tv Debate Night The Fight Over Tax Reform CNN November 28, 2017 6:00pm-7:30pm PST
cause great economic growth. heading towards solutions, it would just be really, really dumb politics. the democrats look really small today by not showing up, not just to talk about fiscal issues but they didn't show up. >> when we five seconds. thank you for watching. cnn debate night the fight over tax reform starts now. [ cheers and applause ] this is cnn's debate night. i'm jake tapper. >> and i'm dana bash. the senate is on the verge of the legislative victory or a another major detonate.
>> but will it be a win for you and your family. to answer questions to decide whether this bill lives or dies, republican senators ted cruz and tim scott of south carolina, and democratic senator of maria cantwell and independent senator bernie sanders of vermont. >> welcome. a reminder, you will get 60 seconds to answer questions from us and our audience. 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals. let's start with our opening statements. you each have one minute. senator cruz. >> good evening. thank you, cnn for hosting this once again. thank you to bernie and maria and tim for taking part in a substantive discussion of tax policy. very soon we're going to be voting on a major tax cut bill. and the big question is exactly what jake just asked, who are the winners under this bill? let me tell you. if you're a taxpayer, this bill benefits you. our objective, we should be working to cut taxes for every single taxpayer in america.
if you care about jobs and wages, if you're a young person who wants more opportunity, if you want to see wages going up, you're a winner. right now america that see highest cooperate tax rate in the developed world. this bill cuts taxes on small businesses and job creators which will benefit every family by $4,000 a year. if you're a parent, you're a winner. this doublings the child tax credit for $1,000 to $2,000. if you want to see a brighter future for the next generation, cutting zpaksz economy growth is the way to go. >> thank you. senator sanders? >> ted, what tax bill were you talking about? surely not the one that's coming before the senate. here are the facts despite what donald trump says, despite what my colleagues here will tell you, the tax bills both in the house and the senate give the lion's share of tax breaks for the top 1%. 50% of the tax breaks in the
house bill going on go to the top 1%. 60% go to the top 1% in the senate bill. now, at a time of massive income and wealthy inkwablt when the rich are becoming phenomenally rich, when cooperate pockets are at a all-time high while tmiddl class struggles? who believes we should tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires and large corporations? this legislation will grow the deficit by $1.4 trillion. mark my words, mark my words, the day after or soon after this legislation passes, if it does, we're going to do everything we can to see it doesn't, these guys are going to come back and say deficit is soaring, we have to cut social security, we have to cut medicare and medicaid and education. and programs that the middle
class and working families desperately need. this is a disastrous piece of legislation. we have to defeat >> it thank you. senator scott. >> thank you and thank y'all for being here tonight. i grew up in a single-parent household, a mother who worked 16 hours a day as a nurs's aide. when i think about tax reform, i don't think about the numbers. i think about the people. the people who so often feel left out, stuck in the shadows, the people who often feel invisible. i have a message for those folks. we see you. our goal in this tax reform conversation is to deliver your money back in your paychecks. so those single mothers struggling paycheck to paycheck will be able to have more of their hard-earned money so that they can take care of their families and at the same time
create an economy that creates the jobs of the future here in america, here at home. that's what this tax reform does. >> senator cantwell. >> thanks to cnn for having this debate on a tough subject to tackle on tv. raising taxes on the middle class is wrong. and that's what this bill does. it is also wrong to cut the cooperate tax rate without having a promise of how that is really going to raise wages and impact productivity. our economy needs to continue to grow, and we do need to work together to figure out how to do that. spending this much money without focusing on the middle class and what's going to help them incur larger wage increases, health insurance, make education and housing more affordable is wrong. so much time and money is being spent on the tax breaks and not
enough time and interest on where the investment goes. we are a great society in the united states of america, but we shouldn't be a 1% society. we should have an economy that works for everyone, and that's what we want to if you hafocus . >> thank you, senator cantwell. the first question comes from sharon stefan from charleston, south carolina. she makes $23,000 a year. a new analysis from the congressional budget office says americans in her salary range could end up getting fewer government benefits under the senate republican plan and she has a question for home state senator, senator tim scott. sharon? >> hi, mr. scott, how are you? >> hi, sharon. how are you. >> i want to talk about i'm the single mom of four it's not been easy. i take the lion's share of the financial responsibility from driving a flat bed truckers
running landscaping crews, anything i can do to bring money in. from what i understand, you were raised by a single mom who had multiple jobs. how is this going to help other single moms if this goes through. >> yes, ma'am. thank you for your work ethic. sounds like you're setting a great example for your kids, sharon. god bless having folks like you in the state. there are a couple ways plans that benefits folks like yourself. number one, we have doubled the child tax credit. it used to be $1,000. now it's $2,000. that's a credit not an exemption, so it's more powerful. when we did our analysis on the bill a single mother with 2000 kids making $41,000 would see her taxes cut by 75% under our plan. with four kids, it's probably going to cut it even more than that. the long story short is you get
to keep more of your hard-earned money to make better decisions for your family. i think that's good news. >> may i respond to that? sharon, i wish what senator scott said was reality. unfortunately it's not. according to the tax policy center class nonpartisan tax organization, 87 million middle class households would see their taxes go up by the end of the decade. interestingly enough, what they did in their bill is they made the benefits that go to working people and the middle class temporary. but the cooperate tax breaks are permanent. not only will your taxes likely go up, but when these guys are finished with cutting social security, medicare, medicaid, education, and other important programs for working families, it is likely you and your kids
will be in worse shape. >> patently false, number one. we can debate the issues, but we can't debate the facts. >> that's right. >> here's what the joint committee on taxation says. in her income bracket, her tax will go down, not up. down. >> well, speaking of the joint committee on taxation, on average what they say is the senate republican tax plan raises taxes on american families earning $75,000 or less by the end of the decade. that's what they say. >> i'd like to bring in senator cruz and senator cantwell. >> i think what i'm looking for is hogwash. >> really? >> absolutely. this is the latest tax brackets from just last night. i'm not sure where your information is coming from, but the last proposal, i'm happy to share this with you, shows without any question specifically to your question about your income bracket for
your household, the answer is, you will pay less in taxes than you did last year. our proposal cuts your taxes. anyone that tells you anything other than that is inconsistent with reality. >> one of the reasons that some of the projections from different studies say they might end up with a net increase is because of the repeal of the obamacare mandate which will mean some of them won't getting the subsidies if they voluntarily withdraw from it. but also that insurance premiums could go up by 10%. >> let me take a little bit of time to unpack this because there are a lot of numbers that have been thrown out that are completely bogus. the reason they say 87 million people's taxes will go up is he said by the end of the decade, in 20272 tax cuts are scheduled to inspire, why?
