House Speaker Paul Ryan could barely contain his excitement on Thursday while touting the positive benefits the Republican tax reform law is already having for Americans.
“You know, today marks 20 days since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became the law of the land,” Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Already, this new law is helping to improve the lives of middle-income families across the country.”
The law specifically benefited companies by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent (the highest in the industrialized world) to 21 percent. Ryan, President Trump and other advocates argued before the bill’s passage, lowering the tax rate would spur economic growth and encourage companies to locate or expand their businesses in the U.S.
What they did not foresee was the immediate positive impact lowering corporate rates would have on American workers.
As an example, the speaker referenced Walmart’s announcement earlier in the day that the retailer is raising its U.S. minimum wage to $11 per hour and issuing $1,000 bonuses to employees as a result of the lower corporate tax rates. The nation’s largest private employer also plans to expand maternity and parental leave benefits.
Walmart is just one of many companies that have announced bonuses since the tax bill passed.
“More than one million Americans are due to receive their bonuses because of tax reform,” Ryan said. “Already workers are seeing real increases in base wages, increases in 401K contributions and in maternity and paternity leave.”
By the top House Republican’s calculation, that is over $1.5 billion in bonuses being paid out.
He added that power companies in a number of states are lowering their rates, which is particularly helpful in the depths of winter.
The Washington Examiner reported that they include some of the nation’s largest providers serving millions of Americans such as Commonwealth Power, Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power, and Pepco, as well as Arizona Power Service and New England based Eversource.
“All of this has happened in just 20 days,” Ryan reiterated. “So think about this, this is all before families have even begun to see the benefits of lower tax rates, better withholding and a higher standard deduction.”
At his first Cabinet meeting of 2018 on Wednesday, Trump hit on some similar notes as Ryan.
“Since that tax cut was enacted more than one million workers have received a tax cut bonus. Something that frankly no one even thought about,” he said. “We just knew a lot of good things were going to happen.”
“I must say AT&T was the first one, and they did it, $1,000 per employee,” he added. “They have hundreds of thousands of employees. And many companies followed immediately thereafter. Millions of employees in this country are getting $1,000 and more in some cases. Tax bonuses because of the tax cuts.”
He also pointed out the plan specifically targets working Americans by nearly doubling the standard deduction, making the first $12,000 earned income tax-free for individuals, and the first $24,000 for married couples. Additionally, the law doubles the child income tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000.
According to the group Americans For Tax Reform, “At least 2,000,000 Americans (and counting) will receive special bonuses from their employer thanks to tax reform.”
The pro-economic growth advocacy organization continues to compile a list of the numerous companies that have announced bonuses and other benefits to date.
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