Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
I was proud to vote for the conference report to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, when it passed the House by a vote of 227 to 203 on December 19, 2017. This is the first meaningful reform of our bloated tax code in the last three decades and an opportunity to put more money back in the pocket of hardworking families. Our plan will also create jobs, increase wages and grow the economy.
H.R. 1 results in a tax cut for the vast majority of taxpayers – particularly the middle class. The legislation cuts income tax rates for every low- and middle-income American, going from seven tax brackets to just four. To simplify the tax code, the plan replaces or caps a number of special-interest tax deductions and instead doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families. Because of this change, roughly 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes on a postcard.
What does that mean in practice? If you look at your tax return last year and didn’t itemize your deductions, you will get a larger standard deduction, plus your tax rates will be cut, so your tax cut should be quite sizable. If you itemized your deductions but they totaled less than $12,000 for an individual or less than $24,000 for a family, you now won’t have the headache of going through a maze of deductions and can instead just take a simple standard deduction, plus your tax rates will be cut. If you had more than $24,000 in itemized deductions – a small amount of taxpayers – many of the most utilized deductions for East Tennessee residents will continue to be available, and the majority of these filers will see a tax cut under this plan.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the average family of four making $58,367 will receive a tax cut of $1,087. The 44,584 Tennesseans in the First District who utilize the child tax credit will see that credit increase from $1,000 to $1,600 per child, and roughly 18,255 full-time equivalent jobs will be added to Tennessee’s economy. This bill represents the kind of tax reform Tennessee families deserve. H.R. 1 was signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.
It’s clear the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has played an important role in getting our economy off the ground and renewed economic confidence. According to a CBS News Nation Tracker poll, “nearly 2 in 3 Americans think the nation’s economy is in good shape, and most of them believe President Trump’s policies are at least somewhat responsible for that.” Despite opponents declaring that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would be “Armageddon” for Americans and that $1,000 bonuses for hardworking employees were just “crumbs,” our economy is booming and Republicans in Congress want to keep it that way. I’m very proud of the work that has been done to simplify our tax system, and I am optimistic for the future of our country and look forward to building on this momentum to continue delivering the kind of results the American people deserve and expect.