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OPINION

The Obama Administration Still Seeing Victories

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

As Congress debates the tax plan, Republicans continue to play defense, especially when it comes to the Democrats’ preposterous idea that under this bill not all Americans will get a tax cut. Given this sad state of affairs, one thing is clear: the Obama administration did such an amazing job of demonizing profits and corporate America that this attitude is still alive and well today.

Examples range from former President Barack Obama’s comments about fat cat bankers to the remarks made by former congressional figures Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. Their Dodd-Frank legislation developed burdensome regulations to purge the demons that supposedly created all the problems in everyone’s lives—those demons, of course, being corporate America and Wall Street.

The Democrats’ push for legislation in the aftermath of the 2008 economic collapse was quite successful at diverting the public’s attention from the incredible amount of failed government policies that helped cause it. These policies continue to plague our nation. In the case of Dodd-Frank, it took most people’s eyes off the scandals of Countrywide Mortgage, Washington Mutual and the folly of mortgage-backed securities. This brilliant move worked so well because of the lack of fight and offensive maneuvering by Republicans.

I still find it amazing that Republicans are not able to articulate to constituents the benefits of corporate tax cuts. The fact is, once we lose our envy and disdain for corporations making enormous amounts of money, we might realize that corporate tax cuts will impact every American in a positive way. Tax cuts will create more jobs than we have people to fill, and more opportunities for innovation and employment than we’ve seen for the past 16 years, while at the same time stimulating higher wages. 

Tax reform needs to happen if we are to build a growing economy amid a tightening labor force. Yet Republicans are still hung up on the phony Democrat chorus: “This bill won’t create tax cuts for every single person.” The GOP should instead address the economy-stimulating benefits of these tax cuts and explain how strengthening the economy will positively impact all Americans. But Republicans just can’t seem to stop playing defense. 

This is the mentality the Obama administration helped create by making “profits” a despicable word. As a result, everyone must blame corporate America for all the nation’s woes. Ironically, it might have been different had Republicans defended the free market economy from the beginning. But, of course, that would’ve taken some backbone.

As I have written before, if I am wrong and we truly do have a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, we will face growing pains in the new economy. These will include wage increases, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1960s—unless corporations give up on the idea of growth. And growth is the only thing that will create a thriving economy and benefits for the average American. It will open up opportunities for the average American to get a job paying an additional dollar an hour, just because the guy down the road is desperately seeking qualified employees. 

Republicans and President Donald Trump must emphasize the benefits of cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. We have already lost the notion of simplifying our taxes—an idea that went out the door soon after both houses passed the bill. Once it went to a conference committee, things got complicated. Remember, there are a lot of people making millions of dollars off the current tax code’s complexities; this is a strong lobby that seems to be the biggest winner in the latest version of the tax bill. Still, aside from that drawback, the bill will create a thriving and growing economy, but it better happen soon. 

With the losing of another Republican seat in the Senate, it will be virtually impossible to get anything done next year. I’ve lost hope for a comprehensive infrastructure project, building the wall or immigration reform. It’s not likely to happen when the Republicans have only a two-vote majority. Tax reform may be the only thing we have that can begin to drive the economy through next year.

Let’s hope that Republican senators are not naïve enough to believe that, come 2018, there will be a second chance or additional opportunities to put forth legislation that is good for this economy. This tax plan may be the only thing we have going until after the 2018 elections, when a new Senate is seated.

 

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