In con­struc­tion and be­yond, tax cuts are work­ing

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS - By David Nace Guest colum­nist David Nace serves as ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent at Wick­er­sham Con­struc­tion and En­gi­neer­ing in Lan­caster.

Think the U.S. econ­omy is slow­ing down? Think again.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, eco­nomic growth is ex­pected to hover around three per­cent this year, and sur­pass 2.5 per­cent in 2019. Amer­ica’s stock market, mean­while, has out­per­formed the rest of the world. The S&P 500 is up eight per­cent year to date, while Europe and much of Asia are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing neg­a­tive re­turns.

More­over, eco­nomic op­ti­mism is be­ing felt across in­dus­tries. A re­cent Mer­rill Lynch sur­vey of in­vestors found that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity (69 per­cent) de­scribe Amer­ica’s econ­omy as the one of­fer­ing the best prospects for cor­po­rate prof­its.

In Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of Chicago Pres­i­dent Charles Evans’ words: “The U.S. econ­omy is fir­ing on all cylin­ders, with strong growth, low un­em­ploy­ment, and in­fla­tion ap­proach­ing our two per­cent sym­met­ric tar­get on a sus­tained ba­sis. I ex­pect this good per­for­mance to con­tinue over the next few years.” Larry Kud­low, Pres­i­dent Trump’s eco­nomic aide, echoed Evans’ sen­ti­ment: “The U.S. is the hottest econ­omy in the world to­day. We’re crush­ing it. Cap­i­tal is flow­ing here in huge quan­ti­ties.”

If the con­struc­tion in­dus­try — where my own ex­pe­ri­ence lies — is any in­di­ca­tion, we have only sunny skies ahead of us. Over the sum­mer, job­less rates in our in­dus­try dropped be­low four per­cent — down from 4.9 per­cent last year. In fact, con­struc­tion job­less rates are cur­rently at an 18-year low.

Not since the turn of the cen­tury have we seen eco­nomic pros­per­ity like ours to­day. And we have Pres­i­dent Trump to thank for it.

Since the 2016 elec­tion, jobs in the min­ing and log­ging in­dus­try are up 13.5 per­cent. Em­ploy­ment in con­struc­tion and ex­trac­tion oc­cu­pa­tions, mean­while, is ex­pected to grow more than 10 per­cent over the next decade. As CNBC’s Thomas Franck puts it, “The con­struc­tion in­dus­try is one of the hottest in the Amer­i­can econ­omy in terms of em­ploy­ment and has been ex­plic­itly cited by the Bureau of La­bor Sta­tis­tics as an area of bet­ter-than-av­er­age growth.”

Why so much eco­nomic pros­per­ity? There are many rea­sons, but Pres­i­dent Trump’s staunch sup­port for pro-busi­ness poli­cies has a lot to do with it.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion be­lieves in tax re­lief as a way to cre­ate jobs, raise wages, and im­prove the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tions of mil­lions of work­ing Amer­i­cans na­tion­wide. Sim­i­larly, the White House be­lieves in a reg­u­la­tory roll­back to un­bur­den em­ploy­ers, which have long de­voted too much time and too much money to com­pli­ance, not busi­ness ex­pan­sion and job cre­ation.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s be­lief is pay­ing off. Be­cause of fed­eral tax cuts, well over 700 U.S. em­ploy­ers have taken ad­van­tage of a lower tax bur­den to grow their busi­nesses, hire more job-seek­ers, and re­ward their cur­rent em­ploy­ees. Mil­lions of work­ing Amer­i­cans — thou­sands in Penn­syl­va­nia alone — have re­ceived pay hikes, bonuses, and other em­ployee ben­e­fits.

And that’s not all. The pres­i­dent has slashed hun­dreds of fed­eral reg­u­la­tions since In­au­gu­ra­tion Day, re­duc­ing the time and money that em­ploy­ers spend on com­pli­ance with red tape. Last year, the reg­u­la­tory roll­back saved job cre­ators roughly $8 bil­lion in reg­u­la­tory costs. In 2018, that num­ber will be closer to $10 bil­lion. It goes with­out say­ing, but a health­ier busi­ness cli­mate bodes well for em­ploy­ees and job-seek­ers alike.

Re­mem­ber: Our eco­nomic pros­per­ity — in con­struc­tion and be­yond — is not a co­in­ci­dence. Not with Pres­i­dent Trump around.

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