Kelly Armstrong: North Dakotans Deserve Better Than Senator Heitkamp’s Fear Mongering


Tax code books sit on a table as the House Ways and Means Committee begins markup of the GOP tax bill on Nov. 6. MUST CREDIT: Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg

The irony is not lost on me that Senator Heitkamp touts one of her number one reasons for not supporting historic tax relief is her “concern” of adding $1.5 trillion to the national deficit over the next decade.

What she leaves out of that statement is the fact that under President Obama, she supported policies that increased the deficit nearly $1 trillion per year.

Here is what is included in the tax plan:

  • Standard deduction is doubled: $12,000 for individuals, $24,000 for married couples and $ 18,000 for single parents.
  • A majority of North Dakotans use the standard deduction.The Child Tax credit doubles to $2,000. That means hard-working North Dakota families will see additional relief.
  • The Obamacare individual mandate will be repealed, providing relief to middle-class families.

What is not including are cuts to Medicare, social security, head start, crop insurance and other farm safety programs. We need to have a serious conversation in our country about entitlement spending but to claim that this tax reform package will cut those programs is disingenuous at best and a flat out lie at worst.

The time for political pandering and fear mongering is done. It’s not fair to North Dakotans who elected her in good faith that she would represent them and who will see direct benefits from this historic tax reform. Senator Heitkamp resorted to creating fake news to back up her party loyalist vote and has yet to actually admit the error.

This is not okay in North Dakota. Scare tactics and political posturing may be accepted in the DC swamp but it is not okay in North Dakota. North Dakotans deserve better.