Indy Star Op Ed by Rep. Messer: Tax cuts will fuel growth in jobs, wages

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Washington, September 18, 2017 | comments

The following Op Ed ran in the Indianapolis Star on Sept. 18, 2017.

President Trump is right. American workers need a raise.

As I travel around our state talking with Hoosiers, I hear the same concern. Folks are worried about their paychecks, and they feel that way for good reason. According to U.S. Census data when adjusted for inflation, median household income has barely budged over the last decade, increasing by a mere 2 percent.

The bottom line is wages have flat-lined while the cost of living continues to go up. Too many hardworking Hoosiers feel like they’re on a treadmill, working harder and harder but getting nowhere. It’s more expensive than ever to pay the bills, go to the doctor and send our kids to college, but wages have not kept pace.

To change this trajectory, we’ve got to jump start our economy, and spur the kind of job and wage growth we haven’t seen in decades. Cutting taxes is a good place to start. President Trump has proposed a tax plan that will help create jobs and increase wages. Helping him pass it is one of my top priorities.

 

It’s easy for discussions about our tax code to become overly technical, because our tax code is overly complicated. Over the past 20 years, Washington insiders have changed the tax code more than 5,000 times, creating deductions for the elite and tax credits for illegal immigrants, yet somehow forgetting about the American worker.

Americans need a tax cut and a tax code that is simpler, fairer and easier to understand. We should cut the individual tax rate, get rid of loopholes that primarily benefit special interest, finally eliminate the marriage penalty, and increase the Child Tax Credit. Hoosiers know how to use their money better than the government and the Trump tax plan will let them keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. 

Equally as important is addressing the burden placed on business. We tax our job creators more than any other country in the developed world. Our backwards tax policies encourage companies to take their headquarters offshore and push jobs overseas. By cutting taxes for job creators, we can encourage them to grow and hire here at home, strengthening the communities where they operate.

What’s more, companies are not only moving jobs overseas, they’re keeping profits there too. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Fortune 500 corporations are holding more than $2.6 trillion in profits offshore. It’s time to bring that money back so it can be invested in our economy and workforce.

President Trump’s tax plan delivers the lowest tax rates in modern history for American job creators of all sizes. It’s time to renew the confidence of the American worker and prove the American Promise is alive. America is still the greatest place in the world to get a job, start a company, or invent a new product. We need a tax code to reflect and encourage those opportunities.

Together, these tax cuts and common-sense reforms have the potential to launch our country into a new era of economic growth far from the sluggish status quo we’re experiencing now. But it won’t be easy, and we need everyone to come together in a bipartisan way to make these reforms a reality.

When President Reagan cut taxes in 1981, the economy created 11.7 million new jobs over five years.  That’s the kind of growth that will revive the American workforce, and give Hoosier workers the pay raise they deserve.

Messer, who represents Indiana's 6th congressional district, is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

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