Congressman Michael McCaul

Representing the 10th District of Texas

We Are Better Off Now

Aug 13, 2018
McCaul Column

When Ronald Reagan took to the stage in his only debate against Jimmy Carter in 1980, he asked the American people one simple question: “are you better off than you were four years ago?”  The answer was a resounding “no!”

Just over two years ago, the American people were again asked this question, and again could not respond positively.  My colleagues and I heard from our constituents that they had become disillusioned by our country’s direction.  The idea of providing their kids with a better life was quickly slipping away and the American Dream was disappearing.

With that in mind, we drafted our “Better Way Agenda.”  It laid out a thoughtful Republican policy agenda intended to put America back on the right track. Our “Better Way” focused on revitalizing our economy, bolstering our national security, safeguarding our communities, and recapturing the American Dream.

And now – two years later – America is better off.

Republicans in Congress worked with President Trump to sign the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law.  This brought the unemployment rate to one of the lowest levels and consumer confidence to its highest since 2000.  U.S. companies are paying more than $4 billion in bonuses and four million workers, and counting, are already seeing the benefits of this new tax code with businesses now able to give bonuses, pay raises, and new investments that will get our economy back on track. This is all because we wanted to empower the people – not Washington.

When we started the 115th Congress, our military was in shambles. The readiness crisis caused by eight years of reckless drawbacks under the Obama administration needed to be reversed. As the proud son of a WWII B-17 bombardier, I joined my colleagues to pass the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which restores our personnel and equipment strength to healthy levels once again. We are ensuring that at a moment’s notice, our brave men and women have the tools they need to defend our nation.

We also raised pay for our servicemen and women, reformed the VA to better provide for our veterans, and authorized an increase in defense spending to secure the resources they need to defend the homeland.

Republicans in Congress also worked to safeguard our communities from two of today’s emerging threats: the opioid crisis and human trafficking.  Sadly, the growing opioid epidemic has touched communities in every state.  In fact, every day opioid overdoses claim the lives of more than 115 Americans. That is why the House recently passed comprehensive legislation aimed at combatting this crisis. We put a more than $4-billion-dollar investment to stop the flood of illegal drugs coming across our borders and provide our law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to apprehend drug dealers, while also providing for the rehabilitation of those affected by this terrible issue.

Another dangerous threat to our community is modern-day slavery in the form of human trafficking – a nation-wide issue that plagues our society, including Texas-10.  That is why my legislation to give broader authority to our federal law enforcement officials to combat the issue was signed into law.  We also worked to place stricter penalties on individuals convicted of trafficking-related crimes, which is now law as well.

I have been incredibly proud of the work we have done on behalf of the American people under our “Better Way Agenda.” While there is still much more to accomplish, our results thus far are clear: Republican policies are bringing the American Dream back.

We have one of the best job markets in decades, we have put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Americans, and we have worked hard to end human trafficking and stop the opioid epidemic in its tracks. All of that coupled with rebuilding our military to defend our liberties at home and abroad.

We are restoring this exceptional nation as the best place to conduct business and safely raise a family.

Are we better off now than we were four years ago?  Absolutely.