Daily Mail Op-Ed by Senator Capito: Doing what’s best for West Virginia

Something big happened in Washington last week. After years of hearings and discussions and months of working through an open and transparent process, Congress passed comprehensive pro-growth tax reform legislation—delivering on a promise that will have enormous benefits for our country.

Getting tax reform across the finish line has been one of my top priorities, and it’s a historic and substantial victory for West Virginians and for Americans across the nation.

The agreement passed last week will provide critical tax relief and create new economic opportunities for workers and small businesses. And it does that by lowering taxes across the board and making our tax code simpler, fairer and more competitive.

The new tax law will reduce individual tax rates so middle-income Americans can keep more of the money they work so hard to earn. It significantly increases the child tax credit—doubling it from $1,000 to $2,000— and allows more families to benefit from it. It also nearly doubles the standard deduction, which is already used by 83 percent of West Virginians.

All of these changes mean that West Virginia families—not Washington—will decide how to spend the money they make. Whether that’s taking care of household costs, taking care of an unexpected expense or saving for the future, the choice will be theirs.

What does that mean in actual dollars? Take, for example, a married couple earing $55,000 per year with two kids. Under the new law, that family will go from owing roughly $800 in federal income taxes to owing nothing. We’re talking about making a real, tangible difference in the lives of West Virginians.

But that’s just the beginning.

The new tax law will also help small businesses succeed and make sure American companies remain competitive globally. As it does for individuals, the law lowers tax rates for businesses of all sizes.

It also includes a tax deduction for small business owners that will help free up resources they could use to grow their companies. That’s an especially important change in West Virginia where 95 percent of our businesses are small businesses. These companies are truly the backbone of our local economy, and they employ half of our private-sector workforce.

When it comes to larger businesses, in addition to lowering the corporate tax rate, the new law modernizes our international tax system. That means it will make it easier for businesses to bring home money they earn overseas and encourage them to invest more here at home.

These reforms are all significant on their own, but it’s their combined effect that makes the new law a truly significant achievement. Because of these changes, West Virginians and so many others are going to see higher wages, more jobs and new opportunities to get ahead. That’s not a talking point.

It’s something I’ve heard time and time again from West Virginia small business owners, from constituents who are tired of a struggling economy and stagnant wages, and from groups representing a wide variety of industries that are critical to our state.

Of course, there has also been a lot of misleading rhetoric from critics and political theatrics from naysayers who never really planned to support this effort. But I’m confident that next year—when workers see larger paychecks and communities feel the benefits of greater economic growth—it will be clear that this legislation is exactly the kind of big and bold solution our country needs and West Virginians deserve.

Make no mistake: This is an important moment for our nation. Throughout this process, I promised to do what’s best for West Virginia families, workers and small businesses; and I believe that this legislation is absolutely what’s best for our state.

Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail (Daily Mail Opinion Page)