because the democrats promised the filibuster their tax reform. your taxes, just your child tax credit is doubling to $8,000. that's real money. but because the democrats are filibustering it, that's not permanent. bernie and maria can join with us right now say they'll stop filibustering tax cuts, and we could make those permanent for everyone. the facts are clear. we are cutting taxes for everyone and it's only the democrats filibuster that makes it expire after ten years. >> senator cantwell. >> i'm so glad you're here because you represent a part of america we need to be serious about. your child care costs have gone up. and they have not been kept pace with the rate of inflation. that's why we should be helping you. but instead, they've taken a good idea in this bill, which is increasing the child tax credit, and instead expanded it to people making up to $500,000 a
year. i don't think that we can afford to give people at $500,000 a year a child tax credit. i want to find all the people like you in the economy and help you meet ends for your family and continue to thrive. and that's where we should be spending the money. >> ted says the tax policy center is a left-wing group. it was founded by economists from reagan. bush won and bill clinton. these people are trying to do the hard objective work, and what they say is 87 million middle class households by the end of the decade would see an increase. one second. you talk about zblurs true or false? >> you talk about filibuster. the reason that what you guys have done is reconciliation, in other words they are trying to
pass this bill in an almost unprecedented way without asking democrats to become involved. if you want to do 60 votes, let's work together. you want tax breaks for the middle class, let's work together. >> but bernie, you're right, reagan cut taxes. you had a democrat tip o'neal as speaker of the house. then a conservative democrat in the senate it was bill bradley. then a liberal democrat. the difference from the '80s and now, we had democrats willing to cut your taxes. every single democrat is unwilling to work with us. in fact, you want to know the clear difference between the two sides in this debate and in the senate? this is the third debate bernie and i have done. in the last debate bernie was very explicit. he wants to raise your taxes, everyone's taxes taxes. the democrats want to raise your taxes. >> to provide health care for every man, woman, and child in this country. >> they want to raise your taxes and then they want to spend your
money. we want to cut your taxes and let you spend your money. >> you want to cut taxes for the billionaires. >> we're talking about cutting taxes there. >> here are the facts. 60% of the tax breaks you are giving your -- are coming from your campaign contributors, the 1%. >> let's scott have the last word and then we have an audience question. >> sharon, let's do simp math. if you have four kids and your child tax credit is $2,000. each child, it's $8,000. we're taking your standard deductions that used to be $9,300 and making it $18,000. in other words, $18,000 deduction and then whatever your tax is owed you have an $8,000 credit to reduce that tax. in other words, you'll be getting a larger refund under our plan. >> we want to get to another audience question. george sigh loss is from new jersey and says his middle class family would pay more under your republican plan
because it eliminates the state and local deduction known at salt. senator cruz, this is for you. >> senator cruz, i voted for you in the 2016 new jersey presidency primary in part because i saw you as a defender of conservative principles. this tacks tax reform bill includes tax reductions for the wealthy in the form of the elimination of the alternative minimum tax and the federal estate tax. however, this tax reform bill also includes a large middle class tax increase because it eliminates the state and local income and property tax deduction otherwise known as salt deduction. do you believe hiking taxes on the middle class is in line with conservative principles? >> well, thank you for your question. thank you for your support in the primaries last year. absolutely not. and you've highlighted what is when i single biggest concern with the bill now. on the business side there's very good elements, tlamts help
small businesses, grow jobs, expand the economy, raise wages, doubling the child tax credit is a big step. the biggest thing i'm working hard to improve is lowering even further every taxpayer's tax bill. when it comes to the state and local tax deduction, that predominantly benefits the very wealthy, which bernie and maria they don't support. i don't think we should be -- we should only eliminate that deduction if we're lowering rates enough that your tax bill goes down, and that's the biggest thing i'm continuing to urge in the senate. let's cut individual rates. let's lower it so that every taxpayer is paying a smaller tax bill. >> senator, can i follow-up on that? you're obviously not comfortable with this. if there isn't a change, will you vote yes? >> it's the nature of any
legislation, this is an ongoing negotiation. there are two things you don't want to see being made, sausage and legislation. the biggest area we need to fix is this is reducing taxes for most people, but there are people in blue states, new jersey, new york, california, that have really high local taxes who this is not helping enough. i will say i find myself in the curious position of defending people from blue states and saying we should be cutting everyone's taxes even if your local politicians are jacking them up on you. what reagan did, what jack kifrp did was across-the-board cuts for everybody. it produces economic growth. >> he's not working hard enough, i can tell you that. to the gentleman, yes, i guess i'm here to come and fight for those conservative values because i believe you have the right for that deductbility and i have fought for the state of
washington and the state of texas and the state of wyoming and the state of tennessee and the state of new hampshire. and those in florida, not to have to get rid and now have double taxation. i believe you have the ability because, guess what, the impact on families on property tax, on mortgage, on education, on these things that are so important, you should be able to deduct them. and we should be fighting to say why should the middle class have to pay for a cooperate tax break by raising taxes on somebody in bellevue, washington, or in new jersey or in austin, texas? i don't think that's the right way to go about a tax bill. and i would be saying to people as i've said since the beginning when i saw they were using the local deduction and impacting middle class, you do not have my vote because this is so important not to do this on the backs of the middle class. >> it is good to hear my good friends on the left fighting for those that make over $500,000 a
year. 88% of those who benefit from the salt, make over $100,000 a year. so you can either get the deduction or you can get more of your money back. the reality of it is very simple. disproportionately are those who itemize. seven out of ten folks don't itemize. after our plan, nine out of ten. those who are left are the highest income brackets benefiting one-third more than anybody else. >> he's wrong. in the state of washington there's about a million people who itemize and about 80% of those people are in a bracket between 50,000 and joint up to 200,000. this is not this uber wealthy. it's about whether we're going to fight for the middle class,
our citizens to be able to make these discussions. ted should be up here fighting unless he wants his state to have an income tax or something, i'm not sure exactly what he wants people to do, but we should allow -- we have had this deductbility for 100 years, 100 years. why all of a sudden are we giving it away? and we're giving it away so you can pay for a cooperate tax break. it's the middle class who's hurting. cooperate's making huge profits. they are not the people we should be dealing with right now. we should be helping the middle class. >> you want to respond? >> yes? >> senator cruz, do you want to respond? >> it's interesting. bernie and maria and the rest of the democrats are all for raising taxes. they want to raise taxes on every taxpayer. but, you know, people vote if their feet. if you look at the states with the highest tax rates, people are fleeing the states. if you look at the ten highest tax states in america, in 2,015,240,000 people fled those states. the top three, by the way, are new york, new jersey, and
connecticut. people are fleeing those states because they can't get jobs. where are they going? predominantly to the ten states with the lowest tax rates including texas and south carolina which saw in that same year 100,000 people coming in. people vote with their feet. and the problem is you end up paying more. our objective should be simple. we want more jobs and when you pound job creators, both bernie and maria talked about it's terrible cutting taxes on corporations. businesses, if you want more jobs, you want small businesses to grow. we have the highest tax rate, cooper tax rate in the developed world. it's higher than france, higher than the yooiunited kingdom and canada. jobs are going overseas because of it. >> i need to respond to this because i see he's gone over his time and this isn't the ted filibuster show.
