Op-Eds

“It’s morning in America again”

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Washington, July 20, 2018 | Maura Gillespie ((202) 225-3635) | comments
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) recently penned an op-ed highlighting the benefits of tax reform and how things are looking up in the economy at home in Illinois and nationwide
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Washington, DC – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) recently penned an op-ed highlighting the benefits of tax reform and how things are looking up in the economy at home in Illinois and nationwide. Inspired by the Dixon-raised former president Ronald Reagan, Congressman Kinzinger’s op-ed is titled “Morning in America.” The article was published in the July issue of Illinois Country Living magazine, in connection with the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, reaching over 184,000 families across Illinois.  

The full text can be found in the Illinois Country Living magazine and below:

Morning in America 
Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Across the country, things are looking up. More Americans are working, starting new businesses, or going back to school to get the skills they need for our 21st Century workforce.

Through smart fiscal policies, like rolling back government red tape and simplifying the tax code, Congress and President Trump have been laser-focused on helping small businesses, entrepreneurs, and farmers grow our economy and create more opportunity for all Americans. 

These efforts have paid off. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law, over 500 companies have given their employees bonuses and/or additional benefits. In my district, employees at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Belvidere were part of the nearly 60,000 nationwide employees who received a $2,000 bonus earlier this year. Throughout the 16th Congressional District and across Illinois, retailers like Walmart, Kroger, T.J. Maxx, and Home Depot have given out bonuses, hired new employees, and/or increased employee wages. 

Next year, 85% of Illinois workers will see a tax cut because of the new tax code. This economic growth is leading to thousands of previously unemployed Americans finding new jobs. This month, the Labor Department reported that, for the first time in twenty-years (since it’s been recorded), there are more job openings in America than job seekers. This is good news for our economy; it means more opportunities and lower unemployment, as well as higher wages, better benefits, and more training for existing employees. 

On top of all that, this Administration has made repealing outdated and overly burdensome government regulations a central focus. The President directed federal agencies to repeal two old regulations for every new one issued and put them on a budget, meaning new, costly regulations must be offset by reducing burdens elsewhere.  

This incredible growth in our economy is palpable, and whether I’m in Washington, DC or home in Illinois, the renewed sense of national optimism is showing signs of hope for great opportunities ahead. It reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s promise to build a prouder, stronger, better America, and in this moment, it certainly feels like “It’s morning in America again.” 

As we know, with this renewed optimism and flourishing economy, we cannot lose sight of the challenges we face as a nation. Every day, more than 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose. This is the most severe drug epidemic we’ve ever faced, and it’s hurting families and communities nationwide. Congress has significantly increased funding for public awareness and treatment of substance use disorder, and we are committed to continuing those efforts to combat this crisis. One of those ways is through legislation, like the bipartisan legislation I introduced in April 2018 to make Medicaid and Medicare more flexible and finding new innovative ways to help end these opioid abuses.  

Another area we must work on is giving support to our rural areas. It’s 2018 and yet only 65% of Americans in rural communities have access to high-speed internet. This digital divide makes it more difficult for businesses to compete in the global economy, for students to access the vast educational resources on the web, or for folks to email their representatives in Washington, D.C. to share their comments and concerns. As co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, expanding broadband access to rural and underserved communities is a key issue we’re focused on addressing.

In addition to broadband issues, our rural communities are facing a devastating strain within the farming economy. The USDA predicts that farm income will decrease once again in 2018, nearly 6.7% and bringing net farm income to the lowest level since 2006. The agricultural industry generates around $19 billion annually for Illinois’ economy through corn, soybeans, and pork, among others. Our farmers, who are among the most productive in the world, need greater certainty to continue providing food for America. I fully support, and will continue to support, the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. A strong agriculture and farming economy is important to our economy and our rural communities, but also critical to American families across the country who rely on the agriculture industry to provide them with healthy, affordable food. 

As a Member of Congress, and Illinois resident, I remain committed to fighting for rural and small-town America.  When our rural communities are strong and healthy, our entire country thrives. For generations, Americans have shown strength and resilience, and an undeterred ability to rise to the challenges we face. This great nation was built on the backs of the hard-working men and women before us, and I know that in good times and bad, we will continue to strive for a prouder, stronger, better America for generations to come.


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