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WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown marked the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the GOP Tax Scam, which has been a handout to corporations at the expense of workers. Despite Republican claims that the bill was a tax cut for working people, it has proven to be nothing more than a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy.
Brown slammed Republicans and President Trump for breaking the promise that workers would see higher wages, and urged his colleagues to pass his Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would cut taxes for workers and families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). The EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people and pull children out of poverty. The Working Families Tax Relief Act would also allow workers to draw a $500 advance payment on their EITC so that families aren’t forced to turn to predatory payday lenders when the car breaks down or other unexpected expenses come up.
“It has now been two years since President Trump and Republicans in Congress passed their tax scam. They sold it as a tax cut for working people. But the jig is up – we know people aren’t seeing more money in their paychecks,” said Brown. “People see their tax scam for what it really was – a giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest tiny sliver of the population.”
Brown also urged his colleagues to consider legislation he introduced earlier this year to hold companies accountable for shipping jobs overseas. Brown’s Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act would provide a tax credit to companies that provide fair wages and good benefits to workers. His Corporate Freeloader Fee would levy a fee on large mega-corporations that are often extremely profitable yet pay their workers poorly. Brown has also introduced legislation to crack down on corporations who ship jobs overseas and reward companies that support their workers at home. The Pay What You Owe Before You Go Act would require corporations who want to shift their headquarters overseas for tax purposes to pay their full U.S. tax bill on all deferred overseas profits before reincorporating in a new country.
In October, the Washington Post reported that for the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year. The report followed a recent study that found the average effective tax rate paid by the richest 400 families in the country was 23 percent, a full percentage point lower than the 24.2 percent rate paid by the bottom half of American households in 2018.
Additionally, recent reports from the Washington Post and Columbus Dispatch have shown that income inequality is on the rise in Ohio and across the country. The separate Washington Post report revealed income inequality in America is at the highest it’s been since the Census Bureau started tracking income inequality data in 1967. According to the Post, the separation between the rich and poor is at a five-decade high, despite recent reports of economic growth in the U.S.
The GOP Tax Scam not only rewarded the wealthy and corporations at the expense of workers, it also fueled an already-growing racial wealth gap. According to a report by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy and Prosperity Now, the benefits of the tax law flow predominantly to white households. Of the Black and Latino households that received a tax cut, that tax cut was less than half the average tax cut received by white households. The Columbus Dispatch has also reported that while Ohio’s median household income increased slightly last year, the divide between white and black households continued growing.