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Thune and Williams Face Off In SDPB Television Forum


U.S. Senate hopeful Democrat Jay Williams and incumbent Republican Senator John Thune met on SDPB TV to discuss various issues impacting the country.

During the Forum , the candidates discussed the economy, ISIS, and social security.

Republican US Senator John Thune and Democratic candidate Jay Williams faced off for the first time in the 2016 election season last night.

One of Thune’s messages this campaign is growing the economy at a three percent rate. He says tax reform will help achieve this. Specifically, he says lowering the tax rate and creating economic incentives for investment will help grow the economy…

“The purpose of tax reform ought to be economic growth," Thune says. "What solves all of these problems we’re talking about… you want to see deficits get smaller… you want to be able to pay down debt? Get the economy growing at a more traditional three to three and a half percent rate, instead of the one percent rate that we’ve seen this year, and the one to two percent rate we’ve seen for the balance of the Obama administration. That’s what will help get us back on a more secure fiscal track. Reduced and restrained spending and economic growth.”

Thune says removing exclusions and special interest loopholes are also needed in tax reform.

But Democrat Williams disagrees that reducing taxes will fix the economy.  He says the top 1-percent of income earners need to pay their fair share. Williams also says the government needs to focus on investing in public works programs to build up infrastructure in places like South Dakota.

“We could build the electric grid that we desperately need to get from fossil fuels to clean energy. Here in South Dakota we’ve got lots of wind," Williams says. Everybody knows in South Dakota the wind blows, but we can’t take that wind energy, harness it, and distribute it around the country because we don’t have the electric grid we need. And to build that electric grid—it’s a big public works project, on par with the interstate highway system that was a Republican program.”

Williams says infrastructure investment will put money into the hands of working people who will spend it.  Thune has served as U.S. Senator since 2004, he says he will continue promoting small and efficient government. Williams says he’s not a politician, but that he represents the interests of everyday South Dakotans.