Marco Rubio reverses course again, praises Republican tax law days after saying there's 'no evidence' it helps American workers

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMarco Rubio

  • GOP Sen. Marco Rubio wrote an op-ed for the National Review that praised the new GOP tax law while offering a few critiques.
  • The op-ed came two days after Rubio blasted the law in an interview with the Economist.
  • “There’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker,” Rubio said of the tax cut for corporations.
  • Rubio’s comments to the Economist sparked an uproar among supporters of the tax law.

Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday moved to caveat his earlier criticism of the tax law spearheaded by his party and President Donald Trump.

The Florida Republican wrote an op-ed for the conservative National Review magazine praising the law, days after an interview with the Economist in which Rubio said there’s “no evidence whatsoever” that the law’s benefits have gone to average workers.

“Overall, the Republican tax-cut bill has been good for Americans,” Rubio said in the op-ed. “That is why I voted for it.”

Rubio said the law had many positives, on both the individual and corporate side. But he expressed scepticism over the cut in the headline federal corporate tax rate, which dropped to 21% from 35%.

Stock buybacks and investments in overseas subsidiaries are two ways Rubio said the corporate tax cut could be diverted away from American workers.

Instead, Rubio argued, the bill should have invested more in pieces like an expanded child care tax credit, which he said would ensure that benefits would go to families instead of corporate shareholders.

“Putting a little bit less priority on a blank-check corporate tax-rate cut, in order to increase the purchasing power and stability of working-class families by increasing the child tax credit, would have been a better guarantee for American families, as I said during the tax bill’s debate,” the senator wrote.

His apparent shift – again – came days after Rubio sharply criticised the law. In the Economist interview, Rubio floated a line of argument used prominently by Democrats against the tax bill: all the benefits are going to corporations and people that own those corporation’s stock.

“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,” Rubio said. “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 Economist interview itself represented a reversal from Rubio’s position at a tax reform even with Trump on April 16. During that event, the senator said thanked Trump “for fighting for the American worker.”

Also, as many tax experts noted Monday, Rubio introduced a tax reform plan in 2015 that looked similar to the tax law passed in December.

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