Vice President Mike Pence told 400 people from around the tri-state Tuesday that the past 18 months have been of action, results and “promises made and promises kept.”
It was the 23rd time the vice president touted the $1.5 trillion tax cut President Donald Trump signed into law in December 2017, saying it was the administration making good on a 2016 campaign promise.
Pence’s speech at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati is the latest in a series of tax policy events pushing the White House’s proposed tax cuts. Like other events, Cincinnati’s speech and panel discussion was organized by the conservative nonprofit America First Policies, formed to support and push Trump’s policies.
“Right before Christmas, with the strong support of these very same conservatives in Congress, we enacted the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history,” Pence said.
Democrats are still touting the tax cuts favor the top 1 percent, but Trump, Pence and supporters call it “across the board” tax cuts.
Hamilton County Democratic Party co-chair Connie Pillich said “it’s rather disgusting” Pence came to Cincinnati touting the tax cuts.
“All they care about is making the rich richer,” she said. “Meanwhile, the rest of us are trying to make ends meet — hoping to find a way to plan for a very uncertain and potentially unsecure future.”
But Pence said the tax cuts have benefit more than 6 million Americans through bonuses and pay raises.
“Thanks to our tax cuts, in the years ahead, we think the average wages of working families in this region is going to rise by more than $4,000 a year. That’s real money,” he said.
Pence also said there have been nearly 4 million new jobs created since Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the lowest unemployment “ever recorded for Hispanics and African Americans, and “16,000 new jobs across the Cincinnati metro area alone.”
A panel discussion happened before Pence’s speech featured Republican Congressmen Steve Chabot, Brad Wenstrup and Jim Renacci, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who talked about why the tax cuts were needed, and what’s happened since they were enacted.
“We needed it badly,” said Portman, who said during the Obama administration there was flat economic growth, flat wages “and people couldn’t get ahead.”
Then when Trump was elected and the Senate and House remained in Republican control, Portman said the realization was “we’re actually going to fix this thing … “and this thing is working.”
Renacci, of Wadsworth, who is running against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, said December-passed tax cuts are helping Ohio businesses now.
“Right now as I travel across the state of Ohio, businesses are reinvesting back into their businesses,” Renacci said. “It’s one of the reasons we have a 4.1 percent growth right now.”
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