|Rounds Questions A Tax Cut|
Will Wonders Never Cease?
This is actually bracing on two levels. The first is that Rounds, who so far has been a reliable pitchman for the Trumphuggers in the GOP, has shown us some independence. This is a rare moment among our trio of Republican congressional reps, who have a penchant for going along with their national party agenda without giving thought to consequences in South Dakota. I recall when Congresswoman Noem voted to shut down the federal government, including our national parks (Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and Wind Cave), wiping out the 2013 autumn tourist season just so she could make an absurdly irrelevant political point. Then there's Senator Thune with his commitment to de-neutralize the internet, opening the door for our telecom providers to arbitrarily change costs and terms of service without federal oversight from the FCC. That would leave us smaller market customers at the mercy of a limited number of ISPs, who wouldn't have to respond to competitive demands like those in urban areas, where the competition is much more intense. Rounds, relatively new as he is to Congress, has been mostly a "get-along and go-along" representative, his utterances generally limited to platitudinous recitations of Republican talking points. Last April I noted in my blog that he had so far mastered nothingness. Rounds just gave me hope that my judgement was premature.
That gets us to the second level of appreciation for Mike Rounds' sudden burst of independent thought. Our junior senator not only questioned the tax cut, but offered up a compellingly practical way of using that money should a Senate bill actually materialize for a vote. He wants to convert the funds into a tax credit to Americans who don't get coverage if their spouses have employer-paid plans that don't cover dependents. So Rounds has not only shown a streak of independence, he's actually put a pretty good idea on the table. That he did so at the risk of isolating himself from his party's leaders shows some moxie that should cheer every South Dakotan who wants a representative who can think for himself. It might also serve as a useful lesson to Noem and Thune, whose politically ingratiating styles could use a dose of intellectual self-reliance.