this is about an important aspect of the bill, the majority of it is paying for along with the deficit the break for corporations. the state of washington, people are coming there. they're coming there in droves. and they're coming there because it is a low-tax state. and so you're asking me to give up that model. you're asking people in your own state to give up that model. what i'm saying is people are and corporations are there because we are a cost effective state in delivering services. but the economy of the future should not be the federal government telling every single state how to operate. our tax rate in the northwest, we have a is different tax code and so does oregon. we're getting both done. we have a lower tax rate and we still have a thriving economy. that is what we should be striving for. >> i want to bring in andrew john, an investment risk manager
from altar, virginia. his question is for senator cantwell. >> senator cantwell, i believe there are opportunities to make compromises in reforming our tax code from people from both sides. why has there been no effort to work on a compromised bill that can gain support from both republicans and democrats? >> i think because people -- thank you for the question. i think because people are in a hurry. and i wish they wouldn't hurry on this. if you look at how we got to other proposals, people always talk about the 86 act. it took a long time. it gave confidence that it was something that was going to stick around. ic the fact people are trying to hurry to get this done, i would say to our colleagues, don't think that you have to get this done right now. why? are cooperations suffering? i think they're making good money. do i want to get this issue
about how we deal with a global economy and how we're going to continue to innovate. even this international tax code provision i have big companies saying to me i don't understand what it means and how it's going to affect us. if we're going to change something so big as that password tax code, slow down. let's understand what it means. if you are going to make it work effectively, everybody should at least understand what it is. as we marked it up, there were so many things people said i didn't know that was there or the effect of that. let's slow down and work together. >> senator scott, do you want to comment on the need for bipartisan cooperation? >> absolutely. i was looking for some notes here. child tax credit going from $1,000 to $2,000, can you support that? former president obama and ranking member biden supported a lower tax rate because they
agreed in a global economy our nation is at an incredible disadvantage. the average rate for our competitors is around 23%. we're at 35%. 5,000 companies have been acquired because our tax rate is so uncompetitive. they have been easy targets. whether you're on the left like former president obama or on the right like ted cruz or scott, we've come together on the fact we must lower the cooperate tax rate if we want america to be more competitive. do you like the child tax credit? there are a number of opportunities for our friends on the left that come to the table. but they have said no, thank you. >> actually, there are zero opportunities for progressives to come to the table. >> you missed the last one. >> you guys have locked the door because you made a decision to go forward with reconciliation. you have 52 votes in the senate.
you need 50 plus the vice president to pass it. and that's what you did. you decided from day one that you would not evolve maria, myself or any democrat dem in this process. if you had, what would have happened is, yeah, we would have raised the income tax credit, we would have dealt significantly with child care. but you know what? we would not have given 60% of the tax breaks to the top 1%. andrew, the reason there is no compromise, they made a political decision that they were going to do it alone hoping that they would get 50 votes whether they will or not, we will find out soon enough. but this was never an effort to evolve democrats in the process. >> we'll take a very, very quick break. cnn's debate night returns right after this. stay with us. [ applause ] i go out and demonstrate to people what life was like in the eighteenth century. you can have almost a spiritual experience with the beauty of nature or with a connection with the past.
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so you don't miss your favorite show. and with just a single word, find all the answers you're looking for. because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. [ applause ] >> we're back at cnn's debate night. senators, we have another audience question. we want to talk about the fact that the republican tax plan effectively gives small businesses a lower tax rate through a new deduction. and the next question comes from dina rubio. she and her husband own a cuban restaurant in west palm beach,
florida, and currently employ 18 people. >> thank you for taking my question. i'm from nicaragua and my husband is from cuba. we both lived under regimes where the way -- the interpretation of the equality is to deny the right of entrepreneurship. for the past 23 years we have dedicated our life to keep with the ever-changing business of the restaurant industry. we have aspirations to have a walkup window for takeout and a sit down bar which would allow us to hire six to eight more people. but after paying operating expenses and the high rate taxes, that leaves us with very little monies left for possible expansion. why don't you agree to give you say tax break for small businesses like ours and to create more jobs and possibly
giving better benefits to the workers that we already have? >> are you going to invite me to your restaurant? >> please do. >> i would love to come. i am for a tax break for you. and i'm for a tax break for small business and i am for a tax break for working families all over this country. what i am not for is massive tax breaks for billionaires. as part of this proposal, these gentlemen would repeal the estate tax which applies to the top 0.2%, giving billionaires hundreds of billions of dollars. i opposite that. if we can help small businesses who are the job creators in this country, count me in. i would love the opportunity to work with these fellas but republicans made a decision to go it alone. >> senator cruz? >> dina, thank you for sharing your story. your story is like so many millions of americans, your
husband and my dad came here seeking freedom and a land of opportunity. small businesses, businesses like the restaurant y'all own, two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses. under the last eight years of democratic control, small businesses have been hammered with taxes and regulations. jonathan asked why is there not more bipartisan compromise. there used to be democrats who would support cutting taxes. the problem is that the democratic party in today's senate has become more extreme. bernie and i have done three of these debates. he's a socialist. he admits he's a socialist and wants to raise everyone's taxes. and so, maria, i'd like to ask you a question that i asked bernie last time. this is a tax debate. what is the difference between a democrat and a socialist on taxes? >> you know, ted, i really thought about this issue of you trying to divide the democrats. but we're a big-tent party. there's room for bernie and there's room for me.
