U.S. must relive the days of Ronald Reagan's economic policies

August 13, 2021

Tallahassee Democrat

Op-Ed: Sen. Rick Scott

August 13, 2021

This week marks the 40th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing the historic Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. The ERTA was landmark legislation that made significant but thoughtful reductions to the federal budget and lowered taxes for families at all income levels. This legislation ushered in a new era of fiscal conservatism that fueled American prosperity and growth following a decade of failed economic policy that saw inflation skyrocket and high unemployment strike communities across our nation.

Much like 40 years ago, we again find ourselves at a moment of critical importance to the future success of our country. This year, we have seen the disastrous policies of the Biden administration and Democrats in Washington wreak havoc on families and businesses in Florida and across our nation.

The cost of groceries, gas, energy and vehicles has increased significantly, hurting Florida families, especially those on low or and fixed incomes like mine growing up. I’ve heard from a mother of four in Wauchula and a father of three in Jacksonville. I’ve met with small business owners in Miami and heard from a restaurant owner in Tampa. Rising inflation is hurting all of them and their stories are heartbreaking.

Before the pandemic, businesses were creating jobs, taxes had been cut and the economy was booming. Now, we are seeing a concerted effort by the federal government under unified Democratic control to raise taxes, engage in dangerous and reckless spending and expand government to levels America has never seen.

This year alone, the Biden administration and Congress have pushed for more than $8 trillion in deficit spending, including the American Rescue Plan — a “COVID relief plan” that dedicated less than 10% of its funding to fighting COVID — and an “infrastructure” package that dedicated a fraction of its total spending on real infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports and seaports. Our nation can’t afford this. Neither can American families paying more and more for everyday goods.

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But government doesn’t have to work this way. We can cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations so businesses can thrive and create jobs. I know this firsthand because we did it when I was governor of Florida: Florida families and businesses saw their taxes and fees cut 100 times. We slashed 5,000 burdensome regulations, helping businesses create more than 1.7 million new jobs. We saw tax revenues rise, allowing the state budget to grow from $69 billion in 2011 to nearly $89 billion in 2018.

It’s time to bring this playbook to Washington. We must end the reckless deficit spending that is sinking America deeper into debt and driving a raging inflation crisis across our nation. 

In Florida, we’ve shown that lower taxes can lead to bigger investments. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of President Reagan’s signature economic policy, we must commit to return America to the position of financial strength we once held, free the American people of government overreach and breathe new life into the opportunity for every Floridian to live the American dream.


Read more: https://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2021/08/13/u-s-must-relive-days-ronald-reagan