Florida voters are well aware that the Sunshine State has the power to decide presidential elections — and our impact on the 2020 presidential election could prove to be just as decisive as it ever was, even in 2000.
Now that President Trump has formally launched his re-election campaign with a huge rally in Orlando, every Floridian should reflect on just how far our state has come in the last two and a half years — and how much we have to lose if a Democrat wins the next presidential election.
Finding the right formula for widespread economic growth is a difficult task for any president. America, after all, is a diverse nation with 50 unique economies, and the federal government can only do so much to solve regional challenges. President Trump, however, has managed to craft an economic agenda that benefits working families in every single state, including our own.
When Donald Trump was inaugurated, Florida’s unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent. Today, it’s down to 3.4 percent — a remarkable testament to the effectiveness of President Trump’s pro-growth economic policies. Since January 2017, Florida’s economy has added a grand total of 417,800 new jobs, including tens of thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs. This incredible hiring surge has forced employers to compete for qualified workers, pushing wages up by more than 3 percent.
The U.S. economy as a whole is also thriving under President Trump. The national unemployment rate is currently at a 50-year low, helped along by a labor market that has created an average of around 200,000 new jobs per month since the President took office. American taxpayers also saved an average of about $1,400 on their taxes last year thanks to the President’s signature Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with the average Floridian saving $1,354.
All of that has helped push GDP growth above the mystical 3 percent milestone, which Donald Trump’s detractors once vehemently insisted was impossible.
The economic boom in Florida and the rest of the country was possible for one reason and one reason only: President Trump understood the importance of putting the interests of American workers first.
From day one he has implemented a bold new approach to trade policy that protects American workers and producers from the hostile trade practices of foreign rivals such as China, and his historic middle-class tax cuts are allowing working families to keep significantly more of their hard-earned money. The president also eliminated job-killing regulations that prolonged our economic suffering under President Obama, unleashing the pent-up power of the private sector.
These common-sense policies provided the perfect economic foundation for growth-oriented states like Florida, giving us the flexibility that we desperately needed to address local economic objectives.
Sadly, however, all the progress we’ve made over the past two and a half years would be at risk if the Democrats were to win the next presidential election. Almost every prominent Democrat candidate has already pledged to roll back Donald Trump’s economic policies, particularly the tax cuts, while restoring the big-government oversight and regulation that stifled job growth across America during Obama’s tenure.
Sen. Kamala Harris, for instance, said she would scrap the GOP tax cuts on her first day in office, vowing that “on Day One, we’re going to repeal that tax bill.” Other Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have also been critical of the tax cuts, absurdly claiming that working Americans didn’t benefit from the extra $1,400 that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put in their pockets.
Florida is a crucial swing state that could single-handedly decide the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which means our voters will have a chance to be the guardians of America’s — and Florida’s — ongoing economic renaissance by giving President Trump another four years to continue implementing his America First agenda.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz represents Florida's First Congressional District.