Sen. Tim Scott: Tax plan reduces burden on American workers
NEIL CAVUTO, “YOUR WORLD” HOST: All right, Senator Tim Scott was among those senators meeting the president yesterday to iron out this whole budget thing. That sets the pave — or paves the way, I should say, for the whole tax cut thing.
The South Carolina Republican joins me right now.
Senator, thank you for taking the time.
SEN. TIM SCOTT, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: It’s good to be with you, Neil.
CAVUTO: How does it look to you, the budget first off?
SCOTT: Well, I think we’re in good shape with the budget. We will have the 51 votes to get it passed, so that we can get to tax reform, which really is the biggest opportunity we have to help hardworking Americans keep more of their money.
CAVUTO: So, if that sets the stage for the tax cut thing, is it your sense that Republicans will be in lockstep on this?
Because I have some — I wonder about Senator John McCain. I wonder about Senator Rand Paul. Now, I could be wrong on both counts. But you’re pretty good. You know your colleagues pretty well. What do you think?
SCOTT: Well, lockstep is something that we have a hard time digesting.
SCOTT: I do think that we’re going to be in pretty good shape.
The good news, Neil, is that the House, the White House and the Senate, we have been working for several months on tax reform. So, the good news, unlike health care, the three levers of government are already conversing about the importance of delivering more money in the take-home pay of hardworking Americans.
So, we’re on solid footing. And I think it is going to get better as we understanding and appreciating what the vehicle will actually deliver to the American people.
CAVUTO: I was just speaking with your colleague Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia, who feels right now he would have to be a no vote, because it skews, that is the tax cut, Senator, to the rich.
What do you say?
Well, there’s no question that this is absolutely a great opportunity for us to reduce the burden on the everyday American worker and for those living in poverty. When you double the standard deduction, you essentially create a zero percent tax bracket for those living at the federal poverty level, $24,000 or less, or an individual at $12,000 or less.
So, this, for the first time, will have more people not paying taxes who are at the bottom of the economic ladder. And at the same time, we’re going to make sure that the progressive nature of the tax code remains the same.
So our effort and our focus is on middle-class Americans who are working very hard, having very little time in their schedule. We want to make sure that they get six billion hours back. The average American spend 30 hours a week — 30 hours year on tax preparation — and they’re going to have at least between a $4,000 and $8,000 increase in their pay, according to the experts and the economic advisers…
CAVUTO: But I think what Senator Manchin is saying, Senator, and what Senator Chuck Schumer — I’m not equating the two here — that if there’s relief for the rich, it’s not going to be a yes vote from them.
SCOTT: Well, Neil, let’s just break this down very simply.
There’s two pillars of tax reform. Number one, more sure there is more money in your take-home pay. Number two, let’s build the economy of the future by making sure those jobs stay here.
What they’re suggesting to or alluding to is that, as we lower the corporate tax from 35 percent down to a competitive position of 20 percent, there’s going to be winners in that stake. Who are the winners?
Well, there are three groups of individuals who are the winners. Number one, the consumers are going to win because, when you lower the tax rate, it costs less for the goods. Number two, employees win. Why? Because most economists left and right agree that employees bear the burden of corporate taxes.
And, number three, those folks who invest in businesses, they’re going to win as well. So it’s very hard for us to grow the economy without stimulating growth in business.
CAVUTO: And stimulating growth, or that is encouraging cuts for everybody then. That seems to be your position. Is that right?
SCOTT: Everyone that I have talked to, the number one question they is, how much of my money do I get to keep?
There’s no covetousness about other folks benefiting from tax relief. We want every American who is paying taxes to benefit from the tax cut. We just want our focus to be on Middle America, those folks who are strapped every single week, every single paycheck.
We want to make sure that we deliver relief for them, but absolutely we want to grow the economy, so that the jobs of the future are here in America. And when you have the highest corporate tax rate, it just doesn’t happen.
CAVUTO: You know, there’s been a lot of sniping back and forth among some of your colleagues, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and all of this, over who is a real conservative or whatever.
Is this making this whole process tougher with Senator Corker and his differences and tweets and all with the president, et al?
SCOTT: The good news is, I have had a chance to talk to all three of my colleagues that you just mentioned there.
And, frankly, I’m talking to every single member of the Republican Conference. And the fact is that none of us are concerned with the slights back and forth. Our focus is not on each other.
Our focus is on the folks that we work for. The folks we work for are back in our states. None of them live in Washington, D.C.
So the fact is that our goal of reaching back home to make sure that our folks are taken care of is priority. And I think you will see that happen with the Republican Conference. I hope you will see it happen in a bipartisan fashion.
CAVUTO: All right, Senator Scott, thank you for taking the time. Good seeing you again.
SCOTT: Good to be with you.
CAVUTO: All right, Senator Tim Scott, the beautiful state of South Carolina.