New Congress must keep its foot on the economic gas pedal

New Congress must keep its foot on the economic gas pedal
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Elections matter. The results are in, and Democrats took control of the House while Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate.

Despite this, our new lawmakers should be able to agree on a basic fact: The U.S. economy is on fire. American workers and small-business owners like myself have been been able to experience the tangible benefits of this economic boom. So to our newly elected legislators, I have a message: Let’s keep this economy revved up.

Two common-sense measures have contributed to this trend and should inspire the 116th Congress: lowering taxes and cutting red tape.

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The passage of last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has resulted in the fattening of many American wallets — 90 percent of wage earners according to the Treasury Department. While that news deserves praise, we must not forget that, as it stands now, the tax cuts for individuals and small businesses are set to expire in 2025.

Luckily, our federal legislators can still make the tax relief permanent, which should be an easy decision to make after examining the benefits of the tax cuts over the past year.

Thanks to those tax cuts, small businesses like mine have been able to provide pay raises, bonuses, hire more workers, expand operations and reinvest in our local economy. This is what makes the free-market economy great— millions of moving pieces working in harmony at the local level result in a stronger and more vibrant national economy.

However, this well-oiled economy isn’t occurring because of tax cuts alone.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily says Trump travel ban preventing mother from seeing dying son Saudi Arabia rejects Senate position on Khashoggi killing Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation MORE campaigned on reducing regulations, and he has delivered on that promise. Much like the tax cuts, the effects of less bureaucratic red tape have been a boon to our country.

recent report shows the administration’s deregulatory agenda has resulted in a reduction of $23 billion in regulatory costs for the 2018 fiscal year. When compared to Obama’s administration imposing an additional $245 billion in regulatory costs during its first two years, the contrast is night and day.

More specifically, Trump’s stated goal was to cut two regulations for every new one added. But in typical Trump fashion, even those high expectations were surpassed. The latest information released by the White House shows that over the course of the last couple months, four regulations have been eliminated for every new one created.

For my business specifically, 36 hours are spent on complying with government regulations every week. And as everyone knows, time is money.

Navigating the bleak world of regulations costs my company and other small businesses across America hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Believe me when I say I would much rather use that money for the benefit of my employees and community. I have no doubt other business owners feel the same.

Some are already saying Washington will be in gridlock for the next two years and, in some cases, that may be true. However, there are issues that lawmakers on both sides of the political isle can get behind. Extending the tax cuts and reducing regulations for small businesses should be among them.

So as the next Congress gavels into session in January, let’s keep the economy rolling by joining together in support of small businesses.

Joseph Semprevivo is the owner of Joseph’s Lite Cookies, a professor of finance, real estate and business at Indian River State College and the author of "Madness Miracles Millions."