As West Virginia families travel home to gather together for Thanksgiving – whether just down the street or from across the country – I can’t help but think about all of the gifts and opportunities we have to be thankful for.
Our state has had a rough go of it during the past eight years, and we’ve all felt the effects of a struggling economy, overregulation and fewer opportunities to get ahead. But things are turning around in West Virginia.
This year, we’ve enjoyed consistent economic growth, unemployment is down, and we’re seeing significant new investments in our workers and our resources. All of these developments make me thankful – and proud to be a West Virginian. They also make me even more eager to build on this momentum and seize other opportunities to move our state forward.
That’s why I have been working with my Senate colleagues to pass comprehensive tax reform.
For the first time in decades, we have an opportunity to take our complicated and outdated tax code and make it simple, fair, and more competitive.
The plan being considered in the Senate will provide relief for working families, help businesses of all sizes grow and expand, and spark the kind of growth that can truly transform our economy.
These are the principles that have guided me throughout this entire process. They’re goals that are shared by so many Americans – regardless of political party – and recent evidence shows that the Senate plan checks all of the boxes.
A study from the Tax Foundation found that the Senate bill would create the equivalent of 925,000 new jobs across the country. That’s significant.
In West Virginia, the average middle-income family would gain $1,952 in after-tax income because of the legislation. Think about what that extra money would mean to you and your family. Do you need to make repairs to your car or take care of another expense? Do you need to set some aside for a college fund, for your retirement, or even a rainy day?
The Tax Foundation also found that our state would see approximately 4,700 new jobs created. Think about what those new jobs would mean for our communities, and for our students who graduate without the opportunities they need to stay in West Virginia and start their careers.
The Senate bill also doubles the child tax credit for hard-working families and nearly doubles the standard deduction which is used by over 80 percent of West Virginia tax filers.
We’re talking about making a real, tangible difference in the lives of West Virginians and all Americans. Which is why I just can’t understand the misguided attacks coming from Democrats and other critics.
Some are saying the Senate plan is tax cuts for the rich – but report after report has made it clear that Americans at all income levels will benefit from these tax cuts.
Others are saying that this is a partisan exercise done in secret – but tax reform has been subject to a thorough and open legislative process. In fact, there have been 70 Senate hearings on tax reform since 2011, and the current proposal just went through a full markup in committee and will be subject to significant debate on the floor. That means any Senator – Republican or Democrat – will have an opportunity to amend and debate the bill.
When you take time to really consider these criticisms, they ring hollow. They’re the same excuses that have been recycled for years.
The truth is simple: If Democrats and others are really serious about helping working families and moving our country and our state forward, this is their opportunity.
President Trump is ready to sign a bill that grows our economy and benefits middle-income families, and every member of Congress has a decision to make.
We can cling to the status quo and a failed economic approach perpetuated by the policies of the previous administration, or we can work together with President Trump to pass tax reform.
This is an important moment for our country. It’s an opportunity to do something big and bold. It’s an opportunity to build a stronger economy, to grow our small businesses and provide more jobs and higher wages, and to deliver tax relief to all Americans.
I am so thankful for the chance to represent our great state in the Senate and for the opportunity to deliver solutions like tax reform that I know will help make your lives better.