March 21, 2023

Trump just said his tax plan led to “big bonuses” at companies but there’s a huge problem

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In another installment of President Trump taking credit where no credit is due, he claims that American workers are reaping the rewards and it’s all thanks to him.

Trump claimed in a tweet this morning that recently passed tax reform has already changed the behavior of big business.

At tweet time, only 16 companies had made any tangible moves in direct response to the tax bill, according to CNN. Late Tuesday afternoon, American Airlines made it a lucky 17 by announcing a $1000 cash bonus to its workers.

Trump famously cheered AT&T on for doing the same thing in December; the company announced the $1000 bonuses along with the intention of a $1 billion investment in US workers in mid-December. Nevermind that the company had a huge $85 million merger with Time Warner pending approval by the administration at the same time.

Just a few days after AT&T announced the $1000 bonuses, it also announced its intention to lay off thousands of workers in early 2018. The company made that announcement on Christmas Eve. Makes the bonus look a lot like severance. And doesn’t look good for Trump’s Tax Reform if there is cause and effect here.

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Experts say that these 17 companies putting money into their workers post-Tax Reform is hardly a trend. And they note that, for example, Wells Fargo is only spending 5% of its total tax savings on wages and other investment in workers.

Wells Fargo also announced in the wake of the Tax Reform passage that it would raise minimum wage to $15 as a result.

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But Wells Fargo had already announced in early 2017 that it planned to raise the wage to anywhere between $13.50 and $17 an hour for entry level workers. At the time of that press release announcement, the bank already pain entry level workers between $12 and $16 an hour.

A major bank CEO, Keith Mestrich of Amalgamated Bank told CNBC in December that there was no way banks could possibly be responding to tax reform with these wage hikes, because “it’s a 1,500-page bill no one has read.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders nevertheless celebrated companies showering workers in riches in direct response to these tax cuts during today’s press briefing.

Nevermind that experts and CEOs fully contradict the possibility.


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