Speed Reads

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Today's Savannah Guthrie just grilled Paul Ryan on the GOP tax bill: 'Are you living in a fantasy world?'

Today's Savannah Guthrie interviewed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday and asked some difficult questions about the Republican tax bill, which could be signed into law before Christmas.

Guthrie began by asking Ryan whether the bill's large tax cuts to corporations would actually lead to economic growth. After Ryan claimed that yes, the lowered corporate rate would spur businesses to create more jobs and opportunities in the U.S., the host noted that prominent CEOs have said that in fact they don't plan to "reinvest" or raise wages for domestic workers. She then asked the speaker: "Are you living in a fantasy world?"

Ryan doubled down on his initial argument, citing studies and surveys that indicate businesses will put their tax benefits toward workers rather than shareholders. Guthrie then pointed out that at a recent Wall Street Journal conference for company executives, the White House's top economic adviser Gary Cohn was confused and surprised when the assembled CEOs mostly declined to say that they would actually reinvest in the American economy if the Republican tax bill was to pass — a display Ryan wrote off by saying that "$3 trillion" in corporate cash is "trapped overseas and cannot come back into our economy to be reinvested because of our tax laws."

Guthrie also pressed Ryan about the tax bill's estimated costs and how much it would add to the national deficit. "Are you saying that the growth you're going to get from this tax cut will equal the amount it would cost on the deficit side?" Guthrie asked. Ryan answered: "Nobody knows the answer to that question, because that's in the future."

Watch the full interview below. Kelly O'Meara Morales