As the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act grows in popularity, several members from the Michigan delegation took to the House floor to share what tax reform means for families in their home state.
From workers to small business owners to a husband who wanted to buy his cancer-stricken wife a new dress, tax reform is making a real difference for Michiganders.
After you read these powerful stories from Michigan, be sure to check out FairandSimple.gop for more on pro-family, pro-growth tax reform.
REP. PAUL MITCHELL:
“This is exactly what the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has done: helped our constituents work every day supporting their family and helped their local economy. My colleague before me proceeded to speak about we should pay attention to the needs of those close to and living in poverty. Well, I wish he had stayed. I grew up in poverty. Like many in Michigan, I grew up in a large family. I have six brothers and sisters. My dad had a good job building trucks in a line at General Motors. My mom often had a full-time job to help make ends meet. That is why I committed to supporting policies that create real economic growth and economic opportunity for families like the one in which I grew up.
“I was but a young pup in 1986, the last time our Tax Code was modernized. Since then, the Tax Code grew to 74,000 pages of rules and regulations that have only confused people. You would need to be a wizard to understand what is in the Tax Code as it stood at the end of the year. That is why I promised my constituents, when I came to office, when I ran for office, I would work hard to achieve meaningful tax cuts and reforms for the American people. I believe Americans can, and should, make independent decisions about the use of their own money, the money they work for, not the government. The government shouldn’t come first. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act allowed hardworking individuals and business owners to do just that.”
REP. TIM WALBERG:
“As I travel around, Mr. Speaker, the Seventh District of Michigan, optimism about the new tax cuts is hard to miss. I have people coming up to me at the grocery store, at gas stations, even in church, saying: You know, Congressman, we heard a lot of reports that this wasn’t for middle class people, but I saw my paycheck in February and, it is true, I got a raise because the government is taking less out of it. I have heard from a number of workers excited about their bonuses and pay raises and from businesses that are looking to expand their operations.
“Just last week, I toured Lowe’s home center in Adrian, Michigan, to visit with their team. Because of the new tax law, their employees are receiving $1,000 bonuses and expanded maternity and parental leave. I toured Cintas’ Lansing operations. The tax cut afforded their employees $1,000 bonuses, and they reported to me that day that they jumped now on a plan that they were holding off, but now they are going to build a $17 million facility to add on to their operations. We already heard about Fiat Chrysler giving out $2,000 bonuses to all of their workers. They are also moving production of the Ram heavy-duty truck plant back from Mexico to Michigan— I wanted to reiterate that—that is coming home and creating 2,500 new good-paying jobs. We have also seen announcements from DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, utilities in Michigan and in other States, that their customers can expect to see lower utility bills, thanks to the tax cuts. In fact, they have submitted a request to the PSC for almost $400 million in rate reductions. That is real money.
“As Vice President Pence said last week when we welcomed him to the Motor City, tax reform is working for Michigan. Here is even more good news: the benefits are just beginning to kick in. This tax season is the last time taxpayers will have to file under the old and broken Tax Code. Under the updated Code, individuals and families at every income level will see tax relief. The standard deduction is nearly doubled to protect more of people’s hard-earned income from taxation. The child tax credit is expanded from $1,000 to $2,000 to help with the cost of raising kids. With these new reforms, the typical middle-income family of four will receive a tax cut of more than $2,000. On top of that, the law will help small businesses thrive, boost job creation here at home, and make our economy stronger and more competitive, like it ought to be, in the United States and in Michigan.
“For families across Michigan, the new tax cut law means bigger paychecks and more money in their pockets, not in the Federal Government’s pockets. And that is where it belongs.”
REP. FRED UPTON:
“I can remember being trashed left and right back in November and December about what this bill was going to do or not going to do: it wasn’t going to provide real tax relief to the working class; companies weren’t really going to give bonuses; this was all just going to be bogus arguments. Now, at the end of the day, twp-plus months since the bill was signed and became enacted, my constituents are finding out good things about the bill. Yes, they are getting real take-home pay increases from the jobs that they do. Yes, they are getting bonuses.
“I was at a small, little almost farmers market, multigenerational market down in Niles, Michigan, just north of Notre Dame, Shelton’s Farm Market. They have 83 employees. The owners gave every employee there a bonus. I talked to one of them who literally stocks the shelves. He got $600. He said: You know, Mr. Upton — I said: Call me Fred — He said: This wasn’t just crumbs. This made a real difference. I said: What are you going to do with that $600? He said: You know, my wife has cancer, and I bought her a new dress. He was so excited that that increase in the take-home pay was actually going to do some real benefit for him and his family.”
REP. MIKE BISHOP:
“It is very exciting back in the great State of Michigan, the comeback State of Michigan, our home State. After years of stagnant economic growth, our workforce is finally experiencing the benefits of a modernized Tax Code…Across Michigan, I have had the opportunity to travel not only in my district, but across this great State, and I have seen firsthand great things, so many great stories to tell, sitting down with folks, hearing about the new tax law and how it is impacting their community and how it is impacting their businesses. I take away from this a number of really excited testimonials from everyone that I sat down with.
