WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) issued the following statement in advance of President Trump’s State of the Union address:
“As America prepares for the State of the Union, I expect the president will tout his GOP tax cut from last year. There is little doubt that a few companies have used the tax cut to pass on bonuses to workers, and those workers should enjoy the one-time bonuses. However, let this also be a reminder while American workers get short-term, temporary tax relief under the president’s tax cut plan, the richest Americans and the largest companies enjoy permanent tax cuts. The GOP deliberately designed their tax plan to include a tax increase for the middle class in the future.
“I also expect the president to tout increases in the stock market tonight, but only 52 percent of Americans own stocks. And 81 percent of the entire stock market is owned by only 10 percent of Americans. This means that stock market growth largely concentrates wealth in the hands of the richest Americans.
“America deserves a better deal.
“I hope president will instead lay out a plan to create good jobs in our communities. Unfortunately, U.S. investment in infrastructure continues to reside in a state of neglect. I hope the president will provide details on his infrastructure plan tonight, including a robust, consistent, federal commitment to funding our nation’s infrastructure. But early indications show the president will continue to rely on private investment. This over reliance on private funding risks transportation systems going where they make the most money for the fewest people, instead of going to where they best serve the needs of our economy.
“I hope the president will address the national opioid crisis. The decline in the labor force is intertwined with the opioid epidemic. Over the last 15 years, the labor force participation rate fell more in counties where more opioids were prescribed. America is experience that same crisis that these other countries are experiencing.
“The president must also outline a clear plan how he will fund Community Health Centers, a critical point of health care access for so many folks across the U.S.
The president must lay out how he expects how the United States will set the rules of the road in the Asia-Pacific, with his trade agenda. While I support the president’s position to update some trade agreements especially in the areas of digital trade, IP, and environmental and labor provisions. Acting rashly and unilaterally, like withdrawing from NAFTA, will damage states that rely on trade and result in job losses.
“I also hope to hear President Trump lay out a strong vision for a more unified country. Now is the time to unify behind an inclusive agenda that ensures all Americans enjoy the gains from economic growth.
“All in all, I hope the president presents a better deal for Americans in the coming year,” said Larsen.