Brown says tax plan should be targeted at middle class

Published 12:24 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said any tax plan passed by the Senate should be targeted at the middle class.

Brown spoke Monday during a hearing of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy, on which he is a ranking member.

The senator said the proposed Republican plan, supported by President Donald Trump, targets the benefits on the rich and corporations.

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Brown said designing legislation to benefit the middle class would be more effective than a supply side or “trickle down economics” approach favored by Republicans on the committee.

“The solution is pretty simple – you cut out the middle man,” Brown said in his remarks, which were widely circulated in video on social media this week. “Instead of giving money to corporations and hoping that some of it trickles down into the pockets of working people, let’s just give the money, let’s just focus the tax cut on working people. If we want to cut taxes for the middle class, maybe we ought to cut taxes on the middle class.”

Brown said spending by the middle class would trigger economic growth.

“That’s how we grow our economy,” he said. “That’s how we create jobs – not through stock buybacks, but by giving money directly to consumers who will spend it at the gas pump, in the grocery store, at the local mall and at car dealerships, on family vacations, at local restaurants, at sporting events. That’s how you build the economy from the middle out.”

Brown said the two parties’ approaches were highlighted in the committee’s meeting and called on his colleagues to refocus their efforts.

“That’s the fundamental difference on this committee from the statements today,” he said. “ You give tax cuts to the rich, it trickles down and nothing really happens to build the middle class or stimulate the economy. You focus on the middle class, you aim the ax cuts at the middle class, that’s how you build the economy.”

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” last month, Brown said he hoped to work with Trump on tax reform and said he had attended a meeting on the matter at the White House.

Brown urged Trump to part ways with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on legislation and asked the president to support the Patriotic Corporation Act, legislation he has sponsored, which he said would give a lower tax rate to companies that pay high wages, do not outsource jobs and keep production in the United States.