Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn expected way more CEOs to say they would increase investment after Republicans cut their taxes. But he just laughed it off.
The GOP tax scheme is a hideous, reprehensible giveaway to the rich at the expense of millions of poor and middle class households.
Republicans have long sold this proposal on the singular, driving idea that businesses will invest all the extra money to grow the economy in a way that benefits everyone.
Gary Cohn, Donald Trump's economic adviser, recently claimed that CEOs are "the most excited group out there" when it comes to this scam.
But at a meeting of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, Cohn had only a snidely joking response when the CEOs in the room didn't respond to that idea as enthusiastically as he had hoped:
1. Tax-overhaul backers say corporate rate cut will encourage investment by businesses
2. During #wsjceocouncil interview with Gary Cohn, WSJ asks CEOs to raise hands if they'll boost investment if rates cut
3. Few CEOS raise hands
4. Cohn asks: "Why aren't the other hands up?" pic.twitter.com/5PI60NlW0A
— Tim Hanrahan (@TimJHanrahan) November 14, 2017
BUSSEY: Can I ask you all a quick question? If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase investment — your company’s investment, capital investment? Just a show of hands — tax reform goes through.
[A few people raise hands]
COHN: Why aren’t the other hands up? [laughs] Why aren’t the other hands up?
The entire rationale for Cohn’s aggressive tax cuts for millionaires and corporations evaporated on the spot — and all he did was laugh about it.
Indeed, there is almost no evidence that tax cuts boost investment. Taxes apply to a company’s profits, not total income, and the tax code already lets businesses deduct interest and some other investment-related expenses, so the idea that tax cuts would have much impact either way on how a business invests does not make much sense.
Cohn appears to understand this — and his nonchalant reaction to a roomful of CEOs pointing it out to him suggests that he doesn't care.
Republicans understand their entire tax pitch to the American people is snake oil. And polls suggest the American people know it too. The only people trying to ram through this bill are a small circle of billionaire donors who, as Republicans admit, put campaign funding on the line.
Every day, the Republicans’ case for their scheme gets weaker and weaker. And every day, they push harder for it, oblivious to basic evidence or public sentiment.