Scott Touts Success of Opportunity Zones

By on March 19, 2021 in Featured News, News

“In 8,700 zones across 50 states and the District of Columbia, Americans are seeing a marked improvement in the quality of their lives.”

WASHINGTON, DC — The Ripon Society hosted a virtual discussion on Tuesday with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who spoke about what his priorities look like this year on Capitol Hill. According to Scott, creating opportunities for Americans across the country remains a primary focus.

“I think of the GOP as the ‘Great Opportunity Party,’” Scott stated. “And one of the things that we have to do is continue to be hopeful. In these challenging times in which we live, there are so many good reasons for us to be optimistic about the future. Sometimes you find opportunity during tough times.”

One of Scott’s most prominent achievements so far during his tenure in the Senate was the enactment of his Opportunity Zones initiative, which was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The primary goal of this initiative is to spur economic development and long-term investment in low-income communities nationwide.  

“Opportunity Zones are an example of why we can be hopeful that good things are still happening in Washington, DC,” he stated.  “$75 billion has been committed to helping majority minority communities live to the highest potential possible by attracting resources, jobs, and infrastructure, and to some of the most distressed parts of the country. In 8,700 zones across 50 states and the District of Columbia, Americans are seeing a marked improvement in the quality of their lives, whether it is through a greater access to jobs, an increase in wages, or an improvement in the value of property.”

Scott says that providing opportunity for all citizens, regardless of status or background, is a core belief for him and the Republican Party as a whole.

“Democrats want a tribal America,” he said.  “So often they’re looking at different types of Americans and it appears that their goal is to figure out how to put us all in our own silos — economically, racially, and by gender. Their politics is about a place where you belong. I think the place you belong is where you decide to be. And it’s one of the reasons why our party does a great job of focusing on the policies that promote opportunity for people — wherever and whoever they are, and however they want to make the decision to move forward.”

Scott was also asked a couple questions from the virtual audience, including how the Biden Administration’s proposed changes to the tax code could affect the United States’ competitiveness globally.

“The Biden Administration is looking at raising the corporate tax from 21% to 28%,” he observed. “Increasing those taxes to 28% takes us out of the middle-of-the-road within the OECD compared to our competitors. I believe the average tax rate is between 20% and 22%.  Right now, we’re average. We’re not low, we’re average. So that would take us back up to a level higher than our competitors, which can’t be good for job creation, job attraction, and global competitiveness.”

Finally, Scott was asked to address whether action on police reform is likely this year and what he personally would like to see done on the issue.

“I am optimistic that something will come to the table, but one of the things you don’t want to do is demonize law enforcement officers,” the South Carolina Republican explained. “The vast majority of those officers want to do their job as a mission to society. They want to come home to the family they love and go back to work the next day. So as we approach this police reform issue, I think it’s important for us to make sure we have character-driven officers responding to the call, especially in communities of color.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people. 

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