In an unexpected defection from the Republican Party’s most important talking point, Marco Rubio (R-FL) said today that the recently enacted Republican tax law – the GOP’s sole legislative victory during the Trump era – overwhelmingly benefits corporations over American 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 told The Economist in an interview. “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 concession underscores what Republicans have feared about the legislation all along: that they squandered their limited political capital on a bill that has only garnered only a lukewarm reception from the American public, thereby precluding them from using it to campaign come a very difficult midterm election. And as the party’s only major legislative achievement to boast of, the GOP won’t have much to offer a skeptical nation despite majorities in every branch of government.
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That is not to say Rubio won’t eventually walk back his comments if pressured by party leaders. But his comments nonetheless echo the warnings of scores of economists prior to the law’s passing. Democrats warned that the GOP tax law amounted to nothing more than a handout to corporations already flush with cash and – as Reaganomics has taught us before – there is absolutely no evidence that showering big business with even more capital will translate into higher wages for employees. Instead, the bill will only exacerbate the already massively problematic income inequality issue plaguing this country.
As Americans continue to wake up to the unyielding greed of the Republican Party, look for more members of the GOP to defect from the ranks. While their efforts will certainly be grounded in self-preservation, it will still offer evidence that their shameless pandering to the ultrawealthy is nothing more than a con towards the rest of the nation.