FACT CHECK: Senator Ernst Misleads on Corporate Tax Giveaway That Threatens to Add Nearly $2 Trillion to National Debt

Ernst says on video “I believe that we are well on our way” as massive handout to her corporate PAC donors shows no sign of paying for itself

Senator Joni Ernst’s corporate tax giveaway isn’t paying for itself, and she’s refusing to come clean about it with her constituents. Asked over the weekend about the massive tax breaks for her corporate PAC donors that have driven the federal deficit to its highest level in nearly a decade, Senator Ernst said, “I believe that we are well on our way.”


WHO-TV’s Dave Price: “Those federal tax cuts did not pay for themselves. Do you agree?”

Senator Ernst: “I believe that we are well on our way.”

Senator Ernst’s tax giveaway for her corporate donors has done many things — like given Big Pharma billions of dollars for a “stock buyback spree,” and “trimmed a year of solvency from the primary Medicare trust fund and had a negative effect on the Social Security trust fund.” But one thing is clear: experts agree that this handout to corporations and the wealthiest Americans is not paying for itself.

But while Senator Ernst’s suggestion that her corporate tax giveaway is paying for itself couldn’t be further from the truth, her threat to slash Iowans’ Social Security and Medicare is as real as it gets. Last year, Ernst was caught admitting that she wanted to “sit down behind closed doors so we’re not being scrutinized” while discussing plans to gut Social Security, and she has “talked about privatizing Social Security” since at least 2014. Just weeks ago, Iowa Starting Line revealed that Ernst told guests at a closed-door event in Washington that she believes spending on critical programs like Medicare and Social Security is “out of control.”

“Senator Ernst’s effort to paper over the cost of her toxic record in Washington isn’t fooling anyone,” said Greenfield for Iowa campaign spokesperson Izzi Levy. “Ernst has a well-documented record of siding with her corporate PAC donors over hardworking Iowans and threatening to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block to pay for her expensive corporate tax giveaways. Iowans deserve a senator who will put them first — not one who is trying to rewrite the facts to protect her political career.”