On the day of a decisive vote to provide millions of Americans with much-needed tax relief, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) expressed his opposition to the bill, saying it amounted to nothing more than a tax cut for “millionaires and corporations.”
He couldn’t have been more wrong. Many Americans are already seeing a boost in take-home pay and businesses that received tax relief are doing exactly what supporters said would happen: investing in their employees in the form of better pay and bonuses.
It’s happening across the country and right here in Ohio.
Of course, Sen. Brown wasn’t alone in his opposition. Joining Ohio’s senior senator in opposing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who called the bill “one of the great robberies... in the modern history of this country.” Other political pundits went so far as to say it would “kill people” and described the plan as “mass murder.” U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi invoked the word “Armageddon.”
These bombastic tax-reform critics chose to ignore decades of historical evidence that shows lowering tax rates results in economic growth and greater financial security for hardworking Americans.
Consider that in the five years following the 1964 Kennedy tax cuts, per-capita disposable income rose an average $2,200 while the economy enjoyed an average 5.2 percent annualized quarterly growth rate.
After the Reagan tax cuts, which opponents derided as “a terrible gamble,” Americans’ take-home pay was up an average $2,700. And during the five years that followed the tax cuts, the economy added close to 12 million new jobs and grew at an average of 5 percent annualized quarterly growth.
And with well over 100 companies already announcing plans to issue bonuses, raise wages and provide employees with improved benefits, we can expect to see similar economic growth now.
Here in the Buckeye State, Sheffer Corporation, a manufacturing business based in Cincinnati, recently announced that all of its employees will receive a $1,000 bonus as a result of the tax bill’s passage.
Additionally, Nationwide recently distributed a $1,000 bonus to 29,000 employees in addition to increasing the company’s 401(k) match, while Fifth Third Bancorp, based in Cincinnati, is not only giving bonuses to many of its employees, but also raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour — improving the lives of nearly 3,000 of their employees.
And it’s not just Ohioans in big cities who are seeing the benefits of tax relief. Small community businesses like the First Federal Community Bank in Dover is providing bonuses to full- and part-time employees. The company also announced that it plans to boost philanthropic contributions to the community because of the tax cut.
All of this overwhelming evidence contradicts the “sky is falling” and “tax cuts only for the rich” rhetoric from tax-reform critics. Less than two months after the bill was signed into law, it’s clear that a large number of hardworking Americans, including many Ohioans, are benefiting from one of the biggest tax-relief packages approved in recent history.
Micah Derry is the Ohio state director of Americans for Prosperity.