Cincinnati Enquirer: Sherrod Brown Op-Ed: Tax cuts should go to workers, companies that create jobs in U.S.


Cincinnati Enquirer: Sherrod Brown Op-Ed: Tax cuts should go to workers, companies that create jobs in U.S.

No one fights harder for American workers than Sherrod.

In the Senate, he’s fighting for policies that help working families get the job opportunities they need, the pay they deserve, the quality healthcare they should have, and the pensions they were promised.

Read Sherrod’s recent op-ed on these crucial topics below, and then show your support for the work he does every day to ensure hardworking Americans have the chance to succeed.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Sherrod Brown Op-Ed: Tax cuts should go to workers, companies that create jobs in U.S.

Last fall, Congress and the White House had a chance to come together and pass a bipartisan tax reform bill that put more money in the pockets of working families and created good-paying jobs in the United States.

Instead, Washington leaders chose to give handouts to millionaires and corporations that send jobs overseas.

While the typical pharmacy worker or restaurant cook or cashier or janitor in Ohio will see an average tax cut of just $33 a month, someone making more than $830,000 a year will rake in $5,100 every single month in tax cuts. And the bill actually created a new set of incentives to reward corporations that outsource jobs.

Last September, I went to the White House and I gave President Trump copies of two tax plans to reward workers and American businesses that create American jobs.

The first one, the Working Families Tax Relief Act, would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, putting more money directly into the pockets of working Ohio families. The other bill, my Patriot Employers Tax Credit, would cut taxes for businesses – but only those businesses that keep jobs in the United States and pay workers well. It would encourage them to create even more good-paying jobs in the U.S., instead of rewarding them for sending jobs overseas.

It was a good, bipartisan meeting. The president said he supported those ideas.

But then in October, special interests and their lobbyists went to work in Mitch McConnell’s office. And 80 percent of the benefits in the bill that emerged from the back rooms of the Capitol will go to millionaires by the end of the decade.

We were promised that the corporate tax cuts would end up in workers’ pockets in the form of higher wages. Instead, corporations have used their tax cut to buy back more than $700 billion of their own stock since the law passed. Stock buybacks don’t support workers – they are a financial sleight of hand to boost shareholder profits and CEO bonuses at the expense of investing in workers, equipment, or research and development.

For example, just days before the tax bill was signed, the big pharmaceutical corporation, Pfizer, announced $10 billion in stock buybacks – and just weeks later, it announced it was halting research into drug treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s and laying off 300 workers. Wells Fargo doubled its buybacks – an increase of more than 100 percent. The money spent on stock buybacks alone is 314 times more than what it would cost the bank to boost employee wages to $15 an hour.

If that weren’t bad enough, this GOP Congress blew a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit to pay for this corporate handout. And now they want you to pay for it with cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

They’re already at it. Mere days after they passed their tax bill, Speaker Paul Ryan admitted that the plan was to come after Medicare and Social Security to pay for it, saying “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit.” By “entitlements,” what he really means is cutting the retirement that you earn over a lifetime of hard work. These Washington suits want to tell nurses in Northgate and line cooks in Middletown and teachers in Hamilton to work until they’re 70.

Not on my watch. We need to reset the conversation to focus on our greatest asset: the American worker.

One place we can start is by unraveling the disastrous provisions of the GOP tax plan that actually reward companies that move their production to foreign countries.

Under their law, companies earning profits in Hamilton County pay a 21 percent tax rate. But if those companies send jobs to Wuhan, China or Reynosa, Mexico, they owe just a 10.5 percent rate on some of those overseas profits. It’s like handing out 50 percent off coupons to corporations that send jobs overseas.

I have a plan to fix that, starting with our auto industry. This month, I introduced the American Cars, American Jobs Act to revoke that special tax break for auto companies moving production abroad, and level the playing field with foreign competition by giving customers buying made-in-the-USA cars a $3,500 discount.

This is one simple step we can take, right now, to undo some of the damage from this corporate tax bill, and begin to invest in American workers. If Vice President Pence is serious about putting America first, I hope he’ll join me in working to reward companies that do the right thing and create jobs here in Ohio and around the country.

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