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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Ensuring Lasting Benefits from Tax Reform

October 15, 2018
Weekly Columns

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, the country has undoubtedly been better off as a result. Wages are steadily on the rise, unemployment has reached its lowest level in nearly 50 years, jobs are being created and the economy is booming. Since this historic tax relief and reform effort was enacted earlier this year, the benefits have not slowed or diminished. Certainly, the lasting impact continues to be felt by individuals, families, small businesses, entrepreneurs and indeed, by all Americans. 

Using facts and figures to put reality into perspective, multiple accounts and reports showcase the positive results of tax reform across the nation, in our state and specifically, in the Fourth District of Oklahoma. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Oklahoma’s full-time workforce has expanded by 2,433 workers since tax reform was enacted, and over 10 years, that figure is expected to grow to approximately 13,758 new jobs. Also due to tax reform, the Heritage Foundation recently projected that take-home pay will increase by $16,654 in Fourth District households over the next 10 years.

Without question, tax reform is working. And to ensure hardworking Americans can continue to enjoy the benefits, the U.S. House of Representatives recently advanced legislation to build on and permanently keep in place some of the provisions. Through passage of three bills known jointly as Tax Reform 2.0, House Republicans voted at the end of September to ensure hardworking Americans can continue to enjoy the benefits of a fairer, simpler tax code.

Rightly so, Tax Reform 2.0 revisited the terms of the tax relief provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As the law currently stands, some provisions are eventually set to expire in several years—specifically, the lower tax rates now enjoyed by individuals and families across all income levels. Legislation recently passed by the House addresses this issue and appropriately makes tax cuts permanent for individuals, ensuring Americans get to keep more of their hard-earned money and can save more for the future. Similarly, the legislation promotes and supports long-lasting financial security for hardworking Americans by encouraging earlier and active savings for retirement, education, emergencies and other life events.    

Because of tax reform, small businesses and the communities they serve are also better off. The set of bills rightly preserves tax relief for individuals and families, but the legislation passed in the House also empowers small businesses and encourages would-be entrepreneurs. According to the findings of a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, optimism amongst small business owners is at its highest level in recorded history. Due to much-needed tax relief, job creators on Main Street have been able to expand and invest more in their employees. In addition to making tax relief permanent for small businesses, Tax Reform 2.0 lessens some of the barriers to entry in the market – like startup costs – and encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Through passage of the bills associated with Tax Reform 2.0, I am pleased that lawmakers in the House voted in support of certainty and lasting benefits for hardworking Americans, families, small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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