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Congressman Smith Capitol Report Oct 25

Putting the Taxpayer in Charge

Missourians work hard day in and day out for their money, and they should have a government that watches over their dollars as carefully and responsibly as they do at home. We don’t mind paying our fair share to live in a safe nation, to have a judicial system that maintains law and order, or for public infrastructure improvements. But in Missouri we don’t have the appetite for a massive government that wants to use our hard-earned tax dollars on inefficient government programs and handouts. Your money belongs in your pocket, not in Washington’s coffers.

President Ronald Reagan once said the most nine terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Too many families in Missouri know exactly what he meant by this, with an overbearing government that makes it harder to go about their lives, not easier. Raising a family, building a small business, and the freedom to work your land are the opportunities that make our country great. But 70,000 pages of the old tax code were stacked against working Missourians, full of loopholes and tax breaks designed to help special interests instead of families. That changed when President Trump and I wrote the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered taxes for families, small businesses, and farms of all sizes and allows a family of four to make up to $55,000 tax free.

When we were writing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the opposition showed a fundamental lack of respect for the taxpayer’s time and hard work. To San Francisco millionaires like Nancy Pelosi, the largest tax cut in 30 years was ‘crumbs.’ They think the same way about raising taxes – taking more ‘crumbs’ here and there to pay for wasteful programs in faraway cities, with your family picking up the tab. I know that $1,000 isn’t crumbs to a rural Missouri family, and I know the pain that Washington creates when it raises taxes. When budgets have gotten too big, I’ve stood up to leaders in both parties to say enough is enough, we need to cut the spending.

The government should be as serious and responsible about spending taxpayer dollars as Missourians are about budgeting for their farms, small businesses, and families. The government shouldn’t spend any more than it takes in, something Missouri families manage to do every day. I continue to advocate for a balanced budget requirement for federal government because the results of your hard work should grow our communities, not feed Washington’s spending addiction. And if the government isn’t working, elected officials shouldn’t receive pay. That’s why when Senate obstructionists prioritized illegal immigration over funding the government and forced a government shutdown earlier this year, I gave up my salary.

Too many people in Washington forget who is paying the bills and recklessly spend your money and write more rules. It is refreshing to work with a President who has a business background and understands the need to clean up the books and let the country get back to work. The Trump administration saved the economy $23 billion in regulatory costs in the last year alone by getting rid of the most burdensome, unnecessary regulations. Without this burden on the economy Americans can add new jobs, expand businesses, and have an easier time creating new ones. I’ve authored and passed legislation to save millions of taxpayer dollars by scrubbing unnecessary regulations from the books and cutting red tape, and I support commonsense work requirements for government aid to rein in entitlement spending. That’s why I am honored to have received the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” from the National Taxpayers Union.

If Washington exercised the same fiscal restraint Missourians do, our country would be much better off. President Trump and I have booted the bureaucrats and put taxpayers and job creators back in the driver’s seat of the economy, and this week the United States became the most competitive economy in the world again for the first time since 2008. That’s a taxpayer accomplishment, not a government one.