When President Donald J. Trump was elected, he outlined his top goals: confirming a conservative Justice to the Supreme Court, rolling back onerous regulations, fixing our health care system, and changing our archaic tax code.
We have begun to do that, and we are already seeing the economy start to move. Trump’s agenda is starting to work and this has been a year of significant accomplishments.
So far, nearly 2 million new jobs have been created; 860 rules and regulations have been eliminated; 500 bureaucrats have been fired at the VA for poor performance; illegal border crossings are down by 60 percent.
Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high. CEO confidence is at a 20-year high. We have had two straight quarters of 3 percent GDP growth. More NATO countries are beginning to invest in defense. For the first time in eight years, we have reinvested in our military.
In addition to Justice Neil Gorsuch being confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, 145 federal judges will be confirmed, including 12 circuit judges, compared to only three in former President Barack Obama’s first year.
Look, I come from the business world where results matter. These results are fantastic for any president’s first year.
President Trump is an outsider and business guy who is listening to the American people. He is continuing to move at a business pace, not a bureaucratic pace, and as a result our economy is on the cusp of a turnaround.
Earlier this month, we made history by changing our archaic tax code for the first time in 31 years. These changes are critical to our long-term economic future. While this tax plan is not perfect, it will help Georgians and create a level playing field so we can compete with the rest of the world.
For example, a family of four earning the median income of $73,000 will see their tax bill reduced by 60 percent. A single mom earning $41,000 is going to pay 75 percent less. The standard deduction is doubled. The child care credit is also doubled. In fact, up to 6 million Americans will be removed from the federal income tax rolls altogether.
The biggest impact will come from a dramatically lower corporate rate that will allow American businesses to compete globally. Ending the repatriation tax will free up more than $2.6 trillion in American profits locked overseas to be reinvested into our economy.
Overall, it is estimated that these tax changes will create nearly 1 million new jobs and increase wages anywhere from $4,000-9,000.
Ultimately, these efforts will generate much-needed economic growth that is a crucial part of solving our national debt crisis, which is still my No. 1 objective in the U.S. Senate.
This year, we made some real progress. We are finally starting to get back to our Founding Principles of economic opportunity, fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty. However, the hard work is just getting started.
In 2018, we must keep up the momentum. We have to continue going after onerous rules and regulations. We started by rolling back the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, stopping the Clean Power Plan, and undoing some of the damage done by Dodd-Frank.
We have to continue working to fix our health care system. Here in Georgia, 91 percent of counties only have one choice in provider and 300,000 Georgians still cannot get insurance. We were able to eliminate the individual mandate, which fined 8 million Americans $2 billion in 2014. We still have to save Social Security and Medicare for future generations, and get at the drivers of spiraling health care costs.
We also have to fix our broken immigration system. I have been working on The RAISE Act, which would stop chain migration, end the outdated green card visa lottery, and move us to a merit-based immigration system.
Ultimately, we must scrap Washington’s failed budget process and put in place a politically neutral platform that works to fund the federal government on time, support our military, and pay for important infrastructure investments.
It is hard to believe that just one year ago, we were getting ready for President Trump’s inauguration. It is even harder to believe that I am halfway through my first term in the Senate.
Georgians sent me to the Senate for the same reason they sent President Trump to the White House: To get results. I am proud of what we have accomplished in 2017, and in 2018 I am committed to doing all I can to continue changing the direction of our country.
David Perdue represents Georgia in the U.S. Senate. Contact him at 383 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, 202-224-3521, fax 202-228-1031; 191 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 3250, Atlanta 30303, 404-865-0087, fax 404-865-0311; perdue.senate.gov.