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The Journal Gazette

Monday, April 15, 2019 1:00 am

GOP brings boom times

Todd Young and Mike Braun

Todd Young, left, and Mike Braun are Republicans representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

This Tax Day, we celebrate higher wages, record economic optimism, record low unemployment and Hoosier families taking more of their paychecks home as a result of Republicans' pro-growth policies of tax reform and regulatory certainty.

Last month's stellar jobs report, which includes 196,000 new jobs and a 3.8% unemployment rate, cemented the longest streak of consecutive American job growth. This is thanks to pro-growth tax cuts and a bold regulatory agenda championed by President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans.

Additionally, we have increased the child tax deduction, and families across the Hoosier State are taking home more of their hard-earned money.

Young: Since Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 3.2 million new jobs have been created. Our unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, and jobless claims have dropped to the lowest level since 1969.

Additionally, manufacturing job creation was the highest in 2018 it has been in more than 20 years. As the most manufacturing-intensive state in the nation, this is particularly good news for Indiana.

Since we passed tax reform at the end of 2017, stories have poured into my office from Hoosier families who are earning more, and businesses that are paying their workers more and expanding their operations.

My guest to last year's State of the Union, Chelsee Hatfield, is a prime example. When tax reform was signed into law, Hatfield, a young mother of three, was working as a teller at First Farmers Bank and Trust in Tipton. She received a raise and a bonus. This helped her go back to school to earn her associate's degree, and it enabled her to put money away for her children's college education. This summer Hatfield graduated and has been promoted to a commercial loan administrative assistant.

I recently had the opportunity to visit a third-generation small business in Fort Wayne. Dan Parker, owner of Parker Towing and Recovery, was able to purchase several new trucks, thanks in part to tax reform. This means more trucks will be available to assist Hoosiers who have been in an accident or have had their car break down. Parker was also able to expand the company's office space, and he gave his staff raises.

“We have less turnover now,” Parker said of the raises.

Tax reform also included a bipartisan proposal I have long supported – the creation of opportunity zones. The new tax code incentivizes investment in distressed rural and urban communities to help the least among us through the creation of tax-advantaged opportunity zones around the state.

Bottom line: Hoosiers are benefiting from tax relief.

Braun: I have built my life as a Hoosier entrepreneur.

When President Trump's tax cuts were signed into law, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my company, and we followed numerous Fortune 500 companies and small businesses in sharing the benefits with our employees. This meant lowering health care costs by $1,400 and providing additional employee bonuses.

Critics such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may think these are just “crumbs,” but in Indiana a couple thousand dollars goes a long way, and I'm thankful for Trump's economic achievements that have helped families save and thrive.

In addition to tax reform, Trump has achieved regulatory reform by eliminating nearly 200 job-killing regulations, saving American families and businesses $23 billion. When government gets out of the private sector's way, the rising tide of prosperity lifts all ships.

If our country wants to keep winning – creating more jobs, higher wages and lowering the unemployment rate – we need to enact more pro-growth policies, instead of the failed socialist ideas peddled by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Party. 

Conservatives should be proud of the economic opportunities we've created for Hoosier families and small businesses, and we can't afford to take our country back to the failed tax-and-spend policies of yesterday.

As your two senators in Washington, we're proud to be fighting for pro-growth economic policies that will keep this red-hot economy firing on all cylinders for families across our country.