Donald Trump’s tax bill was promoted by the president and the GOP as a boon to the middle class, allowing them to keep “more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Joint Committee on Taxation, and even the AARP disagreed, so the president decided to provide “proof” of how well his bill was working weeks before it even went into effect.
Backed by praise-filled reports by Fox News, the president gleefully told the American people that he was responsible for money being passed down to the middle class by giant corporations who were unable to afford to pay their workers fair wages or share the wealth they earned at any time before now that Trump was giving them a massive tax break.
One of the companies who announced that they would be showing an “unexpected new source of love” was AT&T, which earned $163.8 billion dollars in revenue for 2016. As a result of all that success and the huge tax cuts granted by their hero, Donald Trump, the highly profitable corporation was already pledging to trickle that money down to the little guys, their middle-class workers.
Today has been a moment decades in the making. Let's get it done. pic.twitter.com/abuqrCEMPb
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 19, 2017
There’s only one problem. None of that is actually true.
AT&T announced plans to lay off or fire more than 1,000 workers over the holidays, making that $1,000 to all employees more severance pay than a bonus. Despite the fact that the corporation will receive millions in tax cuts thanks to Trump’s tax reform bill and reports show that profits have not fallen for the company, they’re suddenly suffering so badly that they cannot afford to keep workers. So much for the geniuses behind trickle-down economics.
The president of the Local 6360 Communications Workers of America Union in Kansas City, was outraged by the news. Speaking to his local Fox 4 news station on Thursday, Joseph Blanco said:
‘How can you lay people off and then give them $1,000 and say that there’s going to be more jobs available? I wish someone could tell me how that’s possible because I have to explain that to my members, and right now at this time of year, this is a difficult pill to swallow.’
The deception over the wonderful effects on the middle class as a result of Trump’s disastrous tax bill goes even deeper than that. On December 15, 2017, a full four days before Congress approved the bill, AT&T announced on their website that they had reached a “tentative agreement” with their workers’ union.
‘AT&T today provided details of a tentative agreement reached with the Communications Workers of America in Mobility Orange contract negotiations…Virtually all employees covered by the offer would see a positive financial impact…If the agreement is ratified on or before April 7, 2017, a ratification bonus of $1,000 will be paid to each eligible employee.’
The decision to grant workers a $1,000 bonus was never a result of Trump’s and the GOP’s tax reform bill. That bonus was the result of union negotiations on behalf of the workers. How AT&T thought they’d get away with twisting an announcement they had already made to bolster Trump’s need for applause and approval when they had already said publicly where those bonuses were coming from is just a small piece of the deception around that bill.
The effects of this tax bill are not yet felt by the middle class, but by 2029, they certainly will be. Those effects won’t come in a $1,000 bonus, either.
Featured image via The Verge