Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy saw record-breaking growth.
In 2018 and 2019 we saw wages, our unemployment rate, and revenues hit record-breaking levels. This record growth came after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), legislation that reduced taxes and incentivized investment in our economy.
Following 2020, a year that was incredibly challenging for businesses and workers, it is important for us to focus on how we can return to the economic conditions we saw prior to the pandemic, which has kept much of our economy closed down.
Recently, President Biden has announced his plan to raise taxes on Americans, seemingly forgetting the record-breaking economy we saw before the pandemic after Congress cut taxes in 2017.
Early estimates show that policies within the President’s “American Jobs Plan,” include reversing many key provisions in the TCJA by increasing capital gains taxes, income taxes, and the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, which could actually cost our country thousands, if not millions, of jobs.
It’s important to remind Americans that after passing the TCJA we not only saw economic success, but incredible growth for hard-working Americans and businesses.
In the immediate aftermath of passing the 2017 tax cuts, our unemployment levels hit a historic 50-year low, we saw record growth in wages, and millions of jobs were created across the country. Americans in low-income households became wealthier, and wages rose especially for women and minorities.
What we accomplished after TCJA can become a reality again, but only if the government chooses to keep policies — like TCJA — that will help boost workers’ wages and implement policies that will help more people return to the workforce.
I have been working in Congress to ensure we can get our economy, and labor force, back on track without the need to raise taxes. I recently joined my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee in introducing the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2021, legislation that will help local businesses rebuild their workforce quickly by turning enhanced unemployment benefits into a back-to-work bonus that will provide a bump to workers and help accelerate our economic recovery.
As communities begin to re-open, this bill will help incentivize individuals to return to work, resulting in reduced unemployment, a stronger labor force, and more businesses open to produce for the economy.
Unfortunately, President Biden’s “American Jobs Plan,” a $2 trillion spending bill would not incentivize returning to work and would reverse us back to the stagnant wages and slow economic growth we saw prior to 2017. The tax increases being proposed on businesses will ultimately harm workers, result in jobs lost, and could even cause an increase in the price of everyday goods and services.
When we lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, we brought critical new investments to the U.S., and finally put our country on a competitive playing field compared to the rest of the world. Most importantly, as a result of the lowered corporate tax rate, companies were able to create more jobs and pay their workers more.
There are plenty of common-sense proposals from Congress on the table to get Americans back into the workforce and to help our businesses recover. The “American Jobs Plan” is not one of those proposals.
It is a costly proposal without garnering any bipartisan support that will ultimately hurt, not help, our economy and our workforce. Raising taxes on Americans is never a good idea, especially in the immediate aftermath of a pandemic.
I will continue to advocate for policies that protect the 2017 tax cuts and re-create the economic growth we saw prior to 2020.
Editor’s Note: Rep. David Schweikert is the elected U.S. Representative serving Arizona’s 6th congressional district.