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Political notebook: Rep. Budd speaks in favor of tax reform

“I can’t make everyone happy, but I want to serve the district as best I can.”

These words came from N.C. Rep. Ted Budd (R-13) during a “tele-town hall.” The meeting, held via conference call on Dec. 12, provided residents a chance to voice opinions and ask questions.

Budd represents North Carolina’s 13th district which includes parts of Rowan, Stanly and Davidson counties. For individuals in his district, the call was timely.

The call was held just one week before the U.S. House of Representatives sent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on to the Senate.

Many callers seemed uncertain about the then-looming tax bill.

“Why do you keep telling us the bill was intended to help the true, common North Carolinians when it was really intended to help the rich people?” said one caller, identified as Vicki from Greensboro.

In response and throughout the call, Budd spoke in strong support of the bill.

“(The bill) is going to lower the corporate tax rate under the world industrial average,” said Budd. “We expect this reform will incentivize more companies to do business in our country and hopefully, for us, North Carolina.”

Budd said that this increase in business will lead to job creation, more competitive pay and a chance to get more Americans “above the water line when it comes to their wages.”

Another caller, Michael from Winston-Salem, asked how adding an estimated $1.5 trillion to the deficit was a good idea.

“That’s not over a year,” Budd said. “That’s over 10 years.”

Budd went on to say that each 0.1 percent increase in gross domestic product leads to $300 billion in deficit reduction. Therein, the deficit would be offset by a mere half of a percent in business growth.

“That’s what happens when you score growth into this,” he said.

Still, other callers voiced support of the bill. Louis, a caller from Troutman, said lawmakers and residents needed to publicize “what the opposition has done to us.”

Budd agreed, adding:

“The average American tax bill is $4,100. … That’s the tax payer’s money. That comes out of their pockets every year …” he said. “I’m not sure that the government, as of yet, is being a great steward of this.”

Just one week following the conference call, Budd voted twice to pass the bill in the House. It would reach the president’s desk later that week.

President Donald Trump signed the law into affect on Friday, Dec. 22.

Congressional hopefuls for the district each voiced their disapproval for Budd’s votes in the House.

“Ted Budd’s vote is an attack on all of us … asking us to pay more in taxes while we wait for the wealthy to pass it back down, something that never happens,” said Beniah McMiller, a Democratic candidate from Statesville.

Adam Coker, another Democratic candidate from Greensboro, spoke similarly.

“This is a disaster for working families,” said Coker. ” … What our district needs is investment in people, specifically retooling and retraining folks for the demands of the 21st century workforce.”

N.C. Senator Richard Burr, who voted yes on the bill early Wednesday, said the tax reform was “long overdue.”

“Today, we voted to jump-start our economy and save the average American family thousands each year … ,” said Burr. “This tax overhaul starts to get the government out of your pockets, and puts Main Street in the driver’s seat of the economy, not Washington.”

Tom McInnis to seek re-election to state senate

ROCKINGHAM — Tom McInnis, a conservative businessman, education and small business advocate, and native North Carolinian, announced Thursday he will seek re-election to the state senate in the newly-drawn 25th district.

The 25th district encompasses Anson, Richmond, Moore, and Scotland counties since being redrawn in August 2017. Previously, it contained parts of Stanly, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland and Anson counties.

McInnis was born and raised in Richmond County. There, he devoted much of his life to public service, improving public schools, and creating job opportunities for rural North Carolina. He served on the Richmond County Board of Education before unseating an incumbent Democrat to win election to the General Assembly in 2014.

During his first two terms in the State Senate, McInnis has made a positive impact for those in his district and across North Carolina. His accomplishments include tax cuts for middle-class families, raised teacher pay and increased principal compensation.

McInnis also earned a chairmanship on the Senate Transportation Committee, which sets policy and appropriates state dollars for infrastructure needs.

“Growing up here in rural North Carolina, my parents instilled in me the values that made North Carolina great and will make it great again — hard work, honesty, and doing the right thing no matter the consequences,” he said. “We’ve made great strides in Raleigh these past few years, but rural North Carolina continues to struggle. I know we have a lot more to accomplish ….”

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