HAMILTON – Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) says he’s encouraged to see Montana businesses already investing their federal tax cuts. And despite some concerns in the financial markets this month, he’s not as worried the influx of money will set off a new round of inflation.

Sen. Daines spent this past week making stops at several locations to hear how the tax cut recently approved by Congress is already having an impact here in Montana. He says those impacts range from pay increases and extra time off for employees, to businesses making new investments.

“It didn’t take very long. If there’s a complaint I hear all over Montana it’s ‘Steve, we need more money in our pocketbooks and we need higher wages.’ And this is a way to do that. It’s also creating great optimism for our businesses. The Small Business Optimism Survey that was conducted this past week was the highest it’s been in recorded history,” Sen. Daines said.

On stops like the one in Hamilton, Sen. Daines said he was encouraged to hear business owners and employees expressing more confidence. He says that matches consumer confidence surveys which he says are at a 17-year high. Sen. Daines also expects that to begin spurring more consumer spending in the coming months.

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Critics of the tax cuts — and many consumer analysts — have expressed concerns all this activity will kick off another round of inflation, with those fears leading to a jittery stock market in recent weeks. But Sen. Daines doesn’t see inflation spiking…

“I like the idea of having to deal with a growing economy. It sure is a whole lot better than a stagnant economy. And when you’re starting to see dollars in the pockets of Montanans, hard-working Montanans, that’s a good thing,” Sen. Daines said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that he doesn’t believe so-called “wage inflation” will necessarily lead to a broader uptick in consumer prices, urging investors to shake off inflation concerns.

Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News