NBC’s Savannah Guthrie challenged House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on his contention that lowering the corporate tax rate would incentivize investment in the U.S., saying, “are you living in a fantasy world?”
Here’s what she said:
“The problem is a lot of CEOs have said, really candidly, I’m looking at a list of CEOs that said, ‘We don’t plan to reinvest.’ What they’re planning to do is to do stock buybacks, to line the pockets of shareholders,” Guthrie explained.
“Let me quote Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire,” she continued, “hardly an enemy of business, he said, ‘CEOs aren’t waiting on a tax cut to jump start the economy, a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company – or to hand out raises. … It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth.’
“I’ll ask you plainly,” she laughed, “are you living in a fantasy world?”
“I would compare that anecdote to just the surveys of businesses like the National Association of Manufacturers’ surveys which show the vast majority of businesses are going to do just what we say — reinvest in their workers, reinvest in their factories, pay people more money, higher wages,” Ryan answered.
“The data is very clear by the way, workers benefit from this through higher wages. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of how much they benefit,” he added.
Guthrie added another anecdote to make her point, this one of a group of CEOs that did not raise their hand when asked if they would reinvest if the tax plan went through.
Ryan countered her second anecdote by citing other studies and explaining how companies would reinvest in the U.S. worker and their factories when their taxes were cut.
The GOP tax plan was passed by the House and the Senate Wednesday. The bill heads to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.