After a decade of inadequate economic growth, there is now a growing optimism that America’s economy is about to be set free again. Consumer confidence in the economy is the highest it’s been since 2000. But in Kansas and across the country millions of Americans are still hesitant, waiting to see what will happen next in Washington. Will the next three months bring economic liberation, or will it confirm every cynical view of our government’s dysfunction?
I’m optimistic, and here’s why. If Republicans stand firm on our policy promises over the next three months we could witness one of largest economic booms ever in American history.
While it’s true that we’ve hit a few bumps in the road recently on this path, we now stand on the edge of real progress. This is why I believe Republicans must now, more than ever, dig our feet deep into the ground and stand firm to our commitment to voters. Specifically, we must update our uncompetitive tax code, continue the fight to lower health insurance costs, and improve our national security by securing our border. If we accomplish these major policy objectives, the voters will reward Republicans for following through on the agenda they put us in the majority to accomplish.
Updating the Tax Code
Our outdated and overly complex tax code has held our economy down in the dumps for the past decade. It’s high time we fix this and empower working families in America. I think real tax reform, like the framework released this week, will be the best way to do just that. A stronger economy will bring higher wages, and better jobs.
The goal is to make it simple, and to make it fair. The tax code as it is, only benefits the rich and well-connected who can hire an army of lawyers and lobbyists to protect their interests. This is why Republicans are looking to enact real reform for all Americans.
The argument against tax reform is this: The plan is just a tax cut for the rich. The reality is that this tax reform framework is focused on helping middle-class families. The tax system laid out this past week allows low-and middle-income workers to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks in order to save for their children’s college, or for their retirement.
Reforming Health Care
The Affordable Care Act promised to lower annual health-care premiums by for families by $2,500, but what actually happened was the cost of employer-sponsored family coverage increased by $4,372 from 2010 to 2016. In fact, all 39 states using healthcare.gov saw an increase in individual market premiums since 2013. But this isn’t news. This is reality for millions of Americans across who have been forced to buy insurance plans they can’t afford and don’t like. This trend will continue so long as Obamacare is the law of the land. We cannot give up on repealing this damaging law.
My constituents in Kansans have been very clear, they’d like to see more choice in health care, and I get it. That’s why I’m fighting to bring back free market principles into health care.
While many obstacles do remain in the way of Republicans enacting health care reform, that doesn’t mean that we should abandon the fight. I believe Republicans must rise to the challenge and fight to lower the costs of health care. We should dismantle Obamacare’s taxes and regulations piece by piece if we have to (IE: the medical device tax, tanning bed tax, full time worker classification, etc, etc).
America’s borders must be made secure. If not, we will continue to have drug cartels, smugglers, and illegal immigrants pass freely into our country. This week the Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced legislation to fix just that. The Border Security for America Act authorizes a border wall, secures ports of entry, and adds 5,000 border agents. It also will target those who overstay their visas through full use of the Biometric Entry-Exit System at all ports of entry.
Updating the tax code, fixing health care and increasing security are issues that Americans care about most and affect their daily lives. I think it’s about time that Republicans gave the people what they want and live up to the promises we made to the voters who put us in the majority.
Congressman Ron Estes represents the people of Kansas’s 4th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Views expressed in opinion articles are not those of The Daily Caller.