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Choose Progress Over Pain in Kentucky On Election Day

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

Kentucky has a choice this November — either stick with economic progress or revert to economic pain.

Like other states, Kentucky’s economic recovery was starved of oxygen for years before Donald Trump became President. Small businesses and taxpayers struggled to get a footing because the federal government maintained its high taxes and regulations following the Great Recession.

Thanks to President Trump and his pro-growth agenda of tax cuts, deregulation, and protective tariffs, Kentucky’s economy has come roaring back once again. On both a statewide and local level, the examples of growth abound.

In August 2017, for instance, the state unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent — its lowest mark since May 2001.

Boosted by President Trump's economic policies, Kentucky’s unemployment rate has remained well below 5 percent ever since —providing a crucial period of economic recovery that has stabilized the labor market and incentivized more private sector investment.

Century Aluminum, which was forced to lay off nearly 320 employees in 2015, began  returning to full production in Kentucky this year, hiring more than 125 employees in August, with 300 more slated to be hired by early 2019.

Aided by protective tariffs on steel and aluminum, another $1.7 billion aluminum mill is also slated to open in Ashland in the coming years, creating close to 1,800 construction jobs and 500 full-time positions.

 But despite all this progress, some Kentucky politicians are determined to embrace a path of economic regression.

Democrat Amy McGrath is one of those politicians. Instead of embracing President Trump’s policies, McGrath has sided with liberal Democrats on key issues.

That’s classic Democrat demagoguery. McGrath knows full well that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the GOP-led Congress and signed into law by President Trump has created an unprecedented economic boom across America and Kentucky. Our new growth has come from job and wealth creation, not raids on the piggy banks of seniors and children.

McGrath, as you probably guessed, is also a major supporter of government-run healthcare. I am not. I strongly believe we need a plan for the future of healthcare in our country but not as was presented in Obamacare.

McGrath, however, seems to forget what happened the last time Democrats tried to impose government-run healthcare, when they presented Obamacare as a great foundation for an affordable healthcare system and Democrat politicians in Kentucky willingly bought into the illusion.

As a result of that, Kentucky is projected to spend a staggering $1.2 billion over five years on Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion alone. 

At the same time that they burdened states like Kentucky with unsustainable healthcare costs, Democrats under Barack Obama created job-killing regulations that kept Kentucky’s unemployment rate at historically high levels for years after it topped out above 10 percent in 2009 and 2010.

Luckily for the people of Kentucky, there are other politicians who understand exactly what’s at stake this November, and will defend the economic gains the state has made recently.

Republican Congressman Andy Barr has worked hard to secure the state’s economic renaissance by supporting the President’s policies, which have already done so much to improve the lives of his constituents.

In September, Barr praised the GOP effort to push another round of tax cuts through Congress, Tax Cuts 2.0, arguing that the bill “gives long-term certainty to middle-class families and small businesses by making the individual & family tax cuts permanent, increasing flexibility for retirement savings accounts, & increasing opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

With allies like Barr at his side, President Trump can continue the important work of unleashing America’s full potential. The Trump economic boom has only just begun, and too much is at stake for Kentucky businesses and taxpayers to turn back now.

If big-government Democrats such as Amy McGrath take control of Congress this Election Day, they won’t merely derail the President's plan to secure long-term economic growth; they’ll work feverishly to scrap everything he has worked so hard to accomplish already and obstruct any further progress for our state.

Now’s the time for us to choose progress over pain in Kentucky, and keep our economic recovery on track.

 Drew Costa is a retired employee of IBM/Lexmark International and US Navy veteran from Versailles.

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