“For example, Dan, a small-business owner from Rochester Hills, Michigan, shared with me that, as a result of tax reform, he was able to invest in his new car wash by buying new equipment. Erwin, a constituent from Oxford, Michigan, is seeing extra money in his monthly take-home pay.
“I stopped by the Fiat Chrysler truck assembly plant to talk with workers about the new Ram truck production line that is relocating from Mexico all the way back to Michigan, where it belongs, bringing with it 2,500 new jobs. As you can imagine, there is extreme excitement within the four walls of that beautiful plant. Michigan is the auto capital of the world. We produce more than 2.2 million cars and trucks. We produce more cars and trucks than any other state in the union, and we are excited and proud to be the auto capital of the world, the State that put the world on wheels.
“The Fiat Chrysler decision will provide more than $1 billion in U.S. investment and $2,000 bonuses, $2,000 for each employee, all as a result of tax reform. In Lake Orion, Michigan, Complete Automation, they employ about 250 employees. I visited their operation to talk with the employees about the new benefits they will soon be seeing. As a result of tax reform, employees will see in their 401(k) contribution a match of 50 percent, up to 4 percent of their investment in their 401(k).
“That is a big deal for a lot of people. It is a great deal for their family. It is a great deal for them individually, but it is a great deal for their family. And I also say this. With the average tax cut in my district of about $2,500 per family, average family, that is not crumbs. That is real, real relief for families that could really use it right now. The takeaway from all these conversations that I have had across my district is that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is working. America’s optimism is rising, and the workforce is taking notice. We are finally creating an environment that fosters economic growth and brings jobs back to the United States and back to my home State and the comeback State of Michigan. And this is just the beginning.”
REP. JACK BERGMAN:
“Mr. Speaker, what a great opportunity to really stand up here and smile and talk to the American public with the words of constituents from Michigan’s First District, because these are not my words. These are their words over the last 21⁄2 months or so since we passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.
“You know, in November 2016, the great people of Michigan’s First District sent me to Washington with a direct, yet simple, mandate: Get Washington, D.C., out of our pockets and off our backs. For a marine, that is a pretty simple mission-oriented instruction. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was the first major step to accomplishing that goal.
“Since we passed tax reform, I have travelled throughout many of the First District’s 32 counties talking with constituents, business owners, and hearing their individual stories. Farmers, businesses, both large and small, and families are already seeing the benefits that tax reform brings, and we are just getting started. Many of these small companies said: Well, I don’t know yet, but I have got to meet with my accountant around the middle of April, and then we will really see. But now they are starting to see wage increases and bonuses, and business expansions are all beginning to roll in and take effect, and it is long overdue in our neck of the woods. And when I say, ‘our neck of the woods,’ that is not a figurative statement. That is a literal statement.
“You know, many families in our district live paycheck to paycheck, and even a small crisis could send them into a tailspin. An extra $100 or $150 in a paycheck in my district is not crumbs. It is not Armageddon. It is a big plus. It gives that family flexibility to live their life and to raise their kids and be a proud community—wage-earning members of that community. That $1,000 a year may mean a new set of snow tires. And by the way, we only have, roughly, a little over two weeks of winter left, but we use our snow tires up there through about mid May. That is just the way it works. That money might go for the kids to play on a sports team. Hockey is not a cheap sport to put your son or daughter in. Or it could be, possibly, just saving up in that family rainy day fund for an emergency. We hear of businesses from Boyne City to Marquette expanding, growing their staff, raising wages, all a result of a fairer and simpler Tax Code.”
“Just a few weeks ago, I was at the Home Depot in Petoskey, and a gentleman who was working there pulled me aside and thanked me for getting tax reform done. That allowed him to keep more of his check plus a sizable bonus that was paid by Home Depot. In the Upper Peninsula, U.S. Special Delivery gave all 200 employees $1,000 bonuses after tax reform passed because of the money that they will save as a company on their taxes this year. A couple of weeks back, when I was in Traverse City, Traverse City State Bank announced that they are giving out new bonuses. So many more businesses in the First District are raising wages, adding workers, giving bonuses, and expanding. We know that this is just the beginning, and Americans can expect much more in the days ahead because of the energy that we have put into the growth of our American economy.
“Mr. Speaker, this confirms the very core beliefs that I have and conservatives all throughout the country believe in. If we get the Federal Government off our back, where it is not supposed to be, and out of our pockets, we will unleash unprecedented economic potential for the citizens of our great country. I would just close with one note, and that is I am Scandinavian, and there is a wonderful delicacy that you can only afford at the holidays, and I think more people are able to afford it now, and it is called a crumb cake, and it is great.”