The GOP has seized control of both the House and the Senate in midterm elections. How will this impact you over the next 2 years?
A referendum on Obama
It’s very normal at the 6-year mark of a 2-term presidency that the opposing party does well. But the results of yesterday’s election are well beyond what the normal ‘well’ would be.
So this is a time of ascendency for the GOP, particularly at the state level. The state level isn’t talked about much since people are so focused on what’s going on in Washington. But the state level is an important one.
States have become living laboratories for how we can change the relationship between government and citizens. Perhaps the most interesting test case of all was Kansas. The governor pushed through changes in taxation and spending that were controversial, but in the end, he was re-elected by a small margin.
GOP to work on corporate tax reform?
With the GOP in control of both the House and the Senate, I am hopeful we will have meaningful tax reform, especially on the corporate side. Many Americans don’t put a priority on reforming tax. But I believe this is an important issue. The messed up corporate tax structure has U.S. companies hiring workers overseas instead of over here.
Again, it’s too early to say what will happen in D.C. next — whether those the American people voted in will try to change policy or just simply score campaign points for 2 years from now.
But because the GOP is so aligned with big business and businesses are so desperate for tax reform, that’s the one area where we might see something get done.
You may say, ‘Well, when you tax the corporations, you bring money in,’ but really the opposite happens. You don’t get revenue because companies try to move their corporate office overseas, like we saw happen recently with Burger King.
Voters speak out on minimum wage
Voters overwhelmingly said they want an increase in the minimum wage in Alaska, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Arkansas.
So this cause that started in blue states and blue cities has now spread to the red states.
The issue speaks directly to the idea of income inequality. But the thing is, we won’t fix income inequality with either a minimum wage hike or by reforming the tax code. We need education to do that.
We need training programs for adults where you can learn new skills as the job landscape changes. Because the reality is we have millions of jobs that are going unfilled because employers can’t find skilled workers. And those are decent paying jobs!
So if we really want to do something about income inequality, it happens with education at all levels, right from elementary school on up. But the most pressing need today is to improve the skills of adults already in the workforce.