U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter went to Walmart on a chilly Monday morning to spread the word of savings, but the savings in mind were the ones congressional Republicans are touting from a tax package passed in November.
“Our hope, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is that you see a bump, and that’s really — the economic stimulus is really what we’re hoping for,” Carter said to a group of Walmart managers during a brief walk around the Brunswick store. “We’re trying to get out of this anemic 1 and 1.5 percent growth rate we’ve been in, and sustain a 3 and 4 percent growth rate. If we can do that, that’ll solve a lot of our problems.
“Obviously, we’ve got to control spending — if we don’t do that, it’s not going to do us any good at all. But, if we can get that growth rate up there, as I was saying — a 3 or 4 percent rate — in that range and on a consistent basis, I’m telling you we can do a lot to address this national debt that we’ve got. And it’s great for consumers, and it’s just the ripple effect — it goes throughout the whole economy.”
At the morning meeting for staff, Carter explained some of the specifics in the new law.
“First of all, this is the last year you’re going to have to fill out a long, cumbersome form,” Carter said. “Because, now as a result of the legislation that we passed, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we’re going to have a much simpler, much shorter form to fill out. That’s one of the advantages. Another advantage is that we doubled the standard deduction.”
For instance, the standard deduction went from $12,700 to $24,000 for joint filers.
“What does that mean — that means that you can make up to that amount before you even have to start paying taxes,” Carter said. “Now, that’s significant. We also increased the child tax credit. How many people have children — well, that’s going to benefit you, and that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to concentrate on families, we wanted to increase the child tax credit and we did, we doubled it.”
He received a round of applause for mentioning the legislation ended the individual health insurance mandate. Carter also noted that for many Georgians filing jointly, their savings would be around $2,000.
According to FactCheck.org, the $2,000 mark is for families with a combined adjusted gross income of $75,000 or so, with two children younger than 17 years old. If those children are 17 or 18 years old, the savings drop to around $1,100. Also, that savings would decrease as it’s not tied to inflation, and the child tax credit is set to expire in 2025.
Later in the morning, Carter spoke to students at Brunswick High School about his experience in Congress. In an eye toward the future, Carter did not rule out ever running for governor, but said he was more interested at possibly mounting an effort at U.S. Senate.