Today at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed the tangible benefits American workers are seeing thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act being signed into law:
“Today marks 20 days since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became the law of the land. Already, this new law is helping to improve the lives of middle-income families across the country.
“You saw the announcement from Walmart just this morning. More than a million Americans are due to receive their bonuses because of tax reform. Already, workers are seeing real increases in base wages, increases in 401(k) contributions, and in maternity and paternity leave. Power companies in a number of states are planning to lower electricity bills. Think about what a relief that’s going to be with the cold winters we have. You gotta come to Wisconsin sometime this year—your power bills get pretty high. Manufacturers—they’re announcing new plans to hire more workers and expand their operations. All of this has happened in just 20 days.
“So think about this. This is all before families have even started to see the benefits of lower tax rates, better withholding, and a higher standard deduction. Remember, the typical family of four making $73,000 will get a $2,059 tax cut just this year. So this is just getting started. And we look forward to more good news for middle-income families, and for our entire economy.”
Speaker Ryan also discussed the importance of rebuilding our military and strengthening its capabilities:
“I’d like to turn to a very serious issue. As you know, we are working to secure the funding that is needed to rebuild our military. What does that mean? Why do we spend so much time on rebuilding our military? Why do we spend so much time talking about this?
“There are countless facts and figures that I could quote about the weakening of our military capabilities. Let me just say a few things: Less than half of the Navy’s planes can fly. Less than 10 percent of our Army’s Combat Brigade Teams are ready to fight. Our Air Force is the smallest that it has ever been. Chairman Mac Thornberry puts it best when he says: ‘We have too few planes that can fly, too few ships that can sail, and too few soldiers who can deploy.’
“But this is not just costing us military might. This is not just hampering our mission. It is actually costing us American lives. Last year, this nation lost 17 sailors aboard the USS John McCain and USS Fitzgerald. Readiness shortfalls were serious factors in these fatal accidents, which happened on aging ships with expired training certifications.
“Every day that goes by without adequate funding is another day we are pushing our military past the breaking point. And it is a shameful situation. We have a duty to address it, and do right by the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us here and abroad. And that is exactly what we are going to do.”