On Wednesday, AT&T rejoiced after the GOP passed their historic tax overhaul, which lowers taxes dramatically, especially for large businesses. After hailing the tax plan, AT&T remarked that it will invest an additional $1 billion in the United States next year and will pay a one-time $1,000 holiday bonus to more than 200,000 employees, according to The Hill.
In a press release, the company said that the bonuses would be paid to all union-represented, non-management, and front-line managers. They also said that the bonuses will go out if President Trump is able to sign the bill before Christmas.
This AT&T business move recently caught the attention of Trump, who opened a White House celebration with congressional Republicans by quoting a passage from a statement by AT&T.
He then used the statement as a threat to Republicans, claiming that if they are unable to move swiftly and pass the tax bill, that it would be bad not only for them but for the 200,000 employees that are expecting bonuses. And since so many Americans are depending on the tax breaks, it would reflect poorly on the Republican Party, which has not yet had a significant legislative victory under the Trump administration.
President Trump and the Republican Party believe that the tax bill will promote economic growth and create good-paying jobs. And so do many economists, who argue that lowering taxes is a good way of promoting a more productive economy.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan remarked that this is a historic moment.
"This is without question the single most important thing we can do to once again make America the best place to do business," he said.
Boeing, another major company, also said that it will allocate $300 million for "employee-related and charitable investment" as a result of the tax cut to "support our heroes, our homes, and our future." Boeing did not provide any further detail.
According to Fortune, Fifth Third Bancorp plans to raise its minimum hourly wage for all employees to $15. It also plans to distribute a one-time bonus of $1,000 to more than 13,500 employees after the GOP tax plan is passed.
Now Comcast is following suit, too. According to CNBC, the telecommunications megacompany is giving 100,000 of their employees a $1,000 bonus and investing a mind-blowing $50 billion into the U.S. economy if Trump signs the bill.
Many Americans, however, are critical of Trump's tax cuts, despite recent events that suggest they will be a success.
CNN reports that as Congress was passing their comprehensive tax plan, protesters could be heard during the final vote count. A group of onlookers, who were located above the Senate floor in the chamber, began to yell, "kill the bill, don't kill us!" Like many Americans, these demonstrators were not happy and were especially troubled that the tax plan allegedly benefits those with high incomes far more directly than those with low incomes.
The Washington Post recently published an article titled, "Yes, the Republicans are passing their awful tax plan. And yes, the people know what they're up to, and they don't like it." In this article, the Post argues that the tax plan benefits primarily those who are of a privileged income — those who earn passive investment income, corporate dividends, overseas profits, and inherited wealth. And as a result, argues the Post, there is a huge incentive for anyone with a tax lawyer to classify their income as these types.
They also argue that the GOP tax bill will promote further wealth inequality, which has doubled since the 1980s. In fact, polls suggest that most Americans believe that the GOP tax will help the wealthy far more than it will help the poor.
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