DES MOINES, Iowa – Over 150 people attended Iowans for Tax Relief and NFIB‘s Tax Day Lunch at the Des Moines Botanical Center on Friday. Both U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist explained the benefit of lower taxes and fewer regulations.
Ernst said that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017, will have a lasting impact.
“Every year, we are going to see new expansions, we’re going to see more people going back to work, we will continue to work on regulation,” she said.
“But we really did overhaul the burdensome tax system that we have here in the United States of America. And we can do a lot more, and that’s where we talk about tax cuts 2.0 and what we’re able to do there and what we hope to be able to do so through this. We were able to provide some much-needed relief to families by ushering in a more competitive tax code for American businesses, and so many of you have talked to me about that at one point or another over the past couple of years,” she added.
“The economy has added 5 million jobs, 5 million jobs, folks. And put that into perspective, we added four times as many jobs as the Congressional Budget Office projected prior to tax for four times as many. That’s incredible. And then I’ve seen the positive effects firsthand right here in Iowa,” Ernst said.
She said she was happy to see the Iowa Legislature and Governor Kim Reynolds work to move Iowa toward a better tax climate. Iowa passed its tax reform bill in 2018, and Reynolds introduced the Invest in Iowa Act this legislative session. That bill would further reduce income taxes dropping Iowa’s income tax top rate to 5.5 percent by 2023, down from 8.98 percent from one year ago.
It would also raise the sales tax to pay for mental health funding and water quality as Iowans approved a sales tax increase in 2010 with 3/8th of one percent of that increase going to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust.
“We’re really great to see that the folks here in the statehouse continue to move in a more competitive direction, making Iowa one of the best states to live in and to do business. In our state, of course, unemployment has hit near-record lows,” Ernst said.
She said that it’s not just the rich benefiting from the tax cuts.
“In fact, 90% of Americans and every income group, every income group, on average, has received a tax cut,” Ernst said. “The typical American family of four earning a median income is receiving a $2100 a year tax cut. And that’s hundreds more that each of our families will have to fill their tank with gas, and put food on the table, to buy shoes for the children before school, whatever it is, they can decide how to spend that money.”
She also said that the nation’s poverty rate fell to a 17-year low during the Trump administration.
“So tax reform is working. And we ought to be working together to continue to build on that success making the tax cuts permanent,” Ernst added.
She noted that the Democratic presidential candidates campaigned on increased regulation and taxes through policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. She said that is not the right way to go.
“We have pro-growth policies; we know that we’ve seen the results… Businesses are growing; folks are going back into the workforce. We’re excited about that. And wages are rising. And the fastest growth we’ve seen has been with the folks that earn the least,” Ernst concluded.
Watch her remarks:
Norquist’s speech preceded Ernst’s remarks. He discussed the history of tax reform and what led him to establish Americans for Tax Relief.
He also attributed the United States’ strong economy to lower taxes and reduced regulations. “The recovery we’ve seen, the growth we’ve seen, and jobs we have seen are half tax cuts and half fewer regulations.”
Looking to November’s presidential election, Norquist said, “I think this next election will be the 401k election. Whichever of the Democrats gets the nomination; they want to get rid of Trump’s tax cuts. If they are going to punch the one-percent, first they step on your investments. They reduce the value of companies, the stock market goes down, and it is a permanent change.”
Watch his speech below: