Democratic tax hikes are coming

By Representative Kevin Hern for the Tulsa World

The sad and despicable tactic being used by our government right now is to pay off the American people with their own tax dollars in order to pass whatever legislation they please.

H.R. 1319, the $1.9 trillion “Pelosi Payoff,” used Oklahoma taxpayer dollars to fund political favors, essentially a Socialist-Democrat wish list, under the guise of COVID-19 relief. In reality, only 9% of H.R. 1319 was targeted towards crushing the virus, distributing vaccines and putting Americans back to work, while over 25% of the bill was sent to bail out blue states, primarily New York and California, which mismanaged their finances long before COVID-19.

Oklahoma taxpayers did not sign up for this. Unfortunately, there’s more. A sneaky provision included in the bill prohibits states from using COVID relief funds to offset tax cuts.

Blue states don’t want to compete with pro-growth, pro-taxpayer states like Oklahoma, which is why they are targeting states like us with this legislation. I refuse to stand idly by while Congressional leaders attempt to bully pro-growth states.

The left has demonstrated that there is no tolerance for competing ideas. If you don’t agree with them, you are “canceled” and silenced.

Like most Oklahomans, I believe you are a better manager of your own money than the government. In Oklahoma, we have a balanced budget. In Washington D.C., they believe that debts don’t matter and budgets aren’t important. Speaker Pelosi even told her Budget Committee chairman not to produce a budget at all for the last two years. Businesses and families cannot operate like this, why is the federal government exempt?

Competition between low-tax states and high-tax states shows voters a clear contrast between success and failure. Taxpayers have already been voting with their feet for years. Over the last decade, millions of people and jobs have moved from high-tax states into states with low- or no-income taxes, and the increased ability to work remotely will only amplify this trend. The only way for high-tax states to compete is to prevent low-tax states from returning even more tax dollars back to the taxpayers.

Our federal spending has gone beyond reckless in recent years — ballooning the national debt to over $28 trillion. However, there is blame to share here; Republicans and Democrats have both contributed to the debt and failed to address it when power changed hands.

Nothing is free. Every dollar our government spends must be accounted for. Our children’s children will bear the consequences of this insatiable spending, and we will only have ourselves to blame.

Instead of redistributing taxpayer money, let Americans keep more of their hard-earned dollars in the first place with lower taxes.

Tax cuts have proven to help the economy grow. The successful Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 did just that. Before COVID shut the country down, unemployment was at a 50-year low (3.8%). 5.3 million jobs were created between the years of 2017 and 2019, and gross domestic product growth was 3.1%, the highest it had been since 2005. Income taxes for employees were cut across the board, and job creators moved jobs back to the U.S. from overseas.

The tax cuts grew jobs, raised paychecks and ushered in a record American economy that was the envy of the world.

America is exceptional because our country is full of opportunity for anyone willing to work for it. The federal government should not be in the business of trying to guarantee outcomes, they should strive to guarantee opportunity.

I believe this because I have lived it. There is no other country where a poor boy from the Ozark mountains could come from nothing and build successful business from the ground up.

The federal government didn’t build your business or family — you did. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way, that’s why tax hikes are coming. But not if I can help it.

We must protect opportunity. We must protect the American dream.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican, represents Oklahoma’s First Congressional District, which includes most of Tulsa.