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GOP rep writes WSJ op-ed criticizing Rubio tax comments

GOP rep writes WSJ op-ed criticizing Rubio tax comments
© Greg Nash

A House Republican tax-writer in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is taking issue with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWatch live: Day 2 at CPAC DeSantis derides 'failed Republican establishment' at CPAC The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display MORE (R-Fla.)'s recent criticisms of the GOP's corporate tax cut, as Republicans hope that touting the new tax law will help them in the midterm elections.

Rep. Erik PaulsenErik Philip PaulsenMinnesota Rep. Dean Phillips wins primary Pass USMCA Coalition drops stance on passing USMCA Two swing-district Democrats raise impeachment calls after whistleblower reports MORE (R-Minn.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said that he disagrees with Rubio's argument that a different approach on taxes that included a smaller cut to the corporate rate would have been better for workers.

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"Sen. Rubio is right to want to ensure that America’s economic policy favors working families—that’s why I supported him during his presidential primary campaign," wrote Paulsen, whose district is rated a toss-up in the midterms by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "But as we continue to work on Americans’ behalf, we should recognize the success tax reform has already achieved and use it as a foundation to go further."

Rubio has found himself at the center of the debate over the tax law in recent days, after telling The Economist there is "no evidence" that the corporate tax cut has massively benefited workers.

Democrats touted his comments, viewing them as bolstering their case that the tax law does more to help big corporations than the middle class. Conservatives, on the other hand, expressed disappointment with Rubio's comments, particularly given that praising the tax law is a key part of Republicans' midterm election strategy.

Rubio later elaborated on his Economist comments in an op-ed in the National Review, where he said the tax law is helpful for Americans but could have done more to benefit workers. He said it's important to have an internationally competitive corporate tax rate but also said the bill could have been less focused on a rate cut while being at least as focused on new investments and helping workers.

Paulsen wrote in the Journal that slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent was critical for boosting the U.S. economy.

"Cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate from the highest in the developed world to a competitive 21% wasn’t a luxury," he wrote. "It was a crucial step to prevent the loss of American headquarters and jobs to other nations."

Paulsen also said that nonpartisan analysts have estimated that the tax law will lead to a boost in job creation and wages, and he noted that hundreds of companies have announced bonuses and other new benefits for employees since the law was enacted.

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act wasn’t perfect, and Congress should continue to improve the tax code by adding more individual tax relief and making the current cuts permanent," he wrote. "But no matter how you slice it, working families are benefiting from tax reform. And as the pro-growth effects of the tax cuts continue to work their way through the economy, the best is yet to come."