Paul Ryan Slammed Over Tax Bill: 'Are You Living In A Fantasy World?'

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Savannah Guthrie challenged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to explain how tax cuts for corporations would reach the workers when they're already making record profits.

close-up of Paul Ryan with mouth open

The disastrous Republican bill that will cut taxes mainly for corporations and the richest of the rich was passed by Congress on Wednesday and is headed for President Donald Trump’s signature — but not before "Today" show host Savannah Guthrie got in one last jab at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Shortly before the vote was official, Ryan spoke with Guthrie about the bill, offering his assessments on how it was a good deal for the American people. But Guthrie took Ryan to task, asking him whether he really thought that corporate tax cuts would lead to more jobs.

As Guthrie pointed out, the GOP bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Guthrie asked Ryan whether the ultimate plan for the bill was for corporations to “take that money they now have and plow it right back into the economy, hire people, [and] raise wages.”

"It doesn't work if they don't do that, is that correct,” she asked Ryan.

Ryan immediately went on the defensive.

"The studies show us that that is exactly what does happen," he said.

“Workers benefit, wages go up, more jobs occur,” he added later.

But Guthrie wasn’t buying it.

"A lot of CEOs have said, really candidly ... [that they] don't plan to reinvest," she said. "What they're planning to do is to do stock buybacks, to line the pockets of shareholders."

After quoting former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said it’s a “fantasy” that companies would reinvest using these tax savings, Guthrie asked Ryan, “Are you living in a fantasy world?”

Ryan again reiterated his earlier points, citing studies that he said backed his point. Guthrie responded quickly against his talking points.

“The fact of the matter is corporations are already sitting on a ton of cash,” she pointed out. “They have record profits, $2.3 trillion dollars. Why aren't they raising wages and creating jobs now?"

These are real questions that deserve honest answers — and if Ryan were being truthful, he’d have told Guthrie that no, this tax bill probably won’t create a lot of jobs.

The reason why is simple: Job growth relies on supply and demand. Sure, wages require additional capital on the part of corporations to pay workers, but if there isn’t an increase in demand for their products, there isn’t going to be a need for more workers to make or sell them. 

So what happens to these tax breaks instead? They become profits, meaning corporate CEOs will rake in more cash for doing essentially the same work as they did before. Most of those tax breaks will not reach the worker, nor result in the creation of more jobs.

Guthrie did a great job holding Ryan accountable for his answers — they don’t have historical precedence, and this tax legislation likely won’t spur new job growth.

Ryan and the rest of his GOP colleagues in Congress have not been honest with the American people. Hopefully in 2018, the American people will show them what they think of this dishonest and hurtful tax scheme.

Banner / Thumbnail : Yuri Gripas/Reuters 

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