Ferguson: Tax reform bill good for businesses

Published 7:45 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) believes the recently passed tax reform bill has already made a difference for businesses in Georgia, and he thinks that growth will continue in the weeks and months to come.

The tax bill was passed by Congress Dec. 20, and it will result in lower corporate tax rates this year from 35 percent to 21 percent. The across the board cuts in income tax, which will directly impact workers, will not take effect until 2025. Ferguson said that the lower corporate tax rate is already impacting companies and workers in Georgia.

“The most exciting thing to me is the job creation that is happening with it,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got businesses across the district that are making investments in their equipment. They are making investments in their people. They are paying higher wages, and they are giving bonuses. We are seeing job creation come out of that, and we all know how important job creation is. No matter what else we do, we’ve got to have a job.”

Ferguson considers healthy job creation to be a vital part of building healthy communities.

“As we look at rebuilding healthy communities, every job counts, and we are glad to see people using these tax savings and tax reform to actually grow their businesses and grow their number of employees,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said that many companies in his district have been able to expand because of the tax reform. He cited Aflac in Columbus’ announcement to increase investments by $250 million in the U.S. and increase the company’s 401(k) match for employees.

He also said that smaller companies are benefiting from the reform as well, referencing Shred-X in Griffin where the owner credits the tax reform with making it possible for his company to expand by purchasing a vehicle. Ferguson said that these investments are the result of increased financial certainty for those businesses.

“There was a lot of pent up demand, but companies were very unsure of the future,” Ferguson said. “I can tell you this. When I owned my small business, we were very guarded in the investments that we made because we didn’t know if taxes were going up. We didn’t know if the regulatory environment was going to continue to be very punitive, and we just weren’t going to be able to increase productivity.”

He also argued that the recently enacted tax cuts will pay for themselves in the long run.

“There are always a lot of arguments out there that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, and I tend to agree with that, except we didn’t just cut taxes,” Ferguson said. “We reformed the tax code that reforms how businesses operate, so now they are making decisions based on the needs of their business, not provisions in the tax code. This is going to lead to increased productivity. It will lead to increased revenues for businesses over time, which again will lead to increased revenues coming into the federal treasury, so that we can deal with the deficit.”

Congress is currently reviewing the federal budget. According to the Congressional Budget Office, last year’s budget resulted in a $666 billion deficit, bringing the U.S. to $14.7 trillion in debt at the end of the fiscal year.

“As we look to the 2019 budget, there are two things that I would like to see us really focus on,” Ferguson said. “Number one, I want to see us begin to reform our safety net programs, so that we return the dignity of work to so many people. We’ve done a good job of that locally in Troup County, but honestly, we’ve got to do a better job of making sure that people aren’t trapped in the cycle of poverty, that they actually have the tools and resources they need to move into the middle class.”

He also said he hoped to reform the process itself in order to make it easier to balance the federal budget.

“We have got to reform our budget process because it is very broken,” Ferguson said. “It has not worked but four times since 1974. Deficits keep racking up, and I look at it, and I look at the budget process and recognize how broken that is.”