Facing 40-year high inflation that has wiped out the wage gains from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, American families – particularly people of color – are in crisis after only fourteen months of Democrats’ economic policies, Republican Leader on the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said in opening remarks during a full committee hearing.
CLICK HERE to watch Rep. Brady’s remarks.
- “A recent survey found that people of color, and those just getting into the workplace for the first time, are the ones struggling the most with inflation.”
- “Minority-owned small businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic, facing higher prices, and a labor shortage thanks to Washington’s lavish and extended unemployment bonuses, monthly stimulus checks, and Affordable Care Act subsidies that discouraged work.”
- “Many Americans believe our economy is already in a recession or depression and have lost faith in the President’s ability to rebuild an economy that works for them.”
Rep. Brady’s full remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to our witnesses today.
The Ways and Means Committee has always sought to make the economy work for all Americans – regardless of race, age, gender or circumstances of your birth.
I applaud the racial equity initiative, I wish it would have been bipartisan. I’m convinced many Republicans seek common ground on these issues facing Americans.
To be clear, racism exists in America. Individual, institutional, nor government-sponsored racism has any place today in a nation founded on the natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Every American deserves to be respected and enjoy the opportunity to pursue their individual dream through hard work, persistence, and risk-taking.
That’s why, after a decade of slow growth and stagnant paychecks, with American jobs and manufacturing moving overseas, Republicans took control of Congress and approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
This law leapfrogged America to the best economy in the world, lifted six million Americans out of poverty, brought back jobs from overseas and created hope and opportunity for workers and people of color who had been left behind in the old Obama-Biden tax code.
Real wages grew for all Americans at nearly 5 percent – the fastest in two decades.
Compared to President Obama’s second term, paychecks grew 24 percent faster for Hispanics, 79 percent faster for Black Americans, and 95 percent faster for Asian Americans. Unemployment for Black Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans also fell to all-time lows.
In 2019 alone, wages grew faster in one year than for all eight years of the Obama-Biden White House combined, poverty hit the lowest rate on record, and income inequality began to shrink for the first time in half a century.
Why is this so important? Because good jobs and rising paychecks do more to lift Americans out of poverty than never-ending government checks that hook a generation of families into government dependency.
Many of the racial disparities we see – such as in health – that concern us all, spring from socio-economic causes which, indeed, impact the poor of all races.
Just over two years ago, more Americans were connected to good paying jobs, and this meant opportunities for people of color, for women, for low-income workers, and for workers without a high school degree.
These Americans benefited the most from keeping more of what they earned, from thriving small businesses, and from strong economic growth under Republican economic leadership.
But it is the same Americans who are suffering the most under one-party Democrat control of Washington.
Before President Biden took office, paychecks were going up – rising twice as fast as inflation. Families were getting ahead, especially people of color.
Unfortunately, after only 14 months of these economic policies, working American families – particularly families of color – are worse off. Many are in crisis.
Despite warnings from Obama-Biden economic advisers like Larry Summers and Jason Furman, Democrats in Congress rammed through a partisan $2 trillion so-called “COVID stimulus” that sent inflation skyrocketing to 40-year highs.
As a result, price hikes at the pump, for food, supplies, housing and transportation are crushing working families – especially people of color.
A recent survey found that people of color, and those just getting into the workplace for the first time, are the ones struggling the most with inflation.
Minority-owned small businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic, facing higher prices, and a labor shortage thanks to Washington’s lavish and extended unemployment bonuses, monthly stimulus checks, and Affordable Care Act subsidies that discouraged work.
Now these same minority-owned small businesses still face the looming threat of President Biden’s tax increases.
Regrettably, many Democrat governors and mayors kept local businesses closed for far too long, and schools as well – hurting small business workers and parents struggling to balance child care and work.
Now with schools reopened, the Build Back Better plan in Congress is proposing a $27,000-a-year “toddler tax” that inflates the cost of child care for many working families.
More than half of all African-American households describe themselves as energy insecure, struggling to pay energy bills or sustaining adequate heating and cooling in their home.
This is another casualty of President Biden’s war on affordable Made-in-America energy.
These costs in particular will go up for these families as President Biden’s corporate tax increase gets passed on to customers in higher utility bills.
That’s on top of the historic 40-year increase in the prices.
Cash-strapped families’ incomes have fallen for the seventh-straight month and the Biden Administration sadly has no answers.
With job growth slowing, and inflation accelerating, now America with the highest inflation in the advanced world, many economists worry our economy is headed closer towards a recession each month.
Many Americans believe our economy is already in a recession or depression and have lost faith in the President’s ability to rebuild an economy that works for them.
We can do better. We must do better.
Republicans are ready and eager to work with our Democrat colleagues to ensure our economy can grow in a way that leaves no worker behind and provides the opportunity that every American deserves.