Donald Trump's tax plan results in bonuses for workers (illustrated)

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This week we forge cautiously, but optimistically, into the new year — a year that promises to have a positive impact on your bank account.

In these columns, I’ve tried to highlight the potential ways you stand to benefit from the Trump administration. (Trust me, I get it. It’s difficult to look at the perceived chaos of Washington D.C. and think anything positive gets done.)

It’s not easy. At times it seems like the White House asks that you ignore a potential moral quandary in exchange for better financial footing. My suggestion has been, and will continue to be, take the money.

I can’t be your moral compass. However, remember no amount of good feelings has ever paid an electric bill. No toothless, but positive-sounding legislation, has ever tucked away money into a 401(k) for you. You can’t expect any of the social media warriors to contribute to paying off your student loans.

This administration has an economic growth goal in mind. While millionaires and corporations certainly benefit, so do you. (They pay the majority of taxes anyway.) You may even see the economic advantages of the new tax plan in your first paycheck of the year.

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If you haven’t heard already, just before the new year several companies put their money where their workers’ mouths are. The first big winners of the new tax era of the Trump administration were employees.

How about a round of unplanned Christmas bonuses?

Every Christmas, I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. You know the one, where the Griswold family celebrates the holiday despite constant interruptions and disasters. Eventually, the whole story culminates with the patriarch, Clark Griswold, finding out his Christmas bonus has been subbed out for a “Jelly of the Month” club membership.

While you feel for Gris, it’s hard to empathize with him. I’ve never gotten a Christmas bonus. (Once, I did get $25 gift card to a grocery store, but I digress.) So you can imagine how green I got with envy when the tax bill passed and holiday bonuses started falling from the sky.

It started with AT&T. 200,000 employees received $1,000 checks after the bill was signed into law. Then came the bonuses for employees of Comcast, Sinclair television, and several banks. Each CEO pointed to the tax bill as a reason for their generous holiday spirit.

Here’s the thing. I am skeptical as the next guy. Preplanned bonuses? PR stunts? Where’s the catch? 

One of the chief skeptic responses has been corporate avarice disguised as generosity.  As one economist pointed out, those bonuses get taxed as business costs under the old tax law. Spend money this year, save it next.

Here is my point to you. Whatever the reason or motive, it is still a bonus for workers. It is money they did not account for when they started last year.

This is a rare time when you can point at a piece of legislation and see a wallet-sized impact. Whether it was done to curry favor with the administration or the public, it brightened at least 300,000 workers’ holidays.  It promises to do even more.

Here’s the trickle down effect

So you are a skeptic. “Those bonuses are, at best, a one-time propaganda effort, a disingenuous windfall!” you yell.

There is more to what those businesses announced last week. It was not just about building great public relations by making thousands of people happy.

Take the case of Boeing. The aircraft manufacturing juggernaut jumped on board with the tax cuts. Instead of offering bonuses, they mapped out employment security for their workers.

In direct response to the new tax law, Boeing will invest $300 million directly back into the company. That money will not go into shareholders’ pockets. That money goes back to the employees in the form of workforce development, charity, and infrastructure enhancements.

If that’s not a great example of the law trickling into workers’ lives, I have others.

Take the cases of the banks that made big announcements after the bill passed. They each promised to do something that cities like New York and Baltimore have threatened to do: raise their minimum wages.

Fifth-Third Bancorp and Wells Fargo will offer $15 an hour for their lowest-paying jobs. That adds a few thousand dollars into thousands of employees’ wallets, and is something liberals would normally cheer for.

You can downplay it. Disregard it. Point out the disparity between CEO pay and workers’ wages like a freshman community college co-ed who just read Marx.

Or, you can see this for the dollars and cents it represents. It is a tax law that, for whatever reason, has become a windfall for certain workers in America. 

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Article last modified on January 5, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Workers Are Already Benefitting From the Trump Tax Plan - AMP.

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Article last modified on January 5, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC .

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