Guest column/Tax cuts offer a way to invest in American Dream
House Republicans promised we would send tax reform legislation to President Trump’s desk for his signature in 2017. We delivered.
Despite what you may have heard from the mainstream media, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will benefit all Americans and their families. For the first time since 1986 — more than 30 years — real tax relief and reform is being delivered to you, the American people. Many have asked me, “What does this legislation mean to my family and me?” Here’s my answer — this legislation means: Higher wages, lower taxes; bigger take-home paychecks starting in February, job growth, a simpler and fairer tax system and a stronger economy all across our nation. There are real, tangible benefits for the hardworking men and women of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, and it’s one of the most important pieces of legislation that Congress has passed in decades.
Why did I support the Tax Cut and Jobs Act? It’s simple — I believe you know how to spend your money better than Washington elites and bureaucrats do. So, we’re giving your money back to you. One reason so many Big Government politicians, bureaucrats and elites are upset about this tax reform legislation is that too many in Washington view it as their money.
Reducing taxes at all levels of income will stimulate the economy, both from the top down (allowing more investment in business and job creation) and from the bottom up (giving hardworking Americans more choices, more opportunities and more purchasing power.) It’s a return to the same simple private sector, free enterprise, market driven philosophy that has built the greatest nation on the planet.
Would you like to file your federal taxes on a single page? Now, most Americans will be able to do just that.
In Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, nearly 85 percent of families take the standard deduction. But, the new law nearly doubles the standard deduction, raising it to $24,000 for married couples and $13,000 for individual filers. That means more of your money is tax free. And, families will see their Child Tax Credit doubled to $2,000 per child — providing extra money for food, diapers, a car repair and other unexpected expenses that pop up. If you have expensive medical bills, the new tax law expands your medical deduction if your doctor bills exceed 7.5 percent of your income.
Additionally, important deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable donations, 401(k) contributions and property, state, local or sales tax remain. It’s important to note that investments in education will also be protected. I heard from many of you regarding this issue and how vital it is. Student loan interest will continue to be deductible. Tax-free stipends for graduate students and tuition waivers will be maintained, and families will now be able to use up to $10,000 from 529 college savings accounts on primary and secondary education.
Equally important, our tax reform legislation repealed Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate. Across America, nearly 80 percent of the households that paid this tax last year had incomes less than $50,000. You might have been one of them. Well, no more, because this onerous individual mandate is gone. Plus, the tax burden in every individual tax bracket has been reduced. Everyone who pays taxes will be keeping more of their money.
For our job creators, small businesses will be offered a first 20 percent tax deduction to all S corps, partnerships, LLCs and sole proprietorships. Where the old tax code punished their success, the new tax code will reward their success, and they’ll be encouraged to expand and grow. Additionally, some American corporations left our shores during the last two decades because our old corporate tax rate of 35 percent — the highest in the industrialized world — made them non-competitive in the global economy. The new corporate tax rate of 21 percent that’s effective immediately makes America competitive again — and we are open for business. Poorly conceived Washington policies of the past cost American jobs — but not any more.
Tax reform was one of the main reasons why I decided to run for Congress in 2010, and this is something I’ve been working for ever since. It’s a new dawn in America, because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will empower individuals, families and businesses to invest and succeed in the American Dream.
(Johnson, R-Marietta, represents Ohio’s 6th Congressional District.)