WASHINGTON — Continuing his quest to hide his record from Bay Staters, Sen. Scott Brown used a recent Watertown appearance to lie to constituents about supporting tax loopholes for oil companies and powerful corporations.
At a September 28 event at the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Scott Brown responded to a question from a concerned constituent by making a series of false statements and misleading claims to perpetuate the myth that he is fighting for working Massachusetts families.
“Despite his campaign promise to be a ‘Scott Brown Republican’ and put Massachusetts ahead of party politics, Scott Brown has time and time again shown he’s more interested in toeing the Republican Party line,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century.
“By jumping at the chance to defend oil companies at the expense of middle class families and willfully deceiving constituents, Scott Brown has once again revealed that a ‘Scott Brown Republican’ is just like every other Republican — except they lie about it afterwards,” Mollineau added.
At Chamber of Commerce Event, Sen. Scott Brown Misled Constituent On Support For Tax Loopholes
QUESTIONER: “I want to know how you can support cutting Medicare and Social Security and you keep voting to protect tax breaks for billionaire and oil companies, there’s so many subsidies out there, they don’t provide anything to us- they do profit and they profit and they don’t help our local communities like our community banks do.”
SEN. SCOTT BROWN: “With regards to closing loopholes, listen the only loophole that’s been put up before us is the ethanol subsidy and I voted to close that because it’s used its useful life. Are there others that are out there yes, we’ve talked about it but none of them have been proposed at this point . . . it’s difficult to get into hypotheticals about some of the things you’re talking about because they haven’t been brought forward yet. So we’ll chip away at it and we’ll do our very best.”
But Brown Has Routinely Opposed Eliminating Tax Loopholes For Oil Companies & Wall Street
Brown Opposed Closing Tax Loopholes for Oil Companies. In response to a question from MoveOn.org organizer Nina Allen, who pressed Brown to support closing tax loopholes, “Brown said he had voted to close some loopholes, such as a tax subsidy for ethanol. But he said he was not inclined to support any more taxes.” “We’re in a 2 ½- to 3-year recession right now, and raising taxes is an absolute job killer,” Brown said. [Boston Globe, 8/8/11]
Brown Voted to Kill Bill to End Tax Breaks For Large Oil Companies. Brown voted against invoking cloture on a motion to proceed to legislation that would repeal tax breaks for the largest oil companies. The legislation would eliminate five different tax breaks, saving $21 billion over 10 years. The New York Times reported, “The Senate on Tuesday blocked a Democratic proposal to strip the five leading oil companies of tax breaks that backers of the measure said were unfairly padding industry profits while consumers were struggling with high gas prices.” [Vote #72,5/17/11; New York Times, 5/17/11]
Brown Wrote to Senate Finance Committee to Preserve Venture Capital Fund Managers’ Tax Break. In May 2010, Brown wrote to the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee “asking to have the tax break preserved for venture capital fund managers who ‘contribute to the viability of our start-up community.’” The tax break Brown referred to allowed venture capitalists and other financial managers to pay the lower 15 percent capital gains tax rate on the money they earn from successful investments, as opposed to the up to 35 percent tax rate wage earners pay. Eliminating the tax break would have yielded “$24 billion in taxes over the next 10 years” according to the administration. [Boston Globe, 12/29/10]
Brown Voted Against Amendment to Eliminate Oil and Gas Company Tax Loopholes. Brown voted against a Sanders Amendment to the tax extenders bill. Tulsa World reported, “The Senate rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213) that would have eliminated tax credits for oil and natural gas production and would have used the proceeds to reduce the deficit and fund programs to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. The vote Tuesday was 35 yeas to 61 nays.” [Vote #187, 6/15/10; Tulsa World, 6/20/10]
Brown Voted Against Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes. Brown voted against the Senate conference committee report on legislation that would close several corporate tax loopholes. The Boston Globe wrote, “The corporate tax bill… would close several so-called loopholes that companies have used to lower their payments to the state. The biggest money-raiser is a provision known as combined reporting, which is designed to prevent companies from shifting profits to other states with lower tax rates. The measure would require companies to combine income from all their operations, then apportion a profit for tax purposes based on the amount of business activity they have in Massachusetts.” [H4904, Vote 261,7/1/08; Boston Globe, 7/1/08]
- Brown Said Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes Would Results In Businesses Relocating To Other States Or Overseas. The UMass Republican Club Newsletter reported that Brown “blasted the Patrick administration’s plan to tax earnings that corporations with offices in Massachusetts make outside the United States. This so called ‘closing corporate loopholes,’ he said, would make Massachusetts a far less viable place to do business and would likely result in many businesses with offices in Massachusetts relocating to other states or to foreign countries. Brown gave the example of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Corporation, which has a bottling plant in Needham: under the Patrick administration’s plan, Coca-Cola would be required to pay a Massachusetts tax on its international earnings simply because they have an office in Massachusetts. This issue has been especially pressing for Senator Brown because the Needham Coca-Cola bottling plant is one of the largest employers in his senatorial district and has begun to consider moving over the border to Rhode Island to avoid this superfluous new tax while still remaining close enough to Boston to not damage its distribution business.” [UMass Republican Club Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2008]
Brown Opposed Closing Corporate Loopholes. In 2008, Brown “blasted the Patrick administration’s plan to tax earnings that corporations with offices in Massachusetts make outside the United States. This so called ‘closing corporate loopholes,’ he said, would make Massachusetts a far less viable place to do business and would likely result in many businesses with offices in Massachusetts relocating to other states or to foreign countries.” [UMass Republican Club Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2008]