Tax Cuts Feeding Economic Growth

By Stansbury, Chris | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), June 15, 2018 | Go to article overview

Tax Cuts Feeding Economic Growth


Stansbury, Chris, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


For the first time in recorded history, the number of available jobs outnumbers the jobless.

According to last week's jobs report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 6.1 million Americans unemployed, while there are 6.7 million unfilled jobs. From a Great Recession high of 6.6 unemployed people for every open job, that ratio has now dropped below the 1:1 margin.

The national unemployment rate is 3.8 percent, a low reached only one other time (April 2000) in the past 50 years. This is even more impressive when you remember that the unemployment rate was more than twice as high as it is now as recently as 2012. Minority unemployment rates are also at record lows.

West Virginia is an active participant in this boom. Its economic growth in 2017 was among the fastest in the nation at 2.6 percent. And its personal earnings growth matched the impressive national rate at 3.1 percent.

Manufacturing, which is particularly important in West Virginia, is booming. Two recently approved natural gas pipelines in the state will create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. Nine in ten manufacturers nationwide report plans to increase investment thanks to the strong economy. Three-quarters say they plan to increase hiring as well.

What's the driving force behind the strong local and national economy? It's largely the pro-business reforms at the federal level that are leaving ordinary Americans with more money in their pockets to spend, save, invest, and create opportunity.

Exhibit A is the tax reform that passed late last year. These tax cuts were a three-legged stool of individual, small business, and corporate relief that have provided a strong foundation for the recent economic growth.

At the individual level, provisions like the doubling of the standard deduction and eliminating the 15 percent tax rate are putting about $2,000 back in the pockets of ordinary families. …

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