- Republican Sen. Marco Rubio criticised the GOP’s new tax law in an interview with The Economist published last week.
- “There’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker,” Rubio said of tax cuts for corporations.
- Rubio introduced a proposal in 2015 that included provisions similar to the new tax law.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told The Economist in an interview published last week that the new GOP tax law so far hasn’t been the boon to American workers that his party promised it would be.
In the run-up to the tax bill’s passage late last year, Republicans argued that a lower corporate tax rate – cut to 21% from 35% – would save companies money that they would then invest in higher salaries and bonuses.
Rubio, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, suggested that hadn’t come to fruition.
“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.”
Rubio’s argument is nearly identical to that of Democrats: Instead of giving the savings to workers, they say, corporations will reward shareholders through share buybacks and increased dividends.
Rubio has long sought to distinguish himself as a champion of working-class Republicans. The Florida senator acknowledged in the Economist interview that he did not focus enough on the concerns of workers during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I spent a tremendous amount of time focused on the opportunities I had as the son of a bartender and a maid in the past century,” Rubio said. “I didn’t spend nearly enough time talking about what the bartender and the maid face today.”
The existing GOP tax law includes ideas similar to a 2015 proposal from Rubio and GOP Sen. Mike Lee that would have cut the corporate tax rate to 25%.
“Marco was the first R candidate in the 2016 cycle to propose a cash-flow business tax!” tweeted Kyle Pomerleau, the director of federal projects at the Tax Foundation.
Rubio has praised the positive effects of the tax law, most recently during an event with President Donald Trump in Miami on April 16.
“I want to thank you for fighting for the American worker,” Rubio told Trump at a roundtable with local business leaders.
“Work isn’t just about money – it’s about the dignity that comes with work,” the senator added. “And they have been beat up and ignored for far too long. Whether it’s taxes, whether it’s jobs sent to other countries, this tax reform is about them.”
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