Florida Senator Marco Rubio joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in their criticisms of tax reform last week, in an interview with The Economist. He nearly repeated the oft-criticized mantra of Pelosi that the tax bill savings are just ‘crumbs’ for the average American worker.
In the run-up to tax reform’s final passage in Congress late last year, Republicans argued that a 14 percent tax cut from the current 35 percent rate would save companies so much money that they would invest in higher salaries and bonuses for their workers.
Rubio believes that the predictions made during the passage of the bill have not had the intended effect and Americans are receiving ‘crumbs’ while the corporations keep more of their profits.
“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 repeatedly tried to distinguish himself as a ‘champion of working-class Republicans’ while actively working against their interests in Congress. The Florida senator acknowledged in the Economist interview that he did not focus enough on the concerns of workers during the 2016 presidential campaign. For example, the senator was diametrically opposed to most Republican voter interests on immigration and trade.
“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.”
Despite the senator decrying the tax reform package now, the existing GOP tax law includes ideas similar to a 2015 proposal from Rubio himself that would have cut the corporate tax rate to 25%.
While agreeing with Nancy Pelosi that tax reform has only delivered ‘crumbs’ for American workers, Rubio has attempted to praise “the positive effects of the reforms.” He most recently lauded the law during a fundraising event with President Donald Trump in Miami on April 16.
“I want to thank you for fighting for the American worker,” Rubio told Trump while in front of a group of influential local business leaders and donors.