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Op-Ed - Helping Kentucky Families

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November 21, 2017

Op-Ed

By U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

For the last decade, many Kentucky families have been left behind by the Obama economy.It seemed like only the wealthy or the well-connected were able to succeed, leaving the rest behind to struggle through the slowest economic recovery following a major recession since the Great Depression. With stagnating paychecks, vanishing opportunities, and work difficult to find, the pain for far too many Kentucky families has been all too real.

This Republican-led Congress believes that Americans deserve better. And that’s what we’re working to deliver. Tax reform is the single most important thing we can do right now to get the economy moving again to support the middle class.

Working with President Trump and his team, we want to fundamentally rethink the complex and outdated federal tax code. This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape our tax system to make it actually work for middle-class families and small businesses.

The House, the Senate and President Trump are united on these goals. They’re also the same goals of Americans calling out for relief.

For families, we want to make your taxes lower, simpler, and fairer. Middle-class families are the main focus in our tax reform efforts. We want to promote fairness by closing loopholes that only the wealthy know how to exploit, while also protecting incentives for the middle class.

Under the Senate proposal, families in the middle tax brackets will receive the largest proportional tax cut. One study estimates that a typical family of four making the median family income could see a tax cut of nearly $2,200. That’s money that you can put toward making a car payment, paying for college, or saving for retirement. The Senate’s plan also doubles the child tax credit, preserves the adoption tax credit for Kentucky families looking to open their homes to children in need, and it roughly doubles the standard deduction to reduce how much of your income is taxed in the first place.

For small businesses, we want to make it easier to grow, invest, and hire. It’s time to help our job creators be more competitive in an increasingly competitive global market. By eliminating incentives for companies to ship investments and jobs overseas, we can help spur job growth here in Kentucky.

A different study estimates that under the Senate’s plan, Kentucky could add more than 12,000 new jobs. That’s great news for men and women across the Commonwealth looking for work and opportunity.

In addition to these important provisions, the Senate’s bill will also repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate tax. By repealing this burdensome tax, we can provide even more tax relief to low- and middle-income families. The goal is to repeal an unpopular tax from an unworkable law to deliver relief to those who need it the most.

The bottom line is this: we want to take more money out of Washington’s pocket, and put more money back in yours. This is our plan to unleash the potential of our economy, to create jobs and keep them here.

Both the House and the Senate are working at full-steam to pass tax reform. The House recently passed its tax-reform bill, and the Senate Finance Committee recently passed its proposal after more than 70 hearings, and an open committee process where hundreds of amendments were filed. As the Senate considers the bill on the floor after Thanksgiving, we will continue that open process. We are working together to pass a bill so President Trump can sign it into law – and you can begin to see relief.

Reforming our outdated tax code shouldn’t be a partisan issue. In fact, many prominent Washington Democrats used to support many of the underlying ideas in our bill, including middle-class relief and preventing jobs from being shipped overseas. That all seemed to change after the last election.

Since President Trump entered the White House, Democrats in Washington have become a party bent on opposition. Now, they seem to even oppose tax relief for hardworking families. I hope they put their obstruction aside and choose to work with us to deliver real reform for the American middle class.

You deserve better. In the coming weeks, we will keep working to deliver much-needed relief to help lift the burden that middle-class families in Kentucky have carried for far too long.

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Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican, is Kentucky’s senior Senator and the United States Senate Majority Leader.

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