Coons on the tax bill: “This is a huge giveaway to the very wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations. It will benefit corporations, but not the middle class, which is what President Trump campaigned on.”

Sen. Chris Coons told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer [since the interview the House and Senate have both passed the bill]:

“The problem with that is, who's going to end up paying for these tax cuts? The way it's structured, taxes will go up on many of the middle class…and more importantly, right up-front, Republicans said, it was their intention to cut Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for these tax cuts.”

“My hope is that corporations will use those newfound profits or repatriated profits to invest in hiring people and in capital equipment, but there's no indication that they will. Most will, instead, do stock buybacks or provide dividends or boosts to their senior management. I do think we could have structured this build differently, so that some of the new corporate revenue would end up being invested in infrastructure or being spent more likely on hiring people and on capital. But this is just a straight corporate rate cut and corporate leaders and corporate shareholders will do with it what they will.”

More on the tax bill:

This did not have to be a one-party-only bill. I worked hard across the aisle to propose alternative paths that would have led us to a significant middle-class tax cut, the sort of thing the president ran on, but that is not what this bill is. This is a huge giveaway to the very wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations. I think there's no doubt that it specifically benefits real estate investors and those who earn their income from real estate. And in many cases, the modest tax cuts for the middle class are temporary and the big tax cuts for shareholders of corporations and for the wealthiest families, those will go on long-term.

And, as I've said both at home and here, the problem with that is, who's going to end up paying for these tax cuts? The way it's structured, taxes will go up on many of the middle class after five years and more importantly, right up-front, Republicans said, it was their intention to cut Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for these tax cuts. We've already got House Republican leadership talking about entitlement cuts in the coming year, in order to be sort of their next step towards fiscal sanity. I did work hard with Republicans, those who were concerned about the debt and deficit to propose an alternative path that wouldn't have cost $1.5 trillion. But ultimately, this turned into a straight party line vote.

 

Effect on Delaware corporations:

Well, my hope is that corporations will use those newfound profits or repatriated profits to invest in hiring people and in capital equipment, but there's no indication that they will. Most will, instead, do stock buybacks or provide dividends or boosts to their senior management. I do think we could have structured this build differently, so that some of the new corporate revenue would end up being invested in infrastructure or being spent more likely on hiring people and on capital. But this is just a straight corporate rate cut and corporate leaders and corporate shareholders will do with it what they will.

 

More on the tax bill:

That's right, there will be more money flooding into corporations and into the wealthiest families in the United States.

And I can only hope that they will make up some of the projected drop in charitable giving and some of the projected needs that we have in terms of increasing skills, investment in infrastructure, and investment in capital equipment. That would be a good outcome. And frankly, I don't hope that this fails. I hope that this succeeds. And that surprisingly, we'll see 4.5% growth in the next couple of years. But as you said in the opening to this section, most Americans who have been polled on this bill oppose it and most economists who have studied it think it will simply add to the deficit and debt.
 


Coons on the impact on his constituents: 

Well, it is true that those who have 401(k)s have already benefited from the rise in the stock market. It is unusual to do a tax cut of this size and this breadth at a time of near full employment and record corporate profits.

Typically, a big tax cut like this is done in order to strengthen economy that is failing, not to add on top of it. But if that's what happens, that the total capital markets, the equity markets go up, then it should benefit those who have got 401(k)s, that's right.


 
Coons on the impact of the bill on 2018 elections:

Well, it depends how the average American feels about this bill once they really learn all the details and all the different provisions.

It was rushed through in a process that made it hard to really follow what was ultimately in the bill, once voted on by the Senate, and what was in the bill when it came back from conference. Most surveys that I've seen nationally, suggest that a majority of Americans dislike this bill, and they believe that it is designed to benefit the wealthiest. That it will benefit Donald Trump, President Trump, personally. And that it will benefit corporations, but not the middle class, which is what President Trump campaigned on. We'll have to see. We'll see the actual impacts and then the American people will judge for themselves.