By Jeff Stein
Sen. Marco Rubio when he was a presidential candidate. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Democrats frequently claim Republicans’ corporate tax cuts enriched big businesses while doing little for workers, but now that line of criticism is coming from a prominent Republican: Sen. Marco Rubio.
“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,” the Florida senator told the Economist in a recent interview. “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.”
The GOP tax law dramatically reduced taxes on American businesses, cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The White House said throughout the tax debate that the law’s corporate cuts would increase wages for the average American worker by $4,000, a claim made by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
Nonpartisan experts were skeptical about the claim, and independent analyses say the bulk of the law’s tax cuts would go to the wealthy.
The remark was seized on by Senate Democrats, with the office of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) broadcasting it on Monday.
“We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves,” wrote Schumer spokesman Matt House.
In a statement on Monday, Rubio spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said that the senator believes the corporate tax cut would make the U.S. more competitive for companies, but did not say it will lead to the kind of wage growth for workers touted by other Republicans.
“Rubio pushed for a better balance in the tax law between tax cuts for big businesses and families, as he’s …read more