Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Tim Ryan, who wanted to lead Democrats in Congress, floats corporate tax cuts

The onetime challenger of Nancy Pelosi says Democrats need to look at a host of different tax cuts


Matthew Sheffield
September 1, 2017 4:28PM (UTC)

Rep. Tim Ryan is on the receiving end of some praise from the right after he called on his party to be willing to cut corporate tax rates alongside other taxes.

“To be competitive globally, we have to reduce the corporate tax rate,” the Ohio Democrat said in an interview with The Hill published Thursday. “We’re just not competitive globally because of that."

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Officially, the top tax bracket for American corporations is the highest among developed countries according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation. According to the Economic Policy Institute, however, due to a large number of loopholes, the effective corporate tax rate within the U.S. is actually extremely competitive with other countries. In fact, as the number of loopholes have increased over time, federal revenue from corporate taxes has actually declined from 5.9 percent in 1952 to 1.9 percent in 2015.

While Ryan is interested in lowering corporate taxes, he also wants to cut them in other areas as well, press assistant Mark McDevitt told Salon.

"This reduction in the corporate tax rate must be combined with an increase on capital gains and dividends, the closing of corporate and special interest loopholes, and a $1 trillion expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is a package deal, not just a blank check for tax cuts only on the wealthy," McDevitt said.

Earlier remarks by Ryan on corporate taxes have already been placed into a television advertisement by the American Action Network, a political group funded by business interests friendly to Republicans.

Ryan has represented Ohio's 13th Congressional District since 2003. The area has been hit hard economically in recent decades by manufacturing companies closing down or leaving the region. In November of last year, Ryan launched an unsuccessful challenge to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Left-leaning activists have not taken to the congressman's idea of supporting tax cuts kindly. Working Families Party national vice chair Karen Scharff is one of several who have blasted the proposal.

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"Rep. Ryan is sadly mistaken if he believes that cutting taxes for wealthy corporations will provide a boost to working families," Scharff told Salon. Guaranteeing healthcare for all would be a good first step. So would free college. So would a massive public works program. But cutting taxes on big corporations shouldn't be any Democrat's priority. Trickle down economics has absolutely never worked. Never."


Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

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