NEW YORK CITY—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning to discuss the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, legislation that would cut taxes for working families in Louisiana.
Key excerpts of Cassidy’s comments are transcribed below.
ON SUPPORT FOR TAX REFORM
CASSIDY: No one likes change even when it’s from worst to better. Particularly when you have a lot of folks who hate Trump so much that if Trump said ‘let’s close the window’ on a snowy day they would say, ‘Oh my gosh, we don’t want to do it.’ On the other hand, when people open up their paychecks and they see beginning next year there’s more in their paycheck, not for everybody but for most people, and for corporate America that is now not competing against companies which have a 12 percent tax rate when they have a 35 percent [tax rate], arbitraging the difference to come back and compete, I think it will be a game changer.
ON KEEPING JOBS IN AMERICA
CASSIDY: [I]f you look back, there’s a strong history of Democrats, rightfully so, saying that we have to have corporate tax reform. And every time you have a corporation invert, move to Ireland and then come back and compete with a lower tax rate, it builds the case for corporate tax reform. We’ve done it [with this bill]. Those companies are now not—not—incentivized to move overseas, their incentivized to stay here.
ON GROWING WAGES FOR WORKERS
CASSIDY: [B]y definition, if you’re going to have wage growth it’s going to be on the margin. It’s not going to be 40 percent, it’s going to be three percent, four percent, but that’s a lot better than we’ve had for the last eight years. And if you add to that the corporate growth that then translates into better jobs because there’s more competition for workers—in Louisiana, I just toured a place, a $5 billion project, there’s $60 billion in announced projects in southwest Louisiana. Welders are having their wages jacked up because people are competing for a good welder to come to their site. Now that’s the kind of America we actually need. You guys are going to do very well I imagine, but those welders are the ones who have been hurting.