Remember Brown, Dems’ tax reform fight

“This tax bill will force Ohioans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and corporations by taking away their health care, driving up insurance premiums and forcing cuts to Medicare,” (@SenSherrodBrown) was the tweet sent by Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown just before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, as House members were casting votes on tax reform.

One day earlier Brown, the Democratic senator from Mansfield, had tweeted this: “Passing tax reform that will raise taxes on 86 million middle-class households is not a ‘win’.”

The bill outlining the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax system in more than three decades, of course, eventually passed the Senate, was approved a second time by the House after procedural changes, and now awaits the president’s signature to make it official.

The new tax law will drop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent and includes other measures that Republicans say will spur businesses to invest domestically.

Despite Brown’s pessimistic view of the bill’s passage, let’s look at what has happenened in the few hours since then.

Telecom giant AT&T reacted by announcing it would give more than 200,000 of its U.S. workers who are union members a special bonus of $1,000. The company also increased its capital expenditures budget by $1 billion in the U.S.

Boeing announced it will spend $300 million on “employee-related and charitable investments” because of the tax plan.

Comcast announced it will give $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 “frontline and non-executive employees.” It cited the rollback of the FCC’s Obama-era net neutrality rules and the passage of the tax reform bill. CEO Brian Roberts also said the company expects to spend “well in excess of” $50 billion on infrastructure investment over the next five years.

Fifth Third Bancorp said it would increase its hourly minimum wage to $15 for U.S. employees.

Wells Fargo said it would increase its minimum wage for U.S. employees from $13.50 to $15 and spend $400 million on donations to nonprofits and community organizations in 2018.

And U.S. stock markets responded with jubilation.

Ohioans should remember the statement made by Brown, especially as they head to the polls next year, as Brown’s term winds down.

If he turns out to be right — and by the looks of things, so far he doesn’t seem to be — then feel confident in returning him to office in next year’s election.

But if he’s not right, then voters should remember that, as well, and cast a vote for his opponent.