the difference is you guys keep trying to isolate your party. it used to be from susan collins to jeff sessions. guess what, we got joe donely and then you put somebody out there in missouri and we have claire mccaskill. you keep narrowing your tent and i'm fine with our big tent. and i have two small business people here from seattle, a millennial, michael, who's asked me what are we doing about the housing crisis am i ever going to get out of my parents' basement and own my own home. and he's working hard in a sector that this bill is making it harder for him to make his company competitive. another businessman, joe, says what are you doing to our economy if you're giving the big corporations are big tax break and us only a small tax break. he's the job contrary to. he created jobs in the downturn
of our economy and did so successfully. >> jarthank you for your time h. dana, i ran a small business for 13 years before i went into full-time politics. i will tell you that running a business is hard. i appreciate your integrity and your effort. our plan gives you about a 17.5% break so you can hire more folks, invest more capital into killed your business. our plan doesn't repeal, does not repeal the estate tax. that is a false statement. the truth is that your 18 employees under our plan will have more opportunities to see retirement go up, health care becomes better for you guys to be able to take a vacation. i'm not sure how it is when you're running your own business, but when i was running my business, vacations didn't
happen annually. >> in terms of the estate tax, the house bill does repeal -- >> i want to make sure. >> i read ted's stuff. you agreed be repealing the estate tax. you said that many times. >> absolutely. >> there you go. >> this is a big-tent party. >> there's room for ted. >> that's fine. but the point is repealing the estate tax, if the house gets their way, will give hundreds of bllz of dollars in tax breaks to the very, very wealthiest people in this country. what i think ted began, we begin to broaden this debate. taxes are not an end. they are a means to an end to the society we want to create. when they tell you how much they're fighting for the middle class, understand a few months a correct me if i'm wrong, you voted to throw 32 million americans off their health insurance. >> you're wrong. >> you're wrong.
>> 30 million? >> you're wrong. >> i'm not wrong. >> you are wrong. >> it's a false statement. >> you wanted to repeal the affordable care act. >> you better believe it. >> 30 million people losing their health insurance. these guys right now in this bill, if their bill here in the senate will pass, it will result in 13 million people losing their health insurance, premiums going up by 10%. if their bill goes through, if you are in graduate school, you're going to be paying substantially more in taxes. in the budget that they passed, they made massive cuts in pel grants, nutrition programs for hungry kids and low-income pregnant women. the dynamic of american society now is that we have a politics where big money, billionaires make huge campaign contributions and we have politicians work for
them, not the middle class. >> just today president trump promised that a big tax cut for corporations would lead to more jobs for the american people, for american workers. the plan would lower the corporate tax rate permanently from 35% to 20%. the next question comes from a former ceo who takes issue with the promise this tax cut will create jobs. david served as ceo of bright cove, an online video platform with 500 employees. he still he still . >> in my experience as a cardio, i can tell you our investors would have been delighted at any tax cut which improved -- >> can you hold the microphone up? >> i'm sorry. senator scott, in my experience as a ceo in a public company, i can tell you our investors would have been delighted at any tax cut. it would not head to increases wages. what do you say to employees of companies like mine who won't
get higher wages as a direct resulted of corporate tax cuts. but the corporations will get one. >> thank you for your investment in the american company. i owned a private corporation years ago. private companies as well as public companies, there are three groups of individuals who actually pay taxes. one, as you suggested, are the investors. the second are the employees when you have a 35% rate pay the tax by lowering actual wages. the third group are consumers. consumers pay the tax through higher cost of goods. so the reality of it is the answer to the question is that the vast majority of companies do one of three things with the capital. they will reward investors, employees, and sometimes consumers will pay less. as a matter of fact, this is not a center-right conversation. this is a conversation having been had on the left as well as
the right, economists on both sides of the aisle agree the corporate tax is a burden shared by the employees of the company and the consumers of those products. >> senator cantwell? >> thank you for that question. you have hit on the centerpiece of what this discussion should be about tonight. just like repeal health care, reform tax cuts, it's like a moniker that they want to put up, but the substance is wrong. and that is on the point you just made. most people will tell you that this money, 75% of of it at least, will go to dividends and shareholders. what we have in america is a wage issue and productivity issue. there's nothing, nothing in this bill that says corporations, if you get this tax cut, i expect you to raise wages and increase productivity. now, if our colleagues want to
join us on the senate familiar with an amendment, i'll be all ears to listen to this. if not, i'm going to take what the fed has said. they've been looking at this issue of productivity and wage, and said these are things we need to make investments in, education, job training, working towards the future, and making sure the skill set of the american public helps them get the wage increase we want. now, i know senator scott is a big fan of "apprentice." i'm a big fan of "apprentice." maybe this is some place where we can work together. if we can't convince the president of the united states to be for a tax credit for "apprentice," i don't know what we can convince him of. but we need to skill american workers, otherwise this will go to shareholders and that will be it. >> senator cruz? >> you know, the democrats have one talking point on taxes, it's a tax cut for the rich and they say it over and over and over
again in response to everything. the most important thing for you to know when you're at home is when they say ri"rich" they mea taxpayer. every single time they say rich, they mean taxpayer. why? bernie ran for president. he rolled out a tax plan. his tax plan was a massive tax increase. if you took every single person in america making over $1 million and you taxed them 100% of their income, took every penny they earned and came in and jack boots and confiscated it, it would pay 8% of the cost of bernie's tax plan. you know where they get their money? they get it from you, from the middle class. in fact, i'll quote from bernie in the last debate because he was very explicit. what the democrats want to do is tax the middle class. this is what bernie said. yes, to answer your question, jake, if we can explain to people, yeah, you're going to be paying more in taxes.
