Rubio: ‘No evidence’ that corporate tax cut is overwhelmingly benefiting workers

Greg Nash

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told The Economist in a recent interview that “there’s no evidence whatsoever” that the corporate tax cut Republicans passed last year is overwhelmingly benefiting workers.

“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 the interview, published late last week. “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 comments are being highlighted by Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) office — who view the remarks as bolstering their case against the tax law. Democrats have been hammering on the increase in stock buybacks that has occurred since the tax law passed, while Republicans have generally focused on the companies that have announced bonuses, wage increases and new capital investments.

The GOP tax law cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The tax plan Rubio offered during his 2016 presidential campaign would have cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent — a less steep reduction than in the new law.

One of Rubio’s top tax priorities has been expanding the child tax credit, and at one point he threatened to vote against the tax bill unless the amount of the credit that’s refundable was increased. Rubio ultimately voted for the bill after the refundable amount was boosted, though the credit wasn’t made fully refundable.

A Rubio spokeswoman said Monday that the senator “pushed for a better balance in the tax law between tax cuts for big businesses and families, as he’s done for years.”

“As he said when the tax law passed, cutting the corporate tax rate will make America a more competitive place to do business, but he tried to balance that with an even larger child tax credit for working Americans,” the spokeswoman said.

Rubio has promoted the tax law since its passage, attending events earlier this month with Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to tout aspects of the measure aimed at helping low-income families and distressed communities.

But this isn’t the first time Rubio has suggested that the corporate tax cut would lead to stock buybacks and dividends. Shortly after the bill passed, he told reporters that the bill “probably went too far on [helping] corporations.”  

Tags Carlos Curbelo Charles Schumer Marco Rubio Tim Scott
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