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Sen. John Thune Holds A Townhall Meeting

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Senator John Thune is paying a visit to a number of cities in South Dakota over the next few days. The purpose is to educate people on what the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ legislation means, and how it will affect South Dakotans.

Sen. Thune said even though we didn’t take a tumble off the fiscal cliff, the nation is still in trouble. He said the new tax hikes on the wealthy only pay for less than a week of the federal government working. And he wants to make sure South Dakotans understand how exactly the new legislation will affect them.

 “We were able to exempt or shield more than 99 percent of South Dakotans from a tax increase and that’s the good news,” said Senator John Thune.

Thune wanted those who came out to Dakota State University to listen to what he had to say know just that. He said South Dakota might be in a good place economically, but the country as a while needs some work.
“Now we have to shift our sights and focus on the real problem in Washington, and that’s not that we tax too little, but that we spend too much,” said Thune.

Thune said for every dollar the United States spends, 40 cents of that is borrowed. And that has left the country with a debt of more than $16 trillion. He believes the first thing that needs to be done is to reform some government programs.
“We've got a tax code that is riddled with loop holes, special interest provisions, deductions and exemptions,” said Thune.

He said if the government could get rid of those and broaden the baseline, that would help make businesses much more competitive, and in the end drive-up the economy.
"The economy is growing and expanding and more people are working, more people are investing, more people are getting retunes and more people are paying taxes,” Thune said.

For business owners like Roy Lindsay, who owns Subways in Madison and Dell Rapids, he said after the fiscal cliff legislation was passed; he was left scratching his head.

“Businesses are waiting to see what the final rules are going to be. And if you don't know what they are going to be, its hard to make those forward decisions,” said Roy Lindsay.

Lindsay said he likes to hear that Thune wants to help expand America’s businesses. But he said he wants to know how, so he can begin to expand his business, and not worry about going out of business.
“I just want to know, you know? What is going to be expected of employers, what is it going to cost us? We can make adjustments in our business,” said Lindsay.

Thune also shared a surprising statistic with everyone at the meeting. He said over the last 232 years, the country had accrued a $6.3 trillion debt. He then said over the last four years alone, the country accrued a $5.3 trillion debt.

Thune is a member of the Senate Finance Committee; he said he hopes to see reforms that will make the tax code simpler.  

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