With the Success of the GOP Tax Cut, Here’s What To Achieve Next in 2018
The big, quick benefits of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the U.S. economy, businesses, and workers have surprised even some of its supporters. Soon there will be a second wave of benefits, as more than 80 percent of families feel tax relief.
But America always moves forward. As the President outlines the State of the Union, I want to add my voice to where our great nation needs to go.
National defense is our federal government’s top priority. Because of budget caps enacted by Congress during the Obama Administration, our military has lacked sufficient funding and must be rebuilt. As President Reagan said, peace comes through strength.
We also must conduct a clear-eyed accounting of our friends and enemies. Under no circumstances should we send aid or make arms sales to foreign countries that support terrorism. We must work together with our allies to fight and defeat terrorists around the world.
Jobs and the Economy
In addition to benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the White House has helped the economy and jobs by reducing needless government regulations. Getting rid of needless regulations helps employers raise wages and create jobs, and it increases retirement accounts by lifting the stock markets. Progress has been made, but we have far to go in reducing the strangling effects of government regulations.
As a commercial contractor and Hard Hat for 35 years, this topic is near and dear to my heart. America’s economic strength comes from its infrastructure – its airports, roads, bridges, tunnels, and communications networks. But like our military, our infrastructure has been underfunded for far too long.
The federal government, in partnership with states and cities, must rebuild America’s infrastructure. This will make travel faster, easier and safer, bring fast Internet to rural communities, and smooth and speed interstate commerce. An added win from this $1 trillion investment will be the creation of thousands of good-paying Hard Hat jobs.
A common-sense immigration policy is long overdue. But legal immigration cannot work until our borders are secured, and illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle. Then we can decide who should be allowed into our country, and how many.
I believe that legal immigration should benefit the American economy, workers and taxpayers. Immigrants should be required to be productive members of society, and should bring with them only their spouses and children.
As a business owner, I believe international trade benefits Americans. But trade agreements must be fair, and I agree with the President that it is easier to create fair trade agreements with single countries than with large blocks of countries.
We live in divisive times. But America is strongest when we work together toward common goals. We need a strong military; secure borders; and a strong economy with good-paying jobs that support families. These are not partisan ideals. They are the basis of our nation’s survival and well-being.
Lost in the clamor about last weekend’s federal government shutdown is a potential loss of $75 million in federal funding for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) bus line project.
President Trump included the funding in the FY2018 budget that was submitted to Congress last March and approved by the House of Representatives in September. However, the Senate has not approved the budget. Two of Martin Heinrich’s committees, Defense and Interior, are holding up the approval.
The government shutdown is over – at least for the next three weeks. But until and unless a budget is passed, Albuquerque’s ART funds remain at risk. Congress could forgo the FY2018 budget altogether, operating on continuing resolutions through FY2018. If that happens, New Mexico’s Senators will need to petition the Trump Administration to include the $75 million in the FY2019 budget – after they torpedoed FY2018 budget.
This calls to mind another mass transit project: Rail Runner. Gov. Richardson’s administration promised the federal government would fund a majority of the cost. But it didn’t. New Mexico was stuck with the entire $500 million bill. Now we have two balloon payments of $112 million each due in the next 10 years. We don’t need to be stuck holding the bag for another $75 million.
Call Senators Udall and Heinrich, and tell them to put New Mexico first. Tell them to pass the FY2018 Budget, so this time, Albuquerque receives the funds it was promised.
“Everyone comes in from completely different backgrounds. But at lunch time, we all crack open the lunch box and we’re one.”
Adrian C Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus Published 5:04 p.m. MT Jan. 19, 2018
Even on a local level, Rich said he believes the federal government, through negotiation, can create a solution to Carlsbad’s brine well, in danger of a collapse which could cause millions in damages and litigation.
Local leaders have tangled for years over who should take responsibility for the problem.
To Rich, all levels should be at the table.
“That’s a big issue, and the federal government should step up,” he said. “There are federal funds available for mine closures, and those issues dealing with mining. As New Mexico’s U.S. Senator, I’ll be looking for federal funds, because that’s a federal issue. They’re part of the puzzle.”
As an outside observer, Rich said he sees politicians looking out for their own agenda, or that of their party, and failing to address the issues that matter to constituents.
If he takes office, Rich said he plans to usher in an ideology that ignores partisan politics, and looks out for the good of the voters.
“When you look at Washington, they’re not looking at bringing people together, they’re looking at how they can push forward their agenda, not the people’s agenda,” Rich said. “I’m just a guy that wants to get the job done.”
He has interacted with numerous federal agencies as a contractor, Rich said, completing numerous projects on big cities and small towns.
That experience should translate well, he said, to life as federal lawmaker.
“I have spent a career working with federal agencies,” Rich said. “I have worked with probably almost every federal agency in New Mexico. I know what it’s like to deal with the federal bureaucracies. In my business, you had to bring people together, even the government agencies, to move forward with the project. I’ve been successful with that.”
His opponent, Heinrich who announced his re-election bid in March 2017, has failed to make a meaningful change in the Senate, he said, by struggling to form relationships across the aisle.
