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Adrian Daily Telegram: Tax cuts and bigger paychecks ahead for the New Year

December 31, 2017
Opinion Editorial

Here’s some good news for the New Year: Tax cuts and bigger paychecks are on the way.

Congress recently sent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most sweeping overhaul of our tax code since the 1980s, to President Trump’s desk. The historic law provides a meaningful tax cut to individuals and families at every income level and creates faster economic growth. Under the plan, the typical middle-income family of four will receive a tax cut of more than $2,000. That’s real relief for families in Michigan who are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to pay their monthly bills.

Our plan doubles the standard deduction — from $6,500 to $13,000 for individuals and from $12,000 to $24,000 for married couples — allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned money. The law expands the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 to help moms and dads with the cost of raising their kids. It strengthens savings accounts for education to help families put away money for elementary, secondary and higher education. In addition, it preserves important provisions like the mortgage interest deduction, the Adoption Tax Credit, and deductions for charitable contributions, tuition and student loans and medical expenses.

To reignite America’s full economic potential, our plan reduces the tax burden on Main Street businesses, empowering them to grow, compete and create more jobs with better pay. Faced with the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, we’ve seen too many American jobs leave our shores for nations with more competitive tax systems. Our plan changes that and makes America a better place to do business, encouraging expansion and job growth here at home instead of overseas.

Already, the positive benefits of tax reform are starting to resonate across the country in the form of bonuses for workers, higher take-home pay and new investments. In response to passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Fifth Third Bank and Wells Fargo both immediately announced they are increasing their minimum wage to $15 an hour. AT&T said 200,000 employees will receive a $1,000 bonus and it will invest an additional $1 billion in the United States. Comcast is giving out $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 employees, in addition to making a $50 billion capital investment in infrastructure. Meanwhile, Boeing pledged $300 million for workforce development. It is just the beginning.

During the tax reform debate, defenders of our broken tax code trotted out every recycled talking point in the book. They used scare tactics and spread misinformation to protect the status quo that has held our people and economy back for too long. The truth is they believe Washington knows how to spend your money better than you do. I disagree: You worked hard and deserve to keep more of what you earn, and that’s what our plan delivers.

After three decades, historic tax relief is finally here, and more promising days are ahead in the New Year.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg represents Michigan’s 7th Congressional District and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee. More about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is online at This op-ed originally appeared in the December 31 edition of the Adrian Daily Telegram.