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VIDEO: Rubio: Let’s Amend Tax Bill So We Can Give Working Families the Raise They Deserve and Need

Nov 28, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the Senate floor today to outline the importance of making the child tax credit applicable to payroll taxes, which would significantly benefit hard-working American families.
Rubio’s speech can be watched here. A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
U.S. Senate Floor
Washington, D.C.
November 28, 2017
RUBIO: I think one of the core things that I hope tax reform will be about is empowering the American worker. And by the American worker I mean the people they don’t make Netflix series about and you don’t see movies too often anymore. There was a time when the American worker was a hero in our country and people looked up to the American worker and idealized it. Today obviously entertainment focuses on other professions. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that but we forgot the value of hard work and the millions of Americans across this country that truly remain the backbone of our economy and of our nation. Hardworking men and women who are struggling to get by not because they’re not working hard but because everything costs more, something you quickly find out as your family begins to grow. And it’s why I have spent so much time talking about the child tax credit. A lot of people confuse that with the child care credit which is important as well but the child tax credit takes into account the reality that raising children is an expense. It’s a blessing but it costs money. And so at the end of the day it doesn’t always matter how much you make. It matters how much you spend.”
And when you’re raising children and raising a family, the costs are often out of your control and they increase substantially every single year. And so perhaps the best way to illustrate to you the impact that tax reform has on working families is to talk about real people and their real lives, how much money they make and what would tax reform mean for them. I want to start with a real family, a particular family that my staff has been communicating with. That’s the Starling family, Richard and Emily. They’re a very young family from Jacksonville, Florida, and they have a two year old daughter and they are expecting their second child in March. Now, Richard is a pastor and he works part time at Starbucks. He makes about $25,000 a year. His wife, Emily, stays home and cares for their daughter while he’s at work. Because of their income, the Senate tax bill’s nonrefundable child tax credit increase would actually be worth very little for them. A lot of people said to me ‘we’ve increased it to $2,000. Isn’t that great?’ 
It is. But what does it mean, what people don’t understand is if the majority, if not all the taxes you pay are payroll tax, it doesn’t help a lot. I always, by the way, I frankly get offended when I hear people say ‘these Americans who don’t pay taxes.’ They do pay taxes. Not income tax but they pay payroll tax. They take it out of their check every month. Trust me, it’s a tax. It’s less money than what was supposed to be there after the tax. So the tax credit while we increased to $2,000 that’s great for a lot of people, it does nothing for them. The total effect is only about $115 for the family. That’s how much they’ll be saving on their taxes from the current year, $115. 

I look at my own — where I live. I live in West Miami, Florida. I lived there since 1985. It’s a working class neighborhood. According to the census, the average family income in West Miami where I live, $38,000. Let’s say $39,000. That doesn’t mean West Miami is poor. I know the people there. They work hard. They pay their taxes. They raise their children well. They go to work five days a week, eight or nine hours a day, sometimes on the weekends. But because it’s a working class town, the nonrefundable increase we put in to the child tax credit doesn’t do much. As an example, based on the census data for West Miami, for that zip code that I live in, more than 2,500 children in this zip code meaning more than half of the total number of children living in that area would be receiving less than the full credit than they would otherwise be eligible for. 
Why? Because their parents, their primary tax liability is the payroll tax. And you cannot help working families with a tax cut if you do not allow the cut to apply to the payroll tax. It’s as simple as that. We have to do that. You want to help people in this country? You really want to help them have a little more in their pocket? Then let’s do this proposal we have. By the way, I hear these economists and other people say, ‘well, it won’t do anything for growth.’ You really don’t understand how working Americans live. For someone who makes $38,000 a year or $35,000 a year, they basically spend every penny they make. They have to. You make $38,000 a year with two kids, you are spending every penny you make and then probably having to put the extra on your credit card, unfortunately. That will drive consumer spending. It will allow them to pay for some things they can’t buy now. These kids outgrow their shoes so fast. The book bags don’t make it through a year. These are so many things we could be helping families with. Our tax reforms should do that.
Everybody else in this town has a trade association, has a lobbyist, has newspapers that write about them. Who writes about them? Who writes about these working Americans, working Americans, okay? Not people asking for anything from the government. They go work, they work hard, they work every day. Who fights for them? Who talks about them? Who represents them? That’s supposed to be us. And if we’re serious about representing them, then let’s prove it. Let’s amend this bill and change it so we can give working Americans the raise that they deserve and that they need to strengthen our country and strengthen our families.