Cassidy defends 2017 tax cuts targeted by Biden, pointing to wage growth among low earners

Sen. Cassidy: Era of bigger government will thwart progress

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., discusses Biden’s infrastructure plan and potential impact of tax hikes on the middle class.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on Sunday defended the Trump-era tax cuts that are being targeted by President Biden in his American Jobs Plan, pointing to wage growth among low-income earners.

“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace cited a Tax Policy Center study on the effects of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act among low-income earners versus high-income earners and asked Cassidy what was wrong with increasing the top tax rate to the levels of the Bush and Obama administrations.

Cassidy noted that Wallace’s framing of the question sounded like Biden’s speech to Congress and said the Biden administration wants to return the economy to the days before there was “high employment for African-Americans, veterans, women, Hispanics, the disabled, [and] high school dropouts with wage growth disproportionally in the lower quintiles of the income structure.”

“That was all part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act bill,” Cassidy said. “You can’t separate them, and so if you want to say, ‘My gosh, these people are making more money. Why don’t we return and keep the Tax Cut and Jobs Act?’ That’s the flip side of the question you’re asking, and I think that flip side is the part that should be emphasized.”

Biden’s $2.3 trillion spending plan unveiled early last month would raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, reversing a key part of the 2017 tax law passed by Republicans.

Wallace later played a clip of Biden saying the American Jobs Plan would help the middle class and asked Cassidy what’s wrong with making the wealthy, making over $400,000 per year, pay more in taxes.

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Cassidy responded by touting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, calling it a “recipe for success” because of the investment it spurred and “increased wages among the lower quintiles of Americans with fuller employment” versus “taking trillions and trickling it through Democratic interest groups.”

Democrats have been calling for repeal of Trump’s tax cuts. In June 2019, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed he would repeal the GOP tax act on “day one.”

“Income inequities are at an all-time high and made worse by Trump’s tax cuts and enormous giveaways to the top one-tenth of the 1 percent … and it’s time we start to reward work over wealth,” Biden said.

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Shortly before the 2020 election, Kamala Harris vowed that she and Biden would “get rid of” the tax cuts if they were elected, saying, “Joe understands that when they passed that tax bill benefiting the top 1 percent and the biggest corporations of America, causing us to deal with a $2 trillion deficit, that wasn’t about working people.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., famously attacked Trump’s tax reform in 2018 and said that trickle-down bonuses up to $2,000 that companies gave to workers were “crumbs.”

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