Tax cuts could boost GOP

Published 9:02 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

For Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration, it’s been a summer of discontent.

The failure to pass legislation to fix the country’s health care system has been followed by countless other distractions.

If this disarray continues, Democrats will take back the House of Representatives next year, with Nancy Pelosi again holding the Speaker’s gavel. Current polls give Democrats a nine point advantage in a generic 2018 House race.

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Is there anything Congressional Republicans and the Administration can do to regain their momentum and save their majority?

Yes. Unite behind tax cuts for hardworking taxpayers.

Tax cuts can bring together the warring factions of the Republican Party. They are not divisive like other proposed legislation. And they are supported by 61percent of Americans, according to the most recent Gallup polling. Supporting a significant tax cut and getting on message about how it could bring relief to American families and small businesses could keep the House in GOP hands.

Tax cuts are even better policy than politics. A significant tax cut would be an immediate paycheck booster for families struggling with inflated health care, education, and housing costs.

Tax cuts for hardworking taxpayers are the most direct and immediate way to address decades of stagnating median wages.

According to a recent nationwide poll of small business owners conducted by the Job Creators Network, most respondents would reinvest their tax cut savings into their businesses in the form of wage hikes, new jobs, or expansion. This suggests a tax cut would be a wage hike twofer — first boosting wages directly at the paycheck level and then again when businesses offer raises.

More money in Americans’ pockets would be a major economic growth stimulus. This would help the country get back to its historic three percent annual economic growth, which could offset the fiscal cost of the tax cut. The economic growth would be especially pronounced if tax cuts were made retroactive to the start of 2017.

Tax cuts would also mean more money staying in local communities and less getting shipped off to Washington to be spent on the priorities of the federal workforce. This would help Main Streets across the country that have been passed over by the economic recovery.

Small business and middle class tax cuts are long overdue. There hasn’t been a significant cut since the Reagan Administration. The Reagan tax cuts set the stage for decades of strong wage and economic growth that lifted up everyone. The kicker: Reagan’s tax cuts actually increased tax revenue by 25 percent (adjusted for inflation) over his tenure because of the income growth they generated.

This history lesson should be shared with deficit hawks skeptical of tax cuts’ impact on the budget. Deficit scolds should also be reminded that Nancy Pelosi’s agenda is ultimately the worst outlook for the country’s fiscal health.

Some Republicans want to pursue broader tax reform that also addresses the many distortions and loopholes in the 75,000 page tax code. This is a worthy goal. But it is too complicated.

Republicans need a victory now. And tax cuts are the simplest message with the biggest payoff.

By uniting behind tax cuts, Republicans and hardworking taxpayers can have a tax bill to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. By then, summer will be a distant memory.


Bob Kessler is the president of Kessler Sign Company, a regional business based in Zanesville.