My Top Priority for Tax Reform: Middle-Income South Dakotans
By Sen. John Thune
The American people have had a rough time over the past few years. Fifty percent of Americans consider themselves to be living paycheck to paycheck, while almost a third of voters say they are just $400 dollars away from a financial crisis. That’s not acceptable. Fortunately, there are things we can do about it, starting with comprehensive tax reform.
Comprehensive tax reform is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to provide financial relief to American families and get our economy back on the path to long-term health. That’s why Republicans in Congress have spent several months working with the Trump administration on a tax reform framework that we believe will lead to more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks, and why the tax-writing committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives are currently hard at work drafting legislation.
Our tax reform framework prioritizes tax relief for middle-income Americans by ensuring working families receive a much-needed increase in take-home pay. To start with, our plan will lower income-tax rates for hardworking families around the country. We will also double the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples who file jointly. While all Americans will benefit from this provision, it will particularly benefit the low-income families who need help the most. Under our tax plan, a family making $24,000 or less per year will not have to pay a dime in federal income taxes.
There is no denying that raising a family in the United States is getting more and more expensive. That’s why we will also help working families by increasing the size of the child tax credit. This will free up money that families can use for anything from dentist bills to college savings. And for low-income families who won’t pay income tax under our plan, up to $1,000 of this new, larger child tax credit will be refundable.
In addition to direct relief for working families, our tax plan will also provide for the kind of economic growth needed to give hardworking Americans access to new jobs and opportunities and increase their take-home pay. To start with, our plan will lower tax rates for small businesses and family farms and ranches.
Small and medium-size businesses are an important engine of economic growth, but our tax code makes things more difficult for these job creators by saddling them with high tax rates — at times even exceeding those paid by some large corporations. By lowering tax rates for these businesses, we can help them reinvest more of their earnings into their operations. The Republican tax plan will also allow small and medium-size businesses to recover their costs more quickly, which will also help free up money they can use to grow their business and create new jobs. This is good news for the American worker.
Americans have spent too much of the past decade struggling with high taxes, stagnant wages, and a lack of opportunity. It’s time to give them relief. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to implement pro-growth tax reform policies that will provide more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for hardworking individuals and middle-income families across the country. As we move through the legislative process, I will continue to work with President Trump, my fellow members of the Senate Finance Committee, and leadership in the House to ensure that comprehensive tax reform makes it to the president’s desk for his signature.