US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Making Good on our Promise

Making Good on our Promise
By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

For too long, American families and businesses have been stuck with a complicated, costly tax code that has hindered economic growth and prosperity. Since being sworn into the Senate in 2015, reforming the code that will provide much-needed tax relief for South Dakota families has been one of my top priorities. Now that the Senate passed its version of tax reform, we are closer than ever to making tax relief a reality.

It has been more than 30 years since our tax code has been reformed. Since then, other countries have lowered their rates to become more successful in an increasingly competitive global market. Meanwhile, our tax rate has barely changed, but the tax code has grown more than 40,000 pages in length. It’s no wonder growth has been stagnant for the past decade – averaging just 1.5 percent, half the post-World War II average. We simply cannot afford to continue with the status quo.

Fortunately, the economy has begun to bounce back. Second-quarter growth increased to 3.3 percent this year, and the stock market is stronger than ever. Part of that growth stems from the American people expecting to see a tax cut soon, so they feel more confident investing in the economy once again. The Senate’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act will keep the momentum going and allow more Americans to keep more of their paycheck and spend that money how they see fit. Based on the Senate Finance Committee’s bill, an average American family of four making around $73,000 would see a tax cut of around $2,200. This results in real money that families won’t have to pay to the government and can use however they want.

The tax reform bill passed by the Senate takes meaningful steps to reform our tax code in a manner that will allow businesses to flourish again and families to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. It will provide more jobs, bigger paychecks and a fairer tax system, especially to lower- and middle-income Americans who haven’t seen a pay raise in nearly a decade. Under our bill, businesses will have the stability they need to confidently grow their companies, hire more workers, increase wages and reinvest back into the economy.

Reforming the tax code will create a healthy, more vibrant economy that we can pass onto our kids and grandkids, and greatly improve the quality of life for South Dakotans. Our tax reform bill must now be reconciled with the House-passed version, where final differences will be worked out. I’m confident we can get this across the finish line and to the president’s desk in a timely manner. We are less than nine years away from America’s 250th birthday in 2026. A commonsense tax structure that reduces taxes and unleashes the full potential of our economy is a vital component in reaching our goal of relieving American families from the federal government’s heavy hand.

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