Tim Scott’s Economic Plan Advocates Cuts to Spending, Taxes

Senator Tim Scott, in the first major policy presentation of his 2024 presidential campaign, said he’d slash non-defense spending, champion a balanced budget amendment and move many federal workers out of the Washington region.

(Bloomberg) — Senator Tim Scott, in the first major policy presentation of his 2024 presidential campaign, said he’d slash non-defense spending, champion a balanced budget amendment and move many federal workers out of the Washington region. 

Scott’s “Build, Don’t Borrow Plan” calls, too, for keeping and expanding former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts and promoting American manufacturing and energy production, according to a copy of the document obtained by Bloomberg News prior to its public release.

He also advocates bolstering work requirements for a “Welfare Reform 2.0,” and bringing more supply chains back to the US.

The plan, released Thursday, resonates with and elaborates on the South Carolina Republican’s campaign trail aphorism, “Don’t spend what you don’t have,” a line he attributes to his grandfather. 

Yet the proposal also marks an attempt to court business-friendly donors and build support among Iowa farmers – two groups critical to not only financing his campaign, but strengthening his standing in the early caucus state.

For instance, he said he’d “support common sense reforms to the Endangered Species Act that our farmers and ranchers are crying out for.” And, if elected, he’d put “most of the Department of Agriculture in Iowa and let a farmer run it.”

Read More: GOP Candidate Tim Scott Pushes Debate Change to Boost Himself

Scott cited repealing the estate tax, which applies if someone’s estate is worth more than about $12.9 million, as another way to protect family farms.

He said the energy part of his plan would include encouraging domestic oil and gas development as well as reversing “the far left’s war on nuclear energy and sprint towards doubling nuclear energy production in 10 years.” 

A prolific fundraiser, Scott attracted $6.1 million in contributions over his campaign’s first 40 days, ending June with $21.1 million cash on hand. Yet he, along with other candidates, has struggled to break out of the pack in a primary campaign that continues to be dominated by Trump. The RealClearPolitics average of Republicans shows Scott polling seventh nationally.

The economic blueprint ignores his fellow Republican contenders and instead presents a contrast with the Democratic incumbent, Joe Biden. 

“China builds while America borrows. I have a plan to stop borrowing and start building, and create a future Made in America,” Scott said in a statement. “As president, I will cut socialist government spending, reclaim our supply chains, cut taxes, and unleash American energy.”

Scott released his economic plan as Republicans attack Biden over the poor marks that polls show Americans give him for his stewardship of the economy. The president has largely staked his reelection campaign on his so-called “Bidenomics” policies and will deliver a speech Thursday to promote that agenda.

“Tim Scott said the quiet part out loud: He’s running on the same exact failed MAGAnomics as Donald Trump,” DNC spokesperson Rhyan Lake said in a statement. “That means more tax giveaways for the wealthy, doubling down on a tax law that created new incentives for corporations to ship American jobs overseas, and attacking Social Security and Medicare while leaving working families behind.” 

“We’ll take Bidenomics over MAGAnomics any day of the week,” Lake added.  

Earlier: US Core CPI Picks Up, Keeping Another Fed Hike in Play This Year

On Wednesday, Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed that underlying inflation ran at a faster-than-expected monthly pace in August, leaving the door open for additional Federal Reserve rate increases. 

The Scott proposal promises to “restore the culture of hard work” by creating and toughening work requirements for assistance programs. At the same time, lawmakers and states would be encouraged to gradually move people off of welfare rolls. He would also end Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

With time running out for Trump’s rivals to challenge his lead, Scott has been pushing the party to make several changes to upcoming primary debates that could benefit candidates — like himself — who are polling well in early-voting states.

Now, the top-polling candidates nationally are placed at the center of the stage. Scott’s campaign manager, Jennifer DeCasper, asked that polls from the early states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, be factored more heavily.

A Washington Post-Monmouth University poll released Thursday showed 46% of of South Carolina Republican voters support Trump, with 18% supporting former Governor Nikki Haley. Scott came in third in his home state at 10%.

The next primary debate is on Sept. 27 in Simi Valley, California.

(Updates to add Democratic response in paragraphs 13-14, polling data in paragraph 19)

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