Rubio: GOP tax bill ‘probably went too far’ to help corporations

Greg Nash

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in an interview published Friday that Republicans “probably went too far” cutting corporate taxes in their just-enacted overhaul of the tax code.

Rubio said he expects corporations to pay out higher dividends to shareholders and buy back shares to increase their stock price with proceeds from the bill.

“You’re going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price,” Rubio told the southwest Florida-based News-Press.

“Some of them will be forced, because they’re sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders,” Rubio said. “That isn’t going to create dramatic economic growth.”

The GOP tax bill reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Republicans have insisted that the corporate tax cut would yield higher wages and more jobs for U.S. workers.

Several U.S. corporations that supported the tax bill announced raises, bonuses and benefits increases for employees shortly after Congress passed the measure on Dec. 22. These include Boeing, Wells Fargo, Comcast, AT&T and close to a dozen others.

But other corporations are planning to funnel the savings into benefits for executives, board members and shareholders. White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn was visibly stunned at an October interview when only a handful of CEOs in attendance indicated they would reinvest tax savings in hiring and expanding.

Rubio said while the bill contained several things he supported, “If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different.” He and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) successfully pushed GOP leaders to increase the child tax credit, a provision meant to assist struggling families.

Rubio said he expects Americans to embrace the tax bill once the changes are implemented.

“If I’m against the tax bill because I don’t think it’ll actually cut my taxes and I get my first paycheck in February and it has $200 in there that didn’t used to be there, I’m going to notice that,” Rubio said.

“By the time we get to November of next year, their opinion about the tax bill is not going to be based on media coverage. It’s going to be based on what their paycheck is telling them.”

Tags GOP tax plan Marco Rubio Marco Rubio Mike Lee tax cuts
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