Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) just made the same argument against the Republican tax law passed at the end of 2017 that Democrats had been making before the legislation squeaked through Congress: The bill is benefitting corporations, but not American workers.
In a new interview with the Economist, Rubio — who ultimately voted for the tax bill — said the law isn’t helpful to the very workers President Donald Trump won over in the 2016 campaign.
“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 told magazine. “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 comment directly contradicts the messaging coming out of Trump’s White House and Republican congressional leadership. The White House has applauded companies that have given bonuses to workers, while GOP lawmakers have tried to build support for the tax law in ads by making the very same point.
“4.2 million hard working Americans have already received a large Bonus and/or Pay Increase because of our recently Passed Tax Cut & Jobs Bill....and it will only get better!” Trump tweeted in February. “We are far ahead of schedule.”
“Thanks to our historic TAX CUTS, America is open for business, and millions of American workers are seeing more take-home pay through higher wages, salaries and bonuses!” he tweeted again on April 5.
GOP outside groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, are also running ad campaigns touting the tax bill’s benefits to workers. But Rubio’s comment directly undercuts those arguments.
Independent analyses have shown that what Rubio is saying is in fact correct. The tax bill has given companies a massive boost in their cash reserves, and those corporations are using their influx of cash to buy back stock from the marketplace. Since almost half of Americans don’t own any stock, many aren’t benefitting from this practice.
Democrats are glomming onto Rubio’s comment.
“GOP Senator Marco Rubio tells the TRUTH about the #TRUMPTAX,” Jesse Ferguson, a top communications aide to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid who now works with the Democratic anti-tax bill group Not One Penny, tweeted.
“Please welcome Sen. Marco Rubio, the latest addition to the Schumer press office,” Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), tweeted.
Rubio, for his part, was skeptical of the GOP tax bill from the beginning.
Just before it passed, Rubio said he planned to vote against the bill unless it included a more generous child-tax credit. The senator ultimately voted for the bill after the child-tax credit became refundable, meaning that low-income Americans who didn’t earn enough to pay taxes would still benefit from the tax credit.