it's going to be be a progressive tax system. everybody will pay some more. so you're a single mom, he says you're going to pay more. you're a small business other than, you're going to pay more. there's not enough millionaires and billionaires to pay for socialism. >> this is why politics in america stinks. >> thank. >> that's right because you forgot the other half of the sentence. what the other half of that statement said is, yeah, you may pay more in taxes if you're in the middle class for a medicare for all single-pay or health care bill but you're not going to have to pay your private premiums to an insurance company, and you will be better off. ted stays up nights worrying somebody's going to pay more in taxes. apparently you don't worry there are families in america paying
$15,000 or $20,000 a year for insurance to private companies. that's okay for you. >> bernie -- >> i didn't get my whole, quote. >> obamacare caused that. >> obamacare did that cause that. >> a couple simple facts. >> one point. >> go ahead. >> and i'll give it back to you. next time you quote me, give the whole quotes. >> i read a whole paragraph. i'm sorry i didn't read the whole speech. you're right, look, this divide shows the difference between democrats and republicans. what bernie wants to do is tax the living daylights out of you. take all your money -- >> did i say that? >> yes, you did. you said we're going to tax the middle class but we the democrats are going to give it back to you. we're going to give you free stuff, free health care, free education. but it's going to be bernie and maria deciding what you get. tim and i have a simpler view. you keep your money, you get to
decide if you want to invest in your decision. >> i want to bring this back for one second to the corporate -- >> he's misquoting me. what bernie said is the united states of america should join every other country on earth and guarantee health care to all people and when we do -- health care for the middle class. >> i would love to get this back to the corporate tax rate for one second. senator scott made an allusito president clinton said last year the corporate tax rate needs to be lowered so the united states can be mores competitive. >> and our couple weeks ago from the house and senate worked on a proposal too. so the question is, how do we have tax reform? we have a lot of companies in the northwest who are these
companies, who are working very diligently to sell products whether you're talking about microsoft or amazon or costco or starbucks. we have a lot of successful companies. the question is how to we reform the tax code but not to the degree of 20% and giving this money away when i believe the people who are here, joe and michael, also are job creators. they're small business people. as the previous gentleman just said, they're just going to put that into dividends instead of growing the productivity and wages of americans. so to me, it's a comprehensive approach. while i'm willing to do something, and maybe the president was right, but we're not going to do this by having a truckload of money and drive down the street and have it fly off the back to kopgcorporationd not have them compete in the economy of the future. >> hang on one second.
>> hold on one second. let me jump in. the democrats love tovillify corporations and job yaerts. look, every one of us gets a paycheck. we get a paycheck from somebody. i'll point out as much as the democrats wants to make your employer the bad guy, you could take the entirene net worth of apple, microsoft, exxon mobile, seize it all, it would pay for one year of bernie's tax plan. >> that's nonsense. >> here's the math. apple's market is 825 billion, exxon mobile is 350 billion and your tax plan costs $2.5 trillion a year. that's simple math. if you want to get the money to spend from the big government plans, it's got to come from you the middle class. >> senator? >> i just want for the record
here, tim talked about the corporate tax rate being 35%. >> yes. >> that is the nominal rate. >> that's the effective rate. >> there's a great deal of difference as the effective rate, as i understand it, according to the government accountability office, large profitable corporations pay just 14% of their profits in federal income taxes. there's a big difference between the nominal rate of 35% and what they end up paying. it's somewhere near what they pay in the oecd. >> let me say this, maria. i'm happy to meet you half way on "the apprentice" program. amy klobuchar, hydy, mark warner, all democrats have supported lowering the corporate tax rate because we all understand on the left and the right that corporate tax rate punishes success, punishes workers. we want to reward success.
at the end of the day if we do that, we will have a better economy with higher wages, with more folks working. >> the other point i wanted to make the effective tax rate is not 35%. >> that is also true throughout the world and our competitors. when you look at our position versus our competitors, when the u.k. is heading towards 17% or 18%, when the oecd average is 22% the reality is at 35%, even when you lower it down to our effective rate, when those countries do the same thing, we find ourselves at a small disadvantage. >> we have to leave it there. we have an audience member waiting patiently. the republican bill adds an estimated $1.4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. steven prince is a successful business owner in tennessee who says he's concerned about that and has a question for you, senator cruz. >> senator cruz, i know that senator corker from tennessee today voted "yes" in the
committee. there's a question about whether he'll do that when it comes up for the vote. i'm really concerned about this deficit situation we're going into. today unemployment is approaching a 20-year low. the stock market reaches an all-time high every day. corporations are making as much or more money they've ever made >> a tax cut is phenomenal weapon that a government can use when they need it. do we really need a tax cut right now in this booming economy we've got? the interesting thing is the perspective on a booming economy, it is a booming economy for the wealthy. the top is% who the democrats vilify all the time, earn a higher share of our income since 1928. the very rich do great. from 2008 until today, the economy has grown only 1.2% a
year. it's stagnant. if folks at home are wondering why donald trump won 2016, the simplest answer is because working men and women have been left behind by the economy. the only force powerful enough to pay down the debt is economic growth. if we get growth back to 3%, 4%, 5% historic levels, that's how you pay down the debt. we saw it with ronald reagan in the 1980s. i want to pay down the debt, which means we need to bring back jobs and get growth. and cutting taxes is the proven method to getting jobs and getting the growth. >> senator cruz, you talked earlier about the fact that its the democrats fault that there's only a 51 vote majority and that there is a big deficit issue.
