July 6th, 2018

Last December, Nancy Pelosi declared that The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would be “Armageddon” — the end of the world. She said, in all seriousness, that the act was “the worst bill in the history of the United States of America.”

Many more insightful people might list the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 or Jim Crow laws as “the worst” in U.S. history. So, it’s telling that Pelosi, and her Democrat colleagues, reserve this kind of contempt for a bill that increased the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2000 (and made it refundable for lower-income families), doubled the standard deduction, lowered business taxes by 40 percent, gave death-tax relief to family farmers, and has resulted in bigger paychecks and bonuses for millions across the country.

Here in the Valley, Thermo Fischer Scientific in Middletown was among those companies that provided bonuses ($500) for their employees. Walmart employees at 138 stores across Virginia received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children now will receive $5,000 to help cover expenses in addition to the adoption tax credit in the tax bill!

Home Depot and Lowe’s also provided bonuses up to $1,000. McDonald’s, with 430 Virginia locations, increased tuition investments for employees of $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, and $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers. Eligibility will be for those who have worked 90 days instead of nine months.

Wells Fargo, with 264 locations in Virginia, raised base wages from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour for a $60 per week raise. Starbucks provided $500 stock grants to employees. Fed-Ex increased employee compensation and pension contributions, and U-Haul provided $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 bonuses for part-time employees.

All of this and much more means The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is making our economy boom and improving the lives and opportunities of hard-working taxpayers. Six months after this historic legislation was signed into law by President Trump, here are the stats:

Bigger Paychecks — Wages are growing at their fastest pace since 2008. Also, already more than 4 million American workers have received bonuses.

Faster Economic Growth — Tax reform is boosting our economy faster than previous forecasts predicted. In fact, many forecasts are now expecting growth at or above 4 percent for the second quarter of this year.

More Jobs — More than 1 million jobs have been created already this year. We are adding jobs more quickly than previous forecasts predicted — instead of adding 166,000 jobs per month like the Blue Chip forecasters projected, the economy has actually added 207,000 jobs per month.

More Investment — The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office made a major upward revision in its investment forecast after tax reform was signed into law, and actual business investment since tax reform beat even this increased forecast — registering growth of 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Low Unemployment — Current unemployment is at 4 percent. The number of employed Americans, 155 million, set its tenth record in the past year and a half. In June, Hispanic unemployment at 4.6 percent, has never been lower, with a record 27 million in the workforce. And as the New York Times recently reported, “The jobless rates for Hispanics, teenagers, and those with less than a high-school education are likewise at or near multidecade lows.”

Main Street is Roaring — In May, small-usiness optimism hit its highest level in 45 years. In addition, small businesses are reporting higher wages for their workers, increased profits, and more plans for expansion.

Manufacturing Optimism — In June, a National Association of Manufacturers study found that 95.1 percent of manufacturers have a positive outlook for their companies — an all-time record in the survey’s 20 year history — following enactment of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Booming Housing Market — Home prices are rising — debunking the doomsday predictions last December from some that home prices would fall due to tax reform.

This is only the start of even more good things to come. We are continuing our work to build on this momentum to keep our economy moving forward, while Democrats are proposing to take all this progress away and instead impose a trillion-dollar tax increase on American families and businesses by increasing taxes on businesses once again with a 40 percent increase and adding taxes on our farmers and small businesses, and erasing the tax relief for families and thus, reversing the booming economy.

As your Congresswoman, I will continue to find more ways to lower your taxes and keep more of your hard-earned money with you and your family, grow our economy, and create more jobs and opportunity so all can live the American Dream and invest in and give back to their communities the way so many have always done in the Valley.

Barbara Comstock represents the 10th District, including the Northern Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock