The Missouri Senate Election is a Referendum on Supreme Court and Tax Cuts

By former Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones

Perhaps no other Senate race in the nation is being as closely watched as the Missouri battle between Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and her challenger, Josh Hawley.

With the election only 10 weeks out, this attention will only intensify.

The defining contrast in this race is that the candidates will be a vote either for President Trump’s agenda or a vote for the struggling resistance. This binary choice is especially apparent in light of President Trump’s nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Given that the nomination requires Senate consent, this election is a referendum on what type of judiciary Missourians support.

A vote for Hawley is a vote for a Supreme Court that respects the U.S. Constitution. A vote for Claire McCaskill is a vote for a Court filled with justices in the mold of President Obama’s picks of Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan, who view the Constitution as more of a malleable guide than a firm rule book.

In addition to being a choice on the direction of the Supreme Court, the election will also be an up or down vote on President Trump’s tax cuts. Leading Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are on record saying they would like to repeal them if they retake Congress.

To her credit, Sen. McCaskill has taken a more nuanced view, claiming she supports some of the tax cuts and opposes others. But she will be expected to follow Senator Schumer’s demands as to repeal if she and the Democratic Party are victorious.

This would be devastating for the people and the economy of Missouri. Tax cuts are fueling the current economic fire as they are allowing more money to remain in local communities across the state where it can be spent, invested, and circulated. As a result, for the first time this century, national economic growth is above four percent and the unemployment rate is below it.

This economic vitality would disappear with repeal of the tax cuts because more money would be extracted from Missouri to go to Washington D.C., where it would be spent on vague federal programs with often little-to-no benefits or connection to Missourians.

But what about the drumbeat claim by Democrats, including Sen. McCaskill, that these tax cuts are little more than a gift to the rich? This is the definition of fake news. Many of the biggest tax cut provisions are completely off-limits to the rich.

Take the doubled child tax credit, for instance. Ordinary families now receive a $2,000 credit off their tax bill for each child. Even better, the first $1,400 is refundable, meaning that many low income working families will actually receive a check from the government (in addition to their standard refund). Yet it’s off-limits to families filing jointly earning $400,000 or more.

Then there’s the new 20 percent small business tax deduction — the biggest tax cut that you’ve never heard of. According to a recent nationwide survey of small businesses conducted by Bank of America, most respondents labeled this tax cut a “game changer.” When you consider this economic backbone of the country was facing a marginal tax rate of 40 percent before tax cuts were passed, you can understand why.

Many small businesses in Missouri and across the nation are using this deduction to expand, hire, and boost worker pay. For instance, Debbie McFarland, owner of McFarland Interiors in St. Charles, is using her savings to upgrade her design software and showroom, and hire more trade contractors. Susan Adams of Adams Architectural Associates in Chesterfield is using hers to expand into new product lines, hire new employees, and raise wages.

A gift to the rich? Hardly. The deduction phases out at $315,000 for service businesses (filing jointly). Yet the media and Democrats know that by playing class warfare, they can diminish support for President Trump’s signature achievement.

Missouri voters will be asked to look beyond such fraudulent politicking on Election Day. They will either cast their vote for a Supreme Court that takes a Constitutionalist approach and an economic platform that allows middle class Americans and the small businesses that employ them to keep more of their earnings or they will pull the lever for the return of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Tim Jones is the Sr. Director of Communications & Media at The First Rule Media Network and former Speaker of the Missouri House.

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