Portman Op-Ed for the Washington Examiner: 2017 Tax Reforms Continue to Pay Dividends

July 15, 2021 | Portman Difference

In a new op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Senator Portman highlights the recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis indicating that –thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the federal government will bring in significantly more money than previously estimated for 2022. 

The 2017 tax overhaul – which Portman played a key role in authoring – had a profound and immediate impact on the U.S. economy. It led to higher wages, historically low unemployment, increased domestic investment, and strong economic growth.

In his op-ed, Portman makes the case that raising taxes on families and job creators – as Democrats’ yearn to do in their $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal – will reverse the progress and undermine the prosperity brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

Excerpts of the op-ed can be found below and the full op-ed can be found here.

2017 tax reforms continue to pay dividends

By U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Washington Examiner

A recent, little-noticed update on federal revenue projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is yet another reason to reject the massive tax increases proposed by the Biden administration.

CBO estimated that going forward federal taxes will bring in significantly more money than previously estimated. In 2022, CBO now projects a 10% increase in revenues. This is particularly good news because tax rates haven’t gone up, meaning that this increased revenue is another sign that our economy is getting back to its pre-pandemic strength. It also reminds us that the 2017 tax reforms and tax cuts that helped create the historically strong pre-pandemic economy are working as intended and must remain in place as we move into the future. 

The 2017 reforms Trump signed also helped the U.S. compete globally and stopped the corporate inversions that were a recurring problem during the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration, causing American companies to become foreign companies and move jobs and investment overseas to get out from under our uncompetitive tax laws. And it ended the lockout effect, resulting in $1.6 trillion in overseas earnings coming back home to invest and create jobs here.

As a result of those changes, the largest U.S. companies increased domestic research and development spending by 25%, to $707 billion, and capital expenditures by 20%, to $1.44 trillion. The tax cuts and tax reforms worked as intended, and based on this new CBO study, continue to work as we come out of the pandemic.

The opportunity economy we had pre-COVID worked for working families across America. We cannot allow the Biden administration and some Democrats in Congress to reverse course by massively increasing taxes. President Joe Biden’s budget proposal would allow nearly all of the 2017 tax cuts to expire, including raising business taxes, which would stifle economic growth and hurt working families.

Raising taxes on hard-working American families and businesses is the wrong approach to continued economic growth. Instead, we should build on the positive progress over the two years pre-pandemic by making a targeted investment in helping our economy grow without raising taxes. Right now, I am working with a bipartisan group of colleagues in Congress to do just that through a historic investment to upgrade our core infrastructure needs: the roads, bridges, railroads, ports, broadband, and more that help drive our economy every day. According to the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, our proposal will increase GDP, raise wages for workers, and lower our national debt in the long term, all without raising any individual or corporate income taxes on families and businesses.

In 2017, we helped usher in an economy powered by workers and businesses across the country, not by liberal spending priorities in Washington, and the results were truly historic. Moving ahead, let’s stay the course instead of hiking taxes and putting a damper on American prosperity and opportunity.