CRAMER: A Historic Moment for The Middle Class
Recording: HD Video
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Kevin Cramer voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act today - a bill bringing an estimated gain in after-tax income of $2,287 for middle-income North Dakota families and 2,676 new jobs.
H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will return an estimated $1.5 trillion to America’s hardworking families and businesses. In North Dakota, that means a roughly $2,287 pay raise for middle-income families across the state - enough for 8 months of groceries in the average household, or for a local restaurant owner to invest in wage increases or a much-needed new employee.
“For far too long, Washington lobbyists and special interest groups have held a chokehold on the 74,000 page U.S. Tax Code, said Cramer. “Bloated with carve-outs and gimmicks meant to incentivize one industry over another, the United States has the least competitive tax system in the industrialized world, which is why House Republicans are pushing the reset button.”
The bill lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans to Zero, 12%, 25%, and 35% so people can keep more of the money they earn throughout their lives, and continues to maintain 39.6% for high-income Americans. It also significantly increases the standard deduction to protect roughly double the amount of what you earn each year from taxes – from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples. And, contrary to rumors, it retains savings options for 401(k)s and other individual retirement accounts.
It permanently lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% - adding jobs, increasing workers’ wages, and making the United States one of the most competitive tax countries in the world. It also provides immediate relief from the Death Tax by doubling the exemption and repealing the Death Tax after six years while also maintaining ‘step-up in basis.’ Family-owned farms and businesses will no longer have to worry about double or triple taxation from Washington when they pass down their life’s work to the next generation.
During debate today, Cramer emphasized the importance this bill has on the middle class – over-and-above the economic and job creation benefits. “It’s really the long overdue direct tax benefits to the vast middle-class who don’t have a lobbyist living in the rich suburbs of Washington D.C. that takes center stage for me and my fellow North Dakotan,” said Cramer. “The benefit of doubling the standard deduction combined with greater job opportunities and simpler, less expensive filing costs, and a generous family tax credit will put more money in the pockets and less anxiety in the hearts of middle-class North Dakotans.”
Summary of bill’s benefits to Americans
For individuals and families, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
- Lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans to Zero, 12%, 25%, and 35% so people can keep more of the money they earn throughout their lives, and continues to maintain 39.6% for high-income Americans.
- Significantly increases the standard deduction to protect roughly double the amount of what you earn each year from taxes – from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples.
- Eliminates special-interest deductions that increase rates and complicate Americans’ taxes – so an individual or family can file their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard.
- Takes action to support more American families by:
- Establishing a new Family Credit – which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600 to help parents with the cost of raising children, and providing a credit of $300 for each parent and non-child dependent to help all families with their everyday expenses.
- Preserving the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help families care for their children and older dependents such as a disabled grandparent who may need additional support.
- Preserving the Adoption Tax Credit so parents can continue to receive additional tax relief as they open their hearts and their homes to an adopted child.
- Maintains the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide important tax relief for low-income Americans working to build better lives for themselves.
- Streamlines higher education benefits to help families save for and better afford college tuition and other education expenses.
- Continues the deduction for charitable contributions so people can continue to donate to their local church, charity, or community organization.
- Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and maintains the home mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes up to $500,000 – providing tax relief to current and aspiring homeowners.
- Continues to allow people to write off the cost of state and local property taxes up to $10,000.
- Retains popular retirement savings options such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts so Americans can continue to save for their future.
- Repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax so millions of individuals and families will no longer have to worry about calculating their taxes twice each year and pay the higher amount.
- Provides immediate relief from the Death Tax by doubling the exemption and repealing the Death Tax after six years. Family-owned farms and businesses will no longer have to worry about double or triple taxation from Washington when they pass down their life’s work to the next generation.
For job creators of all sizes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
- Lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% – down from 35%, which today is the highest in the industrialized world – the largest reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate in our nation’s history.
- Reduces the tax rate on the hard-earned business income of Main Street job creators to no more than 25% – the lowest tax rate on small business income since World War II.
- Provides a new, low tax rate of 9% for businesses earning less than $75,000 in income to help the Main Street startups who fuel innovation and job creation in communities across the country
- Establishes strong safeguards to distinguish between individual wage income and “pass-through” business income so Main Street tax relief goes to the local job creators it was designed to help most.
- Allows businesses to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment to improve operations and enhance the skills of their workers – unleashing the growth of jobs, productivity, and paychecks.
- Protects the ability of small businesses to write off the interest on loans that help these Main Street entrepreneurs start or expand a business, hire workers, and increase paychecks.
- Retains the low-income housing tax credit that encourages businesses to invest in affordable housing so families, individuals, and seniors can find a safe and comfortable place to call home.
- Preserves the Research & Development Tax Credit – encouraging our businesses and workers to develop cutting-edge “Made in America” products and services.
- Strengthens accountability rules for tax-exempt organizations to ensure that churches, charities, foundations, and other organizations receiving tax-exempt status are focused on helping people and communities in need.
- Modernizes our international tax system so America’s global businesses will no longer be held back by an outdated “worldwide” tax system that results in double taxation for many of our nation’s job creators.
- Makes it easier for American businesses to bring home foreign earnings to invest in growing jobs and paychecks in our local communities.
- Prevents American jobs, headquarters, and research from moving overseas by eliminating incentives that now reward companies for shifting jobs, profits, and manufacturing plants abroad.
Support from business community: Airlines for America, Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute, Alliance for Competitive Taxation (ACT), American Bankers Association, American Forest & Paper Association, American Hotels and Lodging Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, American Petroleum Institute, American Trucking Association, AT&T, AT&T – $1 Billion Investment, Business Leaders for Michigan, Business Roundtable, Consumer Technology Association, CTIA, Electronic Transactions Association, Entertainment Software Association, Ford, Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Franchise Association, Intuit, Insured Retirement Institute, Motion Picture Association (MPAA), National Association of Broadcasters, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesale-Distributors (NAW), National Federation of Independent Business, National Restaurant Association , National Retail Federation, Printing Industries of America, Raytheon, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably (RATE) Coalition, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council , UPS, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), Chamber Group Letter
Conservative Support: American Action Network, American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Tax Reform – Key Vote, American Legislative Exchange Council Action, Association of Mature American Citizens, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Center for Individual Freedom, Citizens Against Government Waste, Concerned Veterans for America, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Club for Growth, Digital Liberty, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Family Business Coalition, Freedom Partners, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, Heritage Action, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Independent Women’s Voice, The LIBRE Initiative, National Taxpayers Union, Reaching America, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, 60 Plus Association, Group Letter