February 5, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 22 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
REPUBLICAN TAX BILL; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 22
(Senate - February 05, 2018)
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[Pages S596-S597] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] REPUBLICAN TAX BILL Mr. SCHUMER. Now, for a word on the Republican tax bill, even as corporations plow tens of billions of dollars into share-buybacks and stock-repurchasing programs, instead of raising wages or hiring more workers, President Trump and congressional Republicans are doing their best to portray their $1.5 trillion corporate giveaway as a boost to working Americans. I am sure that President Trump's address in Ohio today will focus on the few companies that have given bonuses, but I wonder how many of those bonuses delivered around Christmas were annual and would have been given anyway. I wonder how many of those bonuses were linked to the tax bill in corporate press releases to curry favor with the President, even though they would have been given anyway. I bet President Trump will not mention a thing about the slew of layoffs and stock buybacks in the wake of the bill. I bet he will not dare mention that 80 percent of the benefits of this bill went to the top 1 percent and that the middle class should have gotten a lot more than they are getting. We all know that corporations have spent billions enriching their shareholders, [[Page S597]] while the middle class is waiting for the trickle-down effects that may never come. Imagine if all the money that went into tax breaks for corporations and the superrich went to the middle class instead. If that were the case, then President Trump would actually have something to boast about in Ohio today. This weekend Speaker Ryan showed just how far Republicans will strain credulity to claim their tax bill helps working Americans. He tweeted: ``A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week . . . she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.'' Someone must have told him how out of touch that was because Speaker Ryan soon deleted the tweet. As high school secretaries get $1.50 a week in savings, the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans are getting an average of about $3,000 a week--high school secretary, $1.50; top 0.1 percent, $3,000 a week. Because of the tax bill, the Lancaster secretary may well be able to afford a membership to a big-box store, but the top 0.1 percent can now afford a new Bentley. Is that fair? Is that right? Is that what the American people wanted? No way. No way. All the propaganda and millions of dollars of ads from the Koch brothers and all these other rich people--the handful of rich people who have so much say on the Republican side--all the ads they will pay for will not make up for that fact, and the American people see it. The fundamental unfairness at the center of the Republican tax bill is this. Corporations and the superrich are having a bonanza while American workers are left with paltry savings. Considering the Republicans spent $1.5 trillion in Federal resources to pass their tax bill, the middle class should have gotten a whole lot more--a lot more than $1.50 a week. When President Trump takes the stump in Ohio, we can expect to hear a lot of talk about how his tax bill is helping American workers, but every American should know that the reality is different. ____________________