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Cutting costs can't start at the bottom

When they passed their corporate tax giveaway in 2017, Donald Trump and the GOP made a promise to the American people: tax cuts for the wealthiest few would generate jobs for the middle class.

That's the same tired plan Republicans have been pushing for 40 years, and it has never worked. Not once.

Here's how it played out in Fall River, Massachusetts:

For decades, the Philips Lighting plant in Fall River, MA provided good jobs for hundreds of workers. Folks worked hard, took pride in their work, and both the community and company prospered.

Last year, Philips Lighting made over $300 million in profits. The Donald Trump tax scam gave them millions more.

To celebrate, Philips Lighting didn't create jobs, or even give their workers raises. Instead, they bought back $187 million dollars in stock – putting that cash in the pockets of investors and company executives.

Then, they closed the Fall River plant and sent those jobs to Mexico. To save money.

We've seen this over and over. In just the last couple of years, Harley-Davidson, Carrier Corp., and GM have cut expenses by cutting jobs, while rewarding those at the top with ever-more extravagant payouts.

That's not just unfair. It's wrong. Piling the profits only at the top of the economic ladder while cutting costs from the bottom is no way to run an economy. The workers who enable those profits ought to benefit as well.

Our country can't stay on a path lined with broken promises, shattered lives, and hollowed-out communities.

That's why we're fighting for a moral capitalism – in which profits are only as good as the number of workers they empower, and in which companies take responsibility for the well-being of all their employees.

Making sure others have a chance to succeed is a core American value. It's time that corporations that benefit from American industriousness and ingenuity step up to do their part to build the thriving communities American families deserve.


Posted on April 22, 2019.

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Joe Kennedy III represents Massachusetts' 4th District in Congress. A principled and passionate advocate for economic, social, and racial justice, Joe is working to improve access to quality, affordable health care, and is determined to fight for all who call this country home.

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