“If he was doing his job, I wouldn’t be running for Senate,” Rich said. “He isn’t doing his job.”
Rich was particularly critical of Heinrich’s vote against the confirmation of U.S. Secretary Rick Perry, which was followed by a Department of Energy report that could steer weapons upgrades away from Los Alamos.
The DOE is heavily focused on Tennessee, Rich said, which has two GOP senators.
“He voted against the confirmation of Rick Perry,” Rich said of Heinrich. “Then the DOE had a report that said maybe Los Alamos is not the best place for the next weapons upgrade. I know how to build relationships, even with people who don’t necessarily agree with me. That’s why I’ve had Democrats that supported by candidacy. Martin Heinrich hasn’t learned that, and he’s been there 10 years.”
Rich said the five-year senator played a part in the country’s failed healthcare system, and criticized his vote against the GOP’s recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill.
He called Heinrich’s votes partisan, putting the political agendas ahead of the needs of the people.
“This is a guy who voted against the tax bill,” Rich said. “I’m looking at this and say it looks good to me. I’m hearing corporations are handing out nice bonuses to people.
“I hear 80 percent of taxpayers are going to get a decrease. And Martin Heinrich voted against it. For me, it’s not about a republican agenda, it’s an agenda for the people.”
Negotiations are essential to advancing such an agenda, Rich said.
He was critical of Democrat leaders who walked out of immigration talks with President Donald Trump, following Trump’s now infamous supposed labeling of many African nations as “shithole countries.”
He also attacked Heinrich for voting against Congress’s Continuing Resolution, paving the way for a government shutdown.
“Martin Heinrich did nothing to move forward the immigration issues. Now here it is and he wants to blow up the whole budget process. It’s unconscionable to me,” Rich said.
Immigration is an essential issue to address at the federal level, Rich said. To him, immigrants don’t just come for jobs, but to become Americans.
“We’re looking at this and saying the only people we’re holding responsible for immigration issues are employers,” Rich said. “We saw kids come here. They weren’t coming for jobs, they were coming to live here. It’s not just about jobs, it’s about freedom. We need a system that is fair and equitable for the people that are here.”
There is a limit to how many immigrants should be allowed in the country, Rich said, and he said he is committed to negotiating the issue.
We can only accept so many immigrants without making it so that nobody can be successful,” he said. “It costs substantial funds to bring a person in in immigration. No enough funds are allocated per person.”
On state issues, Rich said his focus is on job creation, eliminating regulations, and supporting rural New Mexicans.
Support for the oil and gas industry in southeast New Mexico is also important, Rich said, amid innovations in green and renewable energy.
He said New Mexico could be at the forefront of America’s fuel independence.
“When you think about New Mexico’s oil and gas industry, I don’t think southeast New Mexico is given the credit for where we’re at in the world,” Rich said. “It’s not just about the U.S. being energy independent.
“We have now surpassed Saudi Arabia in production. We are no longer beholden to countries that don’t have our best interests at heart.”
As a Senator, Rich said his decisions will affect him and his family as well as New Mexicans from every region.
“The big difference is that at the local level, whether it’s the media or the political environment, you leave here at the end of the day and you’re seeing people at the grocery store… and they say “Hey, this isn’t getting fixed,” Rich said.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, JAN. 11, 2018 – U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), one of the richest members of Congress, today called the bonuses that U.S. workers are receiving as a result of the tax cut “pathetic” and “crumbs.”
On a C-SPAN video that can be viewed here, Pelosi said, “The bonus that corporate America receives versus the crumbs they are giving to workers to put the schmooze on is so pathetic.”
More than two million American workers have received bonuses of up to $3,000 thanks to the Republican tax bill, according to Americans for Tax Reform. Major companies including Walmart and Wells Fargo have announced that they will increase their starting hourly wage in response to the tax bill.
“I’m surprised to hear another Democratic leader make a ‘deplorables’ comment,” said Mick Rich, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico. “Whether it’s Barack Obama condemning Americans ‘clinging to their guns and religion’ or Nancy Pelosi calling a $3,000 bonus ‘crumbs,’ this shows how out of touch the Democratic Party is with hard-working taxpayers.”
Mr. Rich went on to challenge his Democratic opponent, Sen. Martin Heinrich, to condemn the statement of his former leader in the House.
“Martin Heinrich votes with Democratic Party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi more than 94 percent of the time,” Rich said. “Voters can smell elitism two thousand miles away – and they will fire Martin Heinrich in the voting booth, because he’s out of touch.”
More than 80 percent of Americans are expected to see their taxes go down in 2018 thanks to the Republican tax bill, which Pelosi claimed would result in “Armageddon.”
“Mainstream media have tried to brainwash the American people into thinking that this tax cut does not help working people,” Rich said. “You show me a working family that would consider $3,000 bonus ‘pathetic.’”
Rich said he is confident that the GOP Tax Cuts and Job Act will gain popularity as more Americans experience its benefits, and that the tax cut will be a boost for Republicans in the November midterm elections.