GENEVA — Is the Republican tax cut putting more money in the pockets of all Americans and helping to create the nation’s record-low unemployment rate, or is it a giveaway to corporations and the rich that has done little to benefit the average American?
Those questions will be debated at Bicentennial Park on Exchange Street in Geneva on Tuesday, as a pro- small-business group called the Job Creators Network stops in the city by bus to tout the tax cuts and thank Republican Tom Reed, R-23 of Corning, for voting for it.
The event runs from 4 to 5 p.m., and is expected to include small business owners talking about how the bill has benefited their companies and employees.
Reed will be presented with the Job Creators Network’s Defender of Small Business Award.
“Tom Reed cast one of the toughest votes in Congress to pass the tax cuts, and it’s been like rocket fuel for the small business economy,” said Jack Mozloom, senior vice president of public affairs for the Job Creators Network. “We’re rolling into Geneva tomorrow to thank him, and to hear from local business owners who are better off because of the tax cuts.”
Although the group said it is nonpartisan, its members are making appearances at a number of towns and cities represented by Republicans who voted for the $1.5 trillion bill, which slashed corporate taxes from 35 to 21 percent and simplified individual rates.
With mid-term elections in November, many of the incumbent Republicans’ Democratic opponents have criticized the cuts, which have received a mixed reaction from the public in most polls.
The Job Creators Network said the tour, called the Tax Cuts Work campaign, “is designed to publicize and amplify the positive impacts Americans are experiencing as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — legislation that significantly reduced the tax burden on small business entrepreneurs and placed more take-home pay in the paychecks of every hard-working American.”
The group said the legislation has resulted in bonuses for many employees and “the expansion of benefits for millions of people. Business owners, large and small, are reinvesting their tax cut savings back into their businesses through hiring more people and growing their operations.”
Meanwhile, local progressive organizations say they will be in the park from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. offering an alternative view of the tax cuts, which they call “the GOP Tax Scam.”
Rally organizers include Indivisible Seneca Falls, Citizens for a Better Southern Tier and the Geneva-based #Reeds LastTerm.
Rachel Weil said the “evidence shows that the benefits are skewed toward the very wealthy.”
She points to statistics compiled by the liberal group the Americans for Tax Fairness.
On its website, the organization claims that only 4.3 percent of workers are receiving bonuses and/or wage increases related to the tax cuts, and that corporations are spending 98 times as much on stock buybacks than they are on wage increases and bonuses.
Brien Ashdown, another rally organizer, said the tax cuts and the resulting higher federal deficits threaten programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and hurt small businesses in other ways.
“The new tax law means less federal money for roads and infrastructure, and higher costs for health insurance,” Ashdown said. “Doesn’t that hurt small business in the end?”