Here's A Sliver For Ya
And how have South Dakota farmers fared, in the context of all that's going on? Even Rounds concedes that the tax law has given them just a "sliver of relief and certainty." A sliver? Yes, a sliver. Good grief almighty, this man has some chutzpah. Farm bankruptcies have doubled in the upper Midwest during the past few years and Minneapolis Fed analyst Ron Wirtz expects that trend to continue. Farm income, as even Rounds concedes, has been down 50 percent in the past five years. Meantime, trade uncertainty has the whole farm belt twisted in financial knots, with Nebraska farmers having already lost $1 billion to Trump's tariff madness according to that state's Farm Bureau. I have yet to see an assessment of how South Dakota farmers are weathering this storm, but I doubt it's much better than their Nebraska counterparts. And as farmers look off to Washington, D.C., to see how their Congressional reps are supporting them, Rounds reassures them with a "sliver" of relief.
Meantime, as Rounds touts his party's tax cut, he overlooks a few points. Mentioning the 2 million jobs created this year, he doesn't notice that more than 2 million were created in 2016, the year before Trump took office. 2 million is fine, but we've been there, done that--and under Obama's watch. Rounds correctly notes that incomes are rising, but that's more a function of people working more hours, not because they're getting better pay. Forbes notes that real wages are actually falling. Yes, unemployment is low, but the Brookings Institution says the aging population has accelerated retirements and boosted labor participation as a result. Much of this is about demographics, not tax cuts.
What Rounds misses altogether, and I have no doubt that it was intentional, is the financial havoc that the tax cuts are wreaking on our country's budget. The tax cut that Rounds is so proud of has resulted in a shortfall of more than $200 billion this year, which is the amount of revenues the government lost to the GOP tax bonanza to the rich. Our federal debt is about to explode, and Rounds is completely mum about it. The Republican mantra about the recent gusher of red ink being a function of "entitlement" spending is a bunch of bull, which they'll try to sell to the public with the same gusto that they used for pushing their tax cut.