Watch Velshi and Ruhle Lose Their Patience With GOP Rep. Dodging Questions on Tax Bill
MSNBC anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi held a heated exchange with Utah Rep. Chris Stewart over the GOP’s tax reform plan, with the pair becoming increasingly frustrated as the Congressman seemed to dodge giving specific answers.
It started after Velshi listed several studies, conducted by Goldman Sachs, the Tax Foundation and others, each suggesting the GOP’s tax reform would increase the deficit and, in the long run, end up increasing taxes for middle class Americans.
Stewart countered by saying he “could list other reputable economists and studies who say we’ll certainly get economic growth from this,” going on to name the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise, two staunchly conservative think tanks, and “our own independent studies.”
The Utah Congressman immediately broke out the old canard that America has the “highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world,” a popularly accepted falsehood that the MSNBC anchors took umbrage with.
“These groups you talk about, even they admit that our corporate tax rate, the effective rate is about 18.6 percent. It’s not 35 percent,” Velshi said, with Ruhle adding “and even if it wasn’t, we are still not the highest.”
The effective corporate tax rate, as Velshi noted, is around half of what corporations pay on paper, due to a series of tax loopholes that President Donald Trump promised during the campaign he would get rid of.
These loopholes do not seem to be touched by the Senate GOP’s nearly 500-page tax bill, with Velshi and Ruhle grilling Stewart to name just one corporate tax loophole that would be eliminated by the plan.
“Oh my gosh,” Stewart replied. “There will be dozens.”
“Please, sir, tell me one,” Ruhle said. “Just tell me one. One example of a loophole that’s being closed.”
Stewart tried to shift the conversation from corporations, saying “Primarily, we’re focused on the loopholes for individuals and simplifying for individuals.”
They wouldn’t let him change the subject, bringing it back, again and again, to tax loopholes for corporations.
“Why wouldn’t we close a loophole for corporates? The argument was you have to lower the tax rate and get rid of all these loopholes,” Ruhle added. “What loopholes are being closed for corporates?”
“Please give me an example of one.”
Stewart eventually relented, saying “That’s our point, is for corporations to pay less. That’s the point.”
Ruhle finally acknowledged that Stewart was dodging their questions and moved on to the notion of carried interest, another tax loophole that remains in the GOP bill, one that Trump repeatedly said he would work to remove.
[image via screenshot]
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