President Trump has laid the foundation to invest in infrastructure, rebuild the military
Rep. Pete Olson
As we mark the end of President Trump’s first year in office, we have seen record growth on Wall Street, a booming economy and enviable unemployment numbers. While 2017 had considerable ups and downs in the world of politics, we ended on a high note. Congress worked hard to deliver the president the largest tax reform this nation has seen in a generation.
While the benefits of the new tax law are still coming in, over 200 companies have announced bonuses, raises, expanded benefits, and increased retirement plans for their workers. American companies are bringing investments back from overseas to invest in our economy here. And soon, American workers will see more money in their paychecks as new; lower withholding rates begin to kick in. That’s where the real benefits will truly be felt for everyone; folks can pay off debt, afford braces or put money aside for college.
As we begin this year with the State of the Union, we have tremendous opportunities to build on our tax reform success. Certainly we have an opportunity to work together to tackle our aging infrastructure and I expect we will hear a lot about that from President Trump. There is a lot of room to work together to rebuild our roads and bridges and keep our economy moving. Infrastructure investments should also include flood control projects so when a hurricane season like last year’s comes along, the impacted communities are prepared to withstand significant flooding. The Gulf Coast region is no stranger to repeat flooding and hurricane events. Strong investments in flood infrastructure projects now will save billions in disaster tax dollars down the road. We can leverage these investments in a smart way that keeps the promises our president made to create jobs through smart infrastructure improvements.
Another critical issue we must address is national security. After years of decline, our military needs a critical reboot. Sequestration has woefully underfunded our military at a time when we are asking more of our men and women defending this great nation. We have the greatest, all-volunteer military in the world, but we continue to demand more of them with fewer resources. President Trump has been a force for good in stepping up to provide our military with the tools they need to be at top military readiness. With looming threats from North Korea, ISIS and Iran, and the continued wars being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq, our military must be ready to train and win on the front lines of large-scale warfare.
Our president will ask for and Congress has a sacred duty to deliver; a budget that increases our military funding to provide the needed resources to rebuild our depleted defenses so that our armed forces can properly defend the homeland. As a Navy veteran, I know that an aging fleet of ships, aircraft and a limited supply of missiles will not get the job done. We also cannot allow our military to be held hostage to external political disputes through shutdowns that disrupt their mission.
When President Trump visits Congress to deliver his State of the Union address, he will lay out his vision for our nation’s economy, security and well-being. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we laid a good foundation with the critical tax reforms we enacted last year. We must work together to develop a budget that invests in military readiness and infrastructure to include needed investments in flood control that keep our nation moving and protected. These are just a few of the many issues that lie ahead for us in 2018. We owe it to the American people to work judiciously to develop meaningful solutions that serve them well.
Olson represents Texas 22nd District.