Christmas came early for Republicans this year with the passage of comprehensive tax reform. It is cited as the first major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws since 1986.

In a statement, President Donald Trump said: “By cutting taxes and reforming the broken system, we are now pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy.”

One of the biggest accomplishments is the cut in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 21 percent.

In a commentary that ran Monday, Richard J. Tobin, CEO of CNH Industrial, talked about the need for tax reform.

He wrote, “United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world and workers feel that directly. Studies have shown workers bear up to 75 percent of the cost of a high corporate tax rate.”

“When our business succeeds, we can play a bigger role in supporting the state’s economy and helping the people of Wisconsin thrive,” Tobin said of the company that was established in Racine County in 1842 and employs 1,800 people in Wisconsin.

Tobin’s optimism about tax reform is echoed throughout the manufacturing industry.

According to a Dec. 18 report from the National Association of Manufacturers, their latest survey reflected continued optimism. In that survey, 94.6 percent of respondents said they are positive about their own company’s outlook, the highest in the survey’s 20-year history.

The report states, “Optimism has been at historically high levels throughout the year, averaging 91.8 percent in the four quarters of 2017, up from a 64.3 percent average in 2016.”

That is a huge jump.

Full-time employment is expected to rise 2.6 percent over the next year, and nearly 62 percent of manufacturers anticipate an increase in employment over the next year, with 22.8 percent predicting a jump of at least 5 percent.

Part of the optimism, it appears, spurred from the proposed tax reform being discussed this year.

The survey found that just more than three-quarters of respondents said they supported the current tax proposals being debated in Congress, with 16.4 percent unsure.

In explaining the need for tax reform, Tobin said, “Reforming the tax code will equip the nation’s job creators with the tools they need to be catalysts for economic growth with the resulting increase in capital spending, investment and hiring.”

That is something everyone in Racine County should want. We want companies like Case and SC Johnson to stay in Racine and continue to employ our local workers and support our local economy. If this tax reform benefits our local companies, it benefits all of us.

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