and that the individual tax cuts are going to expire after ten years. but isn't it the reality that it's your fellow republicans that are worried about what we just heard about? the deficit in the bill now that don't want it to get higher? it's not just the democrats. >> it's important to underscore you keep using the number 1.4, $1.5 trillion. it's a static score. let me ask you guys at home. how many of y'all have gone to the shopping mall to shop the weekend before school starts because there's a sales tax holiday? taxes have a powerful impact on incentives. john f. kennedy campaigned on tax cuts. what john f. kennedy said in 1963, quote, our present income
tax rate structure holds back invest. it's the unrealistically heavy drag on federal income, tashbes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive. here's the sad truth, john f. kennedy will be drummed out of the democratic party. i asked maria if there's any difference between democrats and socialists. we don't have a single democrat to support this tax cut because the democratic base is burning and they're afraid of tax cuts. >> senator cantwell. i think ted has the right goal, but he has the wrong means. when he thinks you're going to get 3% out of this tax bill, there's nobody that agrees with that. in fact they asked 38 economists whether this would even grow it
a few 0.8% of a%, and they said know. when they said why do you think it would grow the economy, he said oh, i read the question wrong, i don't think it's going to grow either. i know it's hard, and i know it's scary because i say to the young people i work with there's a reason maw bell doesn't exist anymore. and they look at me and said who's maw bell. and we've made a huge transition. but we can make it through that transition. america has made it through other economic transformations. but as these two gentlemen just said, you're not going to do that by just giving the corporate money away and not strengthening the wage and productivity of the american worker. so ted has the right goal, but we're hearing from people all across america they want the health and support in education,
in job training, in the things that are going to make us competitive. letting the small businesses have access to the same thing corporations want. we're going to have to take a quick break. cnn's debate night will be right back. ( ♪ ) ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. ♪ because one is... it's about the one bold choice you make that moves you forward. ♪ ...that you ever need the one and only cadillac escalade. come in for our season's best offers and drive out with the perfect 2017 cadillac escalade for you. get this low mileage lease from around $899 per month. ( ♪ ) from around how masterpass.that?nth. masterpass? masterpass. nice chair. thanks. i used masterpass. masterpass?
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we're back on cnn's debate night. the next question from ellen stark, a joint law and public health student at the university of arizona. she has a question for senator scott. >> senator scott, the individual mandate is necessary to the success of the affordable care act. and legislators on both sides have acknowledged that its repeal would lead to rising premiums and ultimately the collapse of the health care market. how do you justify its removal, and why are corporations prioritized over providing affordable health care for the americans of the united states? >> thank you for your question, and i look forward to seeing you as part of our work force moving forward. the individual mandate and the penalty associated with it is an onerous burden placed on your
lowest income earners. as an example, 80% of those who paid a penalty of an individual mandate lived in a household of 50% or less. 40% lived a household with an income of $20,000. when you eliminate the individual mandate, if you're getting a subsidy today, you get a subsidy tomorrow. if you like your insurance, you stay on the exact same policy. nothing changes when we remove the individual mandate except people then decide whether they want to buy it or not. it's that simple. >> senator sanders. >> it's not quite that simple, tim. because if somebody decides they don't want health insurance, when they come down with cancer and they run up a medical bill of several hundred thousand
dollars, you pay it, i pay it and everybody in this country that has health insurance pays it. i happen to think that the individual mandate is not the best way, but i believe we should do as i mentioned earlier, guaranteed health care for all people. you were saying if people don't want health insurance, no problem, they don't have to it. and then they go bankrupt and somebody else picks up the bill for them. the obvious solution is do what every other member of this country does. health care is a right of all people and end the asurdity of the united states being only country in the world that doesn't guarantee health care for all people. >> the reality is that we all pay for our health care costs. there's no change in that. the only question really is how we pay for it.
when you buy obamacare, you thought you were going to be paying around $9 billion. two years later they said it was $1.8 trillion. the reality is whether you have health insurance or not, the disproportionate burden of paying health care today lies on the backs of working americans, with higher taxes. so the truth is with or without the plan, someone's going to bay for it. and it's the same person. it is in fact the taxpayer. as you said it is their right to choose or not to choose to have health care, we want to make sure we've codified that and eliminate if you can't afford the premium or you don't want the premium, you that you actually have a benefit of not paying a penalty for not having something as opposed to buying something and not really wanting it. >> here's the problem. what you didn't deal with is the fact that here in america as you
probably know, we spent twice as much per capita on health care than any other major country. we spend $10,000 per person encountered in europe where the quality of care is as good or better than what we have. and the reason is we have an incredibly bureaucratic wasteful dysfunctional health care smgs. so i hope you would work with me to lower the cost of health care in america and guarantee health care for all people. >> you and i actually agree on this point, by the way. that we do have a bureaucratic wasteful health care system called the aca. >> senator cruz. >> you know the nice thing is we don't have to debate in theory. the democrat's ideas have been implemented for eight years under president obama, and they don't work. the economy was stagnant and we didn't have growth. bernie talks about wanting health care. we've had obamacare.
