Markey Brushes Aside Tax Reform Benefits, Says Net Neutrality Repeal 'Crippling' for Job Creators

January 17, 2018

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.) appeared on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Wednesday and brushed aside positive news about developments stemming from Republicans' tax reform law.

Host Dylan Ratigan mentioned Walmart and Apple's recently announced wage increases and other companies raising wages or awarding bonuses.

"Have you changed your opinion?" Ratigan asked. "And if not, should you?"

Markey was unpersuaded.

"Well, look, when you think of the United States of America, you don't think of Walmart, you don't think of Apple. You think of the whole country," Markey said.

Markey said that you think of every company and employee, not just Apple or Walmart.

"Walmart is the largest employer," Ratigan chipped in as Markey continued.

"The proof is going to be in the pudding, not just isolated stories that can be put on the cover for a week or on a show for an afternoon, but the entire country," Markey replied.

Then, Markey warned of the effects of repealing net neutrality for the job market.

"And so, yeah, it's a nice story here for Apple but you know, ultimately, in December, Trump's Federal Communications Commission, took net neutrality off of the books, and what did that do?" Markey asked himself.

According to Markey, "That created a culture for hundreds of thousands of app creators—those are the job creators in the internet sector, and he took those off the books."

"That is going to have a crippling effect upon the guarantee that app developers have to go to the capital markets in order to create new jobs that will dwarf anything that Apple itself is doing," Markey said.

The host complimented Markey's pivot to net neutrality but said he wasn't done with the tax reform issue yet. Markey insisted he didn't want to engage in "irrational exuberance with a small data set" that doesn't show the full impact tax reform will have on the economy.

To end the interview, host Kelly Evans thanked Markey for joining the show.

But Markey wasn't done yet and asked: "Can I say a word about net neutrality?"

"No, no, you took all your own time, we got to go, thanks for joining us," Evans asked.

"No, no, I never got the question from you," Markey said over the hosts' objections. "That's why I was coming on it's the job creation engine, net neutrality, for our economy."

"Half of all venture capital last year went to web, internet, and software companies, half of all venture capital," Markey added.