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Economic Policy

Our nation is threatened by a debt crisis that has been caused by unrestrained federal deficits that if unchecked, will threaten economic prosperity and job growth. By 2022, we will be spending more in interest on our national debt than we do to protect and defend our country.   Our federal spending programs must be carefully examined so that wasteful and duplicative programs are eliminated in order to make government more efficient and accountable. President Trump followed actions taken in the House and issued an executive order to repeal two regulations for each regulation an agency creates.  Reports show that the Trump Administration actually cut 22 regulations for each new one.   Meetings with private sector and public utilities say these actions have been a boon to their ability to operate.

 

A Balanced Budget Amendment would restrain the unchecked growth in federal spending and force the American government to live within its means, just as families and businesses must do.  Congressman Bilirakis has previously voted on a balanced budget Amendment on multiple occasions, but it has failed to get the 2/3 support required to advance.  He has serious concerns about continuing to increase the federal deficit.  Recent budget bills contained far more funding than federal agencies even requested. We must continue to pass pro-growth legislation and reign in our spending—focusing on what is most essential and streamlining other areas.  

 

If we do not take action now, then we risk becoming the first generation to leave our country worse off for our children and grandchildren. Congressman Bilirakis believes that we must implement serious spending reforms to restore the fiscal credibility of the United States at home and in the global market. During these difficult economic times, Americans have had to spend less, and the federal government should do likewise.

 

Economy/Jobs

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Buoyed by the unprecedented success of Operation Warp Speed’s vaccine production coupled with states beginning to relax restrictions as vaccination efforts continue to accelerate, America is coming back -- and the 379,000 payroll jobs added in February of 2021 (nearly double the consensus estimates of economists) suggest America’s recovery is accelerating. (updated 03/09/21)

The Great American Comeback that began under the previous Administration continues with unemployment continuing to fall to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepare for a post-pandemic world. (updated 03/09/21)

 

According to the BLS, among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined to 5.1 percent in February. The rates for adult men (6.0 percent), adult women (5.9 percent), teenagers (13.9 percent), Whites (5.6 percent), Blacks (9.9 percent), and Hispanics (8.5 percent) continue to largely trend downward as well. As states and America’s businesses continue to reopen, most job gains in February were realized in the leisure and hospitality industries followed by gains in temporary help services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing. (updated 03/09/21)

 

With a third vaccine now available for distribution, expectations are set for a record recovery from the pandemic-induced recession. (updated 03/09/21) Congressman Bilirakis believes we should absolutely continue to reopen American businesses as safely, smartly, and swiftly as possible.

 

Tax Reform

This economic success was triggered by historic tax reform signed into law in December of 2017.  Before tax reform, individuals and businesses were spending 6.1 billion hours preparing their tax returns. Further, the tax code was often unfair with various tax loopholes and many households not paying federal income tax at all.   Congressman Bilirakis is proud of his efforts to modernize the tax code, making the system simpler and providing immediate relief to Middle Class Americans and small businesses, including lowering federal tax rates seniors pay by an average of 3%.

 

The package doubled the standard deduction, lowered the tax rate for all tax brackets, preserved essential deductions, dramatically increased the child tax credit, and included pro-growth policies that will continue to strengthen our economy.  Congressman Bilirakis understands that small businesses are the backbone of our economy.  They are the innovators that employ most Americans.  

 

The top tax rate on these businesses is 25%, a significant reduction from the previous 39.6% rate.  Additionally, the corporate tax rate has been lowered to 21%.  These combined measures have already helped to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, boost wages, and bring back businesses that fled overseas due to our disadvantageous tax system. In fact, tax reform contributed to an increase in GDP of 4.2% and 3.4% in the second and third quarters of 2018, respectively.  

 

A great deal of misinformation circulated about tax reform.  However, independent researchers at the Tax Foundation estimate that the bill provided an average middle income family in Florida with a gain of $2,252.  Under the old scheme, the average senior was in a 15% tax bracket. Under the new reforms, the average senior falls into a 12% bracket, allowing seniors to keep more of their own money and improve their quality of life.   The Tax Foundation found that the average middle income person in Congressman Bilirakis’s Congressional District saw a tax cut of $1,395.

 

 

More on Economic Policy

August 25, 2016 Press Release

Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) this week held two town hall meetings in Florida’s twelfth congressional district to discuss legislative issues with constituents. The Congressman provided the local community with an update on the work he has been doing in Congress.

August 19, 2016 Bilirakis Blog

It’s no wonder Americans pay tens of millions of dollars a year for tax preparers to wade through 70,000 pages worth of tax law. The tax code is confusing, and sends too much money to Washington and too many jobs overseas. I am working towards a simpler, fairer, and flatter tax code, so that it will be easier for small business owners, families, and individuals to do taxes and have peace of mind. Simplifying our tax code will lead to more jobs, better wages, and more opportunities for all Americans.

February 9, 2016 Press Release

Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) released the following statement following President Obama’s budget proposal for FY 2017:

“Maintaining his status quo, the President has proposed a budget that leads us to higher taxes and too much spending. The proposal would increase spending by $2.5 trillion and raise taxes by $3.4 trillion over the next decade. Under his budget, the national debt will be more than double what it was when the President took office.

December 18, 2015 Press Release

On Thursday, the House advanced H.R. 2029, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. This legislation makes permanent over 20 tax relief provisions and extends a number of other tax relief provisions that expired in 2014.

“This legislation delivers certainty to taxpayers in my district and across the country,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). “This bill prevents tax increases which would have been harmful to our economy and will help strengthen the integrity of tax credit programs to prevent fraud and abuse. This bill is a win for taxpayers.”

October 28, 2015 Press Release

Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) released the following statement regarding the House vote to advance H.R. 1314 and increase the debt limit:

January 21, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) released the following statement on the President’s State of the Union Address:

January 13, 2015 Press Release

A Florida congressman wants to amend the Internal Revenue code to close a loophole being exploited by illegal immigrants.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., is looking to ensure illegal immigrants are not able to receive federal tax refunds using the child tax credit. Bilirakis showcased the “Stop Handouts to Unauthorized Taxpayers (SHUT) Act” on Friday.

January 9, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced H.R. 192, the Stop Handouts to Unauthorized Taxpayers (SHUT) Act, which would require any individual who receives the refundable portion of the child tax credit to demonstrate their legal employment in the United States by providing a Social Security Number or proof of lawful residence on their tax return.

April 30, 2014 Press Release

“The MilCon/VA appropriations bill the House passed represents a $7 billion increase from FY2014, and includes a number of different provisions to protect our nation’s veterans. This legislation includes full funding for disability claims processing, to give the VA additional resources to reduce the backlog,” Bilirakis said. “Disability compensation and education benefits for veterans are also fully funded, as are vital resources for veterans returning to civilian life. H.R.

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