obamacare isn't working. now we've had a whole separate debate. if you want to google and watch a whole hour and a half of bernie and me, you can. but the reality is the simple solution there's the waiting period, it government rationing, the government telling you what health care you can get and what you can't. but this is tax debate. so here's something very important. should we repeal obamacare, absolutely. it's made the health insurance companies rich, and it's driven up premiums by over $5,000 a year. but here's the important thing to know about tax reform. this tax bill doesn't do anything on obamacare except one thing. it ends the irs fine for 6 p 6.5 billion people. if you can't afford health insurance, obamacare and health insurance fines you. 80% earn less than $50,000 a
year. 20% earn less than $25,000 a year. so my question, bernie, there are 12,000 people in vermont, getting fined a year. bill clinton said that was the craziest thing in the world. is he wrong? >> no, he's not wrong. the answer is -- >> why did you vote for it sph. >> because it provides health care to 21 million more americans and it did away with the obscenity of people being rejected for health care because they had a pre-existing condition. to answer your question, why do you continue to defend a situation where we remain unique in the world in not guaranteeing health care to all people as a right while we pay twice as much per capita as any other people? >> you want me to answer? >> so i did vote for the
affordable care act. i think it was a step forward, 21 million people getting health insurance. >> can i just jump in because i want to answer the woman's question because she brought this issue up. and it's the same issue that i've had small businesses write to me and say i am worried about this provision of the tax bill. because if you change it and then the cost of insurance goes back up, it's going to impact small businesses. that is the issue. the affordable care act did work. it did, where people did expand care provided by medicaid or other sources. that brought down everybody's rates. so driving more people back to uninsurance everybody knows will drive rates back up. i do think -- and this is one of the things i like about bernie the most -- is that his idea is actually a market idea on the concept of being able to negotiate on drug pricing. in the affordable care act i helped author a provision that is now working in minnesota that
says it you buy in bulk you should get a discount. so you have the same clout as a big corporation to buy and negotiate and get affordable health care. >> let's go back to the issue of taxes. >> let me very quickly ask maria. you said premiums have gone down under obamacare. i just want to ask you briefly, is it true under obamacare the average family's premiums have risen over $5,000 and year? and representing the state of washington, do you think it's right that over 138,000 people in washington are fined by the irs because they can't afford health insurance? each year? >> what has happened in the state of washington because we've had a successful exchange, and yes health care was going to go up. and i've authored other provisions to reform our health care system, the delivery system because we deliver better care in washington at lower costs. if the rest of the nation would
do that, i guarantee you we would be lowering health care costs. so in this proposal we covered more people. so instead of having double digit rate increases we didn't have as significant as we would have. but now we've had this chitter chatter about how we're going to repeal the benefit and this notion of junk insurance where you think you're covered and then you go to the hospital and you're not even covered is not what people want. that is not what our hospitals want. that is not what people will think will cover us in insurance. what this young woman want to know is are you going to make this worse? >> senator cantwell, let's just stop -- we've got to bring in somebody else. back to taxes and senator cantwell, victor miller, he served in the u.s. marine corp for 23 years. voted for president trump, and i
should tell you he lives in washington, and he has a question for you. >> first of all, i'd like to thank all the centers coming out today. it's good to see all of you. senator cantwell, nice to see you in person. as you said i'm a retired marine. and i feel every time there are budget cuts, tax increase, it falls on the expense of the civil servants such as teachers, law enforcement, first responders and our military. you know i voted for president trump, and i am the middle class, i voted for trump because he said he's going to help us. so if you could please like senator cruz does so well, explain it to us and the american people, break it down bern barn ae style if you have to, why are you not with us to help the middle class? >> so from our state, and thank you for coming all this way. it's a great high school and a great community. the issue is that the president,
and look, the president has his ideas about this. and what i would say to him if he were standing where you're standing right now is president trump this is too focused on corporations. i don't know it's because you have a corporate cabinet, so many corporate people there, but you need to listen to what is going to help our economy grow. and that is investment in the skill level of the american worker. that is making sure that we have affordable housing, which is problem in our area. to make sure that we have the ability to skill for those new jobs. every day even boeing has redone planes to be now built with composits. we have to skill the work force to be able to take advantage of those new jobs. so what i want president trump to hear from me, and maybe he'll invite you and me to come down and talk to him. but i would say to him don't think these corporations are just going to grow the wage and
productivity that you think they're going to. because the economists don't think that they will, and what's so important right now is that the middle class is being challenged. i have faith in you, and i have faith in us. this u.s. economy, every time we had to rise to the occasion, women had to take over the factories in world war ii and they did it, and when the men came home they're like what's our economy going to be like in the '50s? we created the gi bill, and we were successful. let's prepare for this transition. and if we do that, and let's go sell him on the apprentice program. he had a tv show. i guarantee you he knows what the apprentice is all about. >> this is not a republican plan or a democratic plan. it really is a plan to help the average person in america. the ways that we do, i've said it before and i'll say it again,
we basically double the standard deduction for individuals to $6,000 to $12,000. for single parents $9,000 to $18,000 for dual households, $12,000 to $24,000. we help with the earned income tax credit, we repatriot about $2 trill dwrn of foreign profits so we can create more jobs at home. this is plan that we can stand up and be proud about. >> so can i just add -- >> sure. >> i don't know how you can say this is not a republican plan. this is a republican plan. >> this is an american plan. >> democrats have been shutout of the process. 60% of the benefits go to the top 1%. the gentleman asked a good question, why don't we support president trump trying to help the middle class? i would if he were trying to help the middle class rather
than the billionaire class. i would if he was keeping his word. you remember during the campaign he said he was going to take on the pharmaceutical industry he's going to lower the cost of prescription drugs in america? it's funny. all the people who appoints in that area comes from the pharmaceutical industry. remember when he said he's going to drain the swamp? he has more billionaires in his administration than any president in the history of this country. what the president told you is one thing. what he's doing today is another. >> here's the question though, if we cut the taxes of a sitting mother like sharon by 71%, why can't we say yes to that? if the typical american today earns around $73,000 and we're cutting taxes by 60%, why can't we say yes to that? if we're growing jobs in america, why can't we say yes to that? >> of course i vote because
you're giving -- >> are you sure? >> let's make a deal. shock mitch mcconnell, announce right now you're not going to be voting for that disaster of a tax bill, say you want to sit down with maria and myself and -- we're going to create a tax bill that works for a middle class. [ applause ] >> bernie, here's the reason why there are no democrats working with this. you want to raise taxes, we want to cut taxes. there's not a compromise. and let me point out john f. kennedy cut taxes, cut corporate taxes, you would have chased john f. kennedy out-the democratic party because what he says is word for word cut taxes and leave more money for the american people. >> you have just told people we're not going to work with you
