Tax cuts make the leap from recovery to prosperity

In an economy like ours, tax cuts go to work for the American people. Ohio makes it plain to see. And fortunately, our leaders in Washington recognized that. They finished out 2017 with a landmark tax bill that’s now bringing well-earned relief across the state-and across the country.

To show just how fast the new tax cuts are working, President Trump came right here to Ohio. “At the heart of our plan is tremendous relief for working families and for small businesses,” he told his audience in Cincinnati. Now, Trump noted, a family of four with an income of $75,000 a year will pay half as much in income tax, while a married couple’s first $24,000 of income is now completely tax-free.

And at the State of the Union, the president welcomed Dayton native Corey Adams, a welder at Staub Manufacturing who’s now a first-time homeowner. The company’s savings enabled owners Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger to raise wages for Corey and hire more than a dozen new workers.

That’s the kind of surefooted expansion we can expect from 2018. With our economy humming, good job candidates are in high demand, and that means small businesses are now more driven to offer even stronger employment incentives than usual-like higher wages.

That means more money and jobs on Main Street. Employment numbers from the Labor Department indicate payrolls rose by 200,000 last month alone — in big nationwide sectors like construction, manufacturing, and health care. And small business makes up a big chunk of the total. We now know that in December, for instance, small firms racked up 94,000 new jobs.

That’s big news in a state like ours, where all of our fortunes rise when small business does well. Our nearly 940,000 small businesses make up more than 99 percent of all firms in the state. And they employ 46 percent of Ohio workers — more than 2 million people. We’re a small business economy. A recent analysis of customer data even revealed that our small business owners are among the country’s most polite!

But we’re far from the only state with those kinds of numbers. From coast to coast, cutting across geographical regions and industries, numerous states rely upon small firms for the lion’s share of their jobs and businesses. When small business is overtaxed, we’re all held back.

And now that the new tax code significantly rewards growing small firms, we’ve got the wind at our backs. Under the old code, owners lost up to 40 percent of revenues to the taxman in Washington, even before factoring in state and local taxes and the burdensome costs of tax filing and compliance. Now, that unfair system is out, and a new 20 percent deduction is in. Today, that reclaimed revenue can go where Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger put it-back into their business, and back into the economy.

A boost like that delivers sustainable growth, and Americans know it. They’re rightfully excited about the year ahead. New polling also shows positive views of current economic policies and prospects are their highest since the early 2000’s. The optimism reaches across all income groups-and a wide range of geographical and social grounds, too. Good feelings are hitting historic highs among rural residents and investors alike, and now represent majorities regardless of political affiliation.

The experts are backing up America’s sunny disposition with hard numbers. Nine out of 10 middle-class taxpayers will see their tax savings start this very year, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. A new survey shows three out of four economists expect significant economic growth over the ensuing months.

And as for the ultimate experts, small businesses themselves? The numbers are in — and their confidence levels are at an all-time highs.

All told, this year is about making the leap from recovery to prosperity. As tax withholdings drop, tax bills shrink, and take-home pay climbs, we’ll continue to see the positive impact in our own standard of living.

Andy Thompson represents the 95th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.