are going to focus on reinvesting in the United States if they face a tax penalty for bringing foreign earnings back home.
“And so when it came time to draft a tax reform bill, Republicans knew the bill had to do two things:
“It had to lower the tax burden on American families and put more money in Americans’ pockets, right away.
“And it had to create the kind of economy that would give American families access to security and prosperity for the long term.
“To achieve the first goal, we lowered tax rates across the board for American families.
“We nearly doubled the standard deduction.
“And we doubled the child tax credit.
“And to meet that second goal, we lowered our nation’s massive corporate tax rate, which up until January 1 was the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.
“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.
“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.
“And it’s working.
“In less than three months, we’ve seen lower tax burdens for American families.
“Increased investment in the U.S. economy.
“Better employee benefits.
“And other kinds of benefits, like lower utility bills.
“And all that means more money in Americans’ pockets.
“More money to put toward a child’s education.
“More money to save for a house or a car.
“More money to save for retirement.
“Mr. President, tax reform is accomplishing our goal of making life better for American families.
“And the benefits have just begun.”