because you think we're going to do such and such. open the damn door and -- >> the door is open. >> whoa, whoa, the door is open. if we can then postpone this vote this week -- >> no, we're not going to delay. >> if tim wants to talk about helping the middle class and working class, let's do it. >> in the presidential race your tax plan jacked up taxes on everyone. that's what you proposed. >> in the presidential campaign we made public colleges and universities tuition free. in my presidential campaign we put a trillion dollars into rebuilding our skrulbling infrastructure and creating $15 million. in my presidential campaign
unlike you, i believed that climate change is real. it is devastating, and we put money into transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel. >> so last word on this from senator scott. this is obviously good for tv but not understanding tax reform which is an opportunity for the average person in this country. i'll say it very simply. there is a way for us to make sure that the middle income folks have more of their own money to take home in each paycheck. i have democrats working as a part of the tax bill there's an investing and opportunity act that i sponsor. my co-sponsors are cory booker, senator peters -- there is a bipartisan coalition looking for ways to address the needs of the distressed communities where 50 million americans live. if we want to do the right
thing, this is one of those opportunities. >> so i wanted to move to another question from the audience. one group that could face higher taxes under the house republican tax plan is graduate students because the bill would count tuition that the university waives for students, count it as tax. i want to bring in sarah, he's getting her phd at michigan state university, and she has a question for senator scott. >> the average student at my university currently makes $15,000 a year. if we were to be taxed on the tuition benefits that we receive, many of us would be paying almost a third of our salary towards federal taxes. at other universities with higher tuition rates, the situation is even worse. when the senate and house bills had a reconciliation, how will you guaranteety that graduate students don't bear the burden
of corporate tax cuts? will you commit on keeping it out of the new plan? >> i will tell you that the senate plan will emerge out of the conference being the plan we go forward with. so the good news is the answer is yes. number two, when you look at the long-term opportunities of students coming out of college and our economic growth is at 3%, your wages are going up. this is the good news. it's a good time to be you. >> senator sanders merchandise. >> what you described is just an example. it's tax breaks for billionaires andtelling you working place graduate students that their taxes are going to go way, bay up. and you know what that will result in? it will result in many young people not being able to go to graduate school. >> that's false. the question is -- >> senator cruz. >> look, i agree with you we
shouldn't be taxing -- one of the problems young people have had in the last eight years is we've had stagnant growth. there's on old saying those who failed in history are doomed to repeat it. ronald reagan served eight years, barack obama served eight years. ronald reagan cut taxes and simplified the tax code. barack obama raised taxes. what happened? i've got a few charts here that the tv camera can zoom in on. let's talk about young people. you're a graduate student. under ronald reagan it was 55%. tax cuts worked for young people. how about women? well under obama median increase was 6%, under reagan it was 75%.
>> we have to take a break. >> african-americans 12%. and let me finally show one more, jake, which is women ages 15 to 24 under obama 8%, and under ronald reagan 73%. >> we're going to take a quick break. cnn's debate night returns after this. right now when you get an unlimited family plan, netflix is included. ho ho ho! t-mobile covers your netflix subscription... best christmas gift ever! ...so you can binge watch all year long. now you're thinking christmas! and now when you buy any of this season's hot new samsung galaxy phones, you get a second one free to gift. that's one samsung for you. and one to give. t-mobile. holiday twogether. ( ♪ ) ♪ i feel like fire ( ♪ ) the 2018 cadillac xt5.
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welcome back to cnn's debate night. and senators we have heard tonight your decisions over the next coming days are going to very much affect the amount of money in everyone's wallet for better or worse. >> we now have time for the closing statements. each of you senators has a minute. senator sanders, we're going to begin with you. >> thank you all very much. we live in a moment in history where we have more income and wealth and equality than any time since the late 1920s. top one 10th of% now earn as as much. the idea that 60% of the tax benefits in the republican plan would go to the top 1% is beyond absurd. our job is to grow the middle class and the working class of this country, not give more
wealth to the people on top. our vision is to create an economy and a government that works for all of us not just wealthy campaign contributors. this legislation should be defeated. we should then sit down and develop tax policy that works for working families, not wealthy campaign contributors. >> senator cruz. >> i want to thank everyone for a civil, respectful substantive debate. we need a lot more of these in washington. in fact, bernie and i next week are auditioning for a new sitcom, revival of the odd couple. we'll see how that does. i agree with john f. kennedy. i agree with ronald reagan. both cut taxes, federal revenue increased, jobs increased, wages increased, growth increased. young people did better, people
who are struggling did better. you know, tim is the son of a single mom. i'm the son of a cuban immigrant who washed dishes making 50 cents an hour. we believed in cutting taxes because we saw first-hand when you get government out of the way and let small businesses dproe, people have the opportunity to achieve the american dream. the democrat's vision is they want to raise your taxes. when they say the rich, they mean you the taxpayer because they want to spend your money. my view is different. you should decide how you want to spend your money to save for college tuition, to help your kids have a better future. that's what works, and this is all about cutting taxes for the future of this country. >> senator cantwell. >> well, again, thank tuesday cnn and my colleagues for participating tonight. you didn't hear a firm commitment from our colleagues here to stop this tax increase on the middle class. i want people to know i'm going to fight to make sure that ayou continue to have these
deductions. whether they're your education, mortgage, property, sales tax, any of those things i'm going to protect the middle class. if you feel like i do these need to be protected, please call your member of congress. call them and tell them to stop this rush of a bill. tell them to get it right. don't have a trump taxoon the middle class. let's instead figure out how we grow this economy. just having a tax cut does not guarantee that we are going to see this growth. but i know by focusing on american engenwitty and skilling and training a work force for those challenges, no matter how transformational our economy become, we will be empowering people. and they will help empower america. so please let's get this right. it is about your future, and it is about making the right investments. >> senator scott. [ applause ]
>> to the single moms out there, the sharons, to the business owners, the danas, others, to the ellens, the college students, we see you. we know that tax reform is not an exercise for washington. it is an opportunity for us to reward and not punish the hardworking americans by helping them keep more of their paycheck. every bracket under our tax reform package gets a tax cut. typical american families earning around $73,000 a year has a 60% cut. single moms, $41,000 a year, a 75% cut. we nearly double the standard deduction for singles to $12,000. single head of households to $18,000. two income households to
$24,000. we doubled the child tax credit. our focus is on you, and that's where it should be. [ applause ] >> senators, thank you. and thank you to all four of you for participating tonight. thank you to our fantastic studio audience, and thank you for watching. >> "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts right after this short break. thanks for watching. [ applause ] we come into this world needing others. ♪
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