Modern American women succeed under Republican economic policies

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There is no manual for what a woman must do to succeed. It is an inherently different and wonderful challenge for every mother, sister and daughter in this country. But policymakers have, for too long, approached this challenge with “one size fits all” mandates and exclusionary laws that attempt to define one path for a woman’s success. This stands at odds with the reality of the modern woman. She is a worker and an employer, a daughter and a mother, a student and a teacher. Public policy must evolve with its people, and this means disposing once and for all with the idea that laws fashioned from one-dimensional thinking can fit our multi-dimensional society.

Evidence that policies focused on growth and economic mobility greatly improve the lives of women is everywhere. Look no further than the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act last year as just one example. Prior to its overhaul last year, the tax code’s compliance costs were estimated at more than $262 billion each year. This includes, among other things, the 15 hours of preparation and $280 out-of-pocket expenses the average family assumes to file taxes.

{mosads}Surveys show women control financial decisions in a majority of households, meaning this burden falls primarily to them. By dropping the income tax rates and doubling the standard deduction, the number of Americans who will be forced to undertake the tedious exercise of itemizing their taxes will drop to fewer than one in 10 this year. This allows women to take back millions of hours otherwise spent complying with the tax code and spend them where they value most.

In addition, women are now the primary source of income in 40 percent of households, a rate four times higher than what our grandparents experienced. With the IRS implementing the withholding changes in accordance with the new tax law, families are now seeing higher take-home pay in their paychecks each month. The tax bill also doubled the child tax credit and eased the marriage penalty, which is the phenomenon that forces married couples into higher tax brackets than if they were paying their taxes as single filers), meaning the median family will see their taxes go down by more than $2,000 by the end of the year.

Women don’t just run households. They run companies. According to a 2017 American Express report, the number of women-owned firms increased by a rate of roughly more than 2.5 times the national average over the last 10 years. However, while enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is sky high, the means for women hoping to open their own business remain too limited. Pervasive contraction of capital hits women especially hard, since their businesses still receive less than 3 percent of venture capital.

To ensure women everywhere have access to capital anywhere it is essential that Washington end its “one size fits all” regulation of financial systems. Reforms that have recently passed in the Senate, which President Trump has indicated he will sign when the measure makes it through the House, would be a critical first step in breaking down the barriers women face in opening and running their businesses. These reforms would liberate small lenders from rules that were written to apply to big banks, and expand their ability to offer financial products to communities who need them most, such as female business owners who are underrepresented in other funding regimes.

But whether their companies are startups or well established, female business owners have struggled against a tax code that for years has placed Americans businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act made it easier for companies to invest in their businesses by expanding cost recovery measures and reducing income tax rates for business owners who pay their taxes on their personal returns.

Our corporate income tax rate was also reduced from the highest in the developed world at 35 percent to 21 percent. Female leadership of Fortune 500 companies is at an all-time high, though still only making up 6.4 percent of chief executive officer roles. These women employ millions of American workers, who the White House estimates will see a $4,000 increase in wages as a result of the corporate tax rate cut.

But women are not just workers, or bosses, or stay-at-home moms. They are all of these things and more. The state of education and workforce training must evolve to fit their needs, an initiative for which first daughter Ivanka Trump and Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon have been stalwart advocates. They have allies in female Republican leaders in states. In Wisconsin, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch has been a tireless supporter of expanding training to meet the needs of a modern workforce. She recognizes that diverse populations require diverse educational and training opportunities.

A consistent theme in Wisconsin has been leveraging the power of companies to provide apprenticeship training for workers. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to sign legislation to that effect into law. She recently hosted Ivanka Trump to discuss the challenges of an evolving labor market and highlight her efforts to cultivate more opportunity for workers of all backgrounds, demonstrating that this can revolutionize both state and federal approaches to workforce development.

Americans are honoring the contributions women make across every corner of society by rejecting the politics that paint women as one-dimensional beneficiaries of public policy. By overhauling the tax code, President Trump and congressional Republicans took a significant step towards elevating the roles women fill each and every day. Their continued leadership in rolling back barriers and expanding opportunity is crucial to the success of all Americans and, importantly, to meeting the diverse needs of the modern American woman.

Mattie Duppler (@MDuppler) is a senior fellow for fiscal policy at the National Taxpayers Union and president of Forward Strategies.

Tags Business Congress Donald Trump economy Education Ivanka Trump Labor Linda McMahon Republicans taxes Untied States White House Women

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