How a Record-Breaking Economy Is Helping Those Who Need It Most

The U.S. economy is in the midst of the longest economic
expansion in our history—more than 10 years of consecutive growth.

The climb out of the Great Recession has been prolonged
and strengthened by pro-growth policies, such as tax cuts and deregulation.

Rolling back those reforms or burdening workers with new
restrictions would present the biggest threats to continued prosperity for American
workers.

The strong U.S. economy continues to offer new
opportunities to people who have historically been left behind.

Average wages have grown above 3% for 10 straight months—twice as fast as inflation. And since the tax cuts of 2017, wage growth for the poorest 25% of workers has reached post-recession highs of 4.4%.

In the most recent data from the Federal
Reserve
Bank of Atlanta, the highest-income
workers’ wages are growing at a more modest rate, more than a percentage point
lower than those of low-wage workers.

June’s unemployment rate remains close to its 50-year
low at 3.7%, and the 224,000 jobs created last month is more
than double
the number needed to keep pace with population growth and
demographic change.

For Americans who want a job, they are readily available. June’s employment numbers were particularly good for African Americans, with the rate dropping to 6%, nearing the historic 2018 low of 5.9%. Women, Hispanics, and workers without a college degree are seeing similar trends.

Previously unemployed Hispanic and black working-age women are finding jobs faster than any other demographic group.

Washington politicians don’t have the ability to create
jobs or long-run opportunity. When they try, they most often fail. However, as
we are seeing today, when Washington takes even a small step back, businesses
thrive, and the prosperity is shared with working Americans.

On the other hand, proposals such as a national $15-an-hour
minimum wage could wipe out close to all the jobs gains over the past year,
according to the Congressional
Budget Office
.

New spending priorities from the progressive left would
leave lower-income Americans sending more than half of their earnings to the
government to pay for expanded one-size-fits-all programs. That’s a reality that
already exists for European
taxpayers
.

New taxes and wage mandates are not the only threat to
America’s current economic revival. Washington’s current brazen unwillingness
to constrain spending growth is already
dragging down
our economy’s potential.

In the first
nine months
of 2019, federal tax revenue increased by 3%, compared with
last year, thanks to the larger economy. Over the same period, federal spending
grew by 7%, and Congress is set to vote on bills to increase spending growth
even more in the coming months.

President Donald Trump’s tariffs—which are taxes on
American consumers and businesses—are also hampering our potential.

Last year’s 25% tariff on nearly all steel imports increased steel prices by as much as 40% in the following months. Americans who paid those higher prices had less to spend on, and save for, other priorities.

Our strong economy is a testament to the powers of good,
pro-growth policy in areas where taxes have been cut and regulations rolled
back. 

If taxes stay low, spending is constrained, and tariffs
are eliminated, the economic revival happening across the United States can
continue.

There are still millions of Americans who have not re-entered
the workforce after being sidelined during the Great Recession. And while wages
are growing and income
inequality is falling
, this should be only the beginning of the positive
trend.

When Washington gets out of the way, American businesses
and all the workers they employ thrive.