Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), Vice Ranking Member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, introduced an amendment to the GOP tax bill to put in writing the $4,000 boost guaranteed to American workers by the backers of the bill.
Higgins’ amendment is based on the promise by Republicans that the $1.5 trillion reduction in the corporate tax rate proposed in the GOP tax bill will lead the average American family to receive a $4,000 raise. Under the Higgins amendment, if wages do not increase consistent with the promises made, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, then the lower corporate rate would not be allowed to go into effect.
During his introduction of the amendment, Higgins said, in part, “The White House Council of Economic Advisors issued a report arguing that the $1.5 trillion corporate tax cut will accrue to the benefit of middle Americans – they actually said this, ‘that cutting the corporate rate from 35% to 20% will get an annual increase for every American of between $4,000 and $9,000 a year once fully into effect.’
“Corporate America makes record profits today and hires expensive lawyers and accountants to hide the cash that they are hoarding in foreign accounts to avoid paying [taxes.] Corporate America has been gutless in not living up to their responsibility to help move this economy in an efficient way.
“Don’t tell me that corporate Americans are the job creators. The American people are the job creators. The record will show clearly that when there are high wages, there is high demand. And when there is high demand in the economy, there is high growth in the economy. And when there is high growth in the economy, we don’t have budgetary deficits, we have budgetary surpluses.
“We know this because from 1992-2000 we had nearly 4% economic growth sustained over an eight-year period. America invested in cancer research, in rebuilding the roads and bridges of this nation and pushing out innovation that fueled corporate America’s rise and economic profits. And we expected that corporate America would do the right thing and pay their fair share.
“Mr. Chairman this tax cut will not do what the proponents of it say they will. We need to do much better.”
Republican leadership in the Ways and Means Committee ruled that the amendment was not germane and the amendment was tabled following a vote split along party lines.
During hearings earlier this week Higgins, who represents Western New York, argued the GOP tax bill bolsters income inequality in America and criticized the provision cutting the century-old State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction only to provide more profits to corporations.