A prominent Republican says that the tax cuts passed late last year are not helping American workers nearly as much as members of his own party have predicted.
In an interview with The Economist, Senator Marco Rubio said that he has not seen evidence that corporations are behaving the way the Republican Party predicted when trying to promote their tax cut bill. Instead of investing in their workers, corporations are mostly using their tax cuts to buy their own stocks, Mr Rubio claimed.
“There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they’re going to take the money they’re saving and reinvest it in American workers,” Mr Rubio said in the interview, published late last week. “In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker.”
Democrats, including the communications director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, seized upon the remarks, noting that the statement is similar to what Democrats have been saying about the tax breaks for months.
The Democratic position — that the tax cuts are mostly being used to buy back stocks — has largely been cornered by Republicans who note that companies have used their breaks to give workers bonuses, wage increases, and to make new capital investments.
“There is no more eloquent critic of Marco Rubio’s voting record than Marco Rubio,” Seth Hanlon, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama tweeted.
Matt House, the communications director for Mr Schumer, tweeted to note that Mr Rubio was basically saying “exactly what Democrats have been saying about the tax bill for months”.
The tax law pushed for and passed by Congress cut the corporate tax rate permanently from 35 per cent to 21 per cent, while offering tax breaks to Americans that are set to expire after a certain period of time.
Mr Rubio, who had pushed for the corporate tax rate to be cut to 25 per cent, had threatened to vote no on the bill if the child tax credit was not expanded. He later voted for the deal after the credit was epanded.
A spokesperson for Mr Rubio said Monday that Mr Rubio has “pushed for a better balance in the tax law between tax cuts for big businesses and families, as he’s done for years.”
“As he said when the tax law passed, cutting the corporate tax rate will make America a more competitive place to do’ business,” the spokesperson continued, “but he tried to balance that with an even larger child tax credit for working Americans.
Mr Rubio had previously expressed concern that the bill was too kind to corporations.
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