WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Tax Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) delivered the following opening statement at a hearing entitled “Growing Our Economy and Creating Jobs.”
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Today we continue our series of tax reform hearings into how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is providing economic growth. Our focus today is on how tax reform is affecting those Main Street businesses, which create most of the jobs in this country and which invest in our local communities.
“Last year we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reform our tax code into one built for growth. We lowered tax rates across the board, for individuals, small businesses, and corporations. We introduced full and immediate expensing for most capital expenditures by firms of all sizes. And we enacted provisions specific for small businesses, such as expanded availability for cash accounting, and flexibility for choosing between pass-through and corporate taxation. These reforms benefit all businesses, big and small, and create an economic climate that spurs economic growth.
“We are seeing results already. Back in 2016, CBO projected that GDP growth in 2018 would slow from 2.3 percent in the first quarter down to 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Now, after growing 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018, GDP growth is projected to accelerate to 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
“At the same time, unemployment forecasts are being revised down. For example, CBO expects the unemployment rate to drop to 3.5 percent by the end of this year – the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.
“And that’s not all. Investment growth is exceeding expectations. Just last week the Wall Street Journal reported that capital spending by firms in the S&P 500 grew by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2018 – the fastest pace since 2011 and the best first quarter since 1995.
“Recent data on small businesses is encouraging. The National Federation for Independent Business reported small business profit growth at a 45-year high. The percentage of small businesses that are expanding their employment is at its highest level since 1999. And the percentage of small businesses reporting plans for expansion, increased hiring and higher wages, is at or near record highs.
“Now we want to hear from small business owners themselves on how tax reform is helping them grow their operations and invest in their workers and local communities. We have a fantastic panel of witnesses before us today, including several current owners of small and mid-sized businesses. I look forward to all of your testimony.”