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Defending Montanans from the Democrats' tax and spend spree

by STEVE DAINES
| October 22, 2021 7:00 AM

Democrats, led by President Joe Biden, U.S. senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, are rushing a reckless $3.5 trillion tax and spending spree bill through Congress that would reshape the very foundation of America and push the U.S. down the path of socialism.

The Democrats’ massive bill is the largest spending bill in our nation’s history and will create all sorts of new entitlement programs. To pay for it, Democrats plan to hike taxes across the board, making this bill the largest tax increase in over 50 years. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation, it would reduce take home pay for low and middle-income Montanans.

To make matters worse, the Democrats’ effort comes at a time when Montanans are already facing skyrocketing prices on everything from gas to groceries because of record high inflation. What’s causing the rise in prices you’re experiencing? Biden and the Democrats’ wasteful spending problem. Earlier this year, Democrats flooded the economy with nearly $2 trillion in new spending that was not needed.

To sum it up: The Democrats’ tax and spending spree will kill Montana jobs, hurt Montana’s workers, families and small businesses, and reduce economic growth.

For starters, this bill is an absolute assault on small businesses. It would gut the 20 percent small business tax deduction that I worked hard to secure in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Small business owners across Montana use the savings from this deduction to hire new employees or offer raises and bonuses, which is incredibly important right now as we’re facing a significant labor shortage. Removing this tax benefit for small businesses would make it harder for them to grow and succeed against larger competitors. Since 99 percent of Montana businesses are small businesses, we cannot let this happen.

Small businesses aren’t the only victims of the tax hikes proposed by the Democrats. Their bill includes tax hikes for married couples. You read that right — this bill punishes Montana couples for getting married.

Their bill also supports Biden’s attack on "Made in Montana" energy. It’s not enough that the president already killed the Keystone XL pipeline — he wants to go further and pass Sanders’ Green New Deal policies aimed at eliminating oil, gas and coal completely. We should be doing all we can to support an all-of-the-above energy portfolio, not the Green New Deal.

If Biden and the far left get their way, Montanans will face higher gas and electricity prices and fewer reliable energy sources. It will take us back to the dark days of the 1970s and we could see rolling blackouts and surges in energy prices like other countries are experiencing. We cannot let this happen in Montana and the United States.

Democrats have also proposed a double death tax that will hit Montana family farms and ranches particularly hard.

Montana agriculture is our No. 1 economic driver and it’s part of our way of life. Our farmers and ranchers work hard to put food on the table for their families, our great state, the country and the entire world. The last thing Montana farmers and ranchers need are more taxes.

At a time when our economy is still recovering from the pandemic, we need to be supporting Montana’s small businesses, our workers, farmers and ranchers, and our hardworking families.

Instead, the Democrats’ proposal will weaken our economy, kill jobs and send them overseas, and increase costs for all Montanans. That might be a reason for China to cheer, but not Montana.

This proposal must not become law, and I intend to fight vigorously against it every step of the way.

The author is a U.S. senator from Montana and a Republican.