President Donald Trump continues to try and cast himself as a defender of the “forgotten” people of the United States, but the actual results of his policies tell a much different story. This week, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon revealed that his bank had brought in billions of extra dollars in profit in 2018 thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the massive tax reform package Trump signed into law in late 2017 that leaned heavily on slashing corporate tax rates dramatically. At JP Morgan Chase, Dimon estimates that some $3.7 billion in profit came in that wouldn’t have otherwise thanks to the legislation, which contributed to the bank’s overall record profit of $32.5 billion on $111.5 billion in gross earnings.
As Trump has, Dimon vaguely claimed that the financial influx would allow for an increased standing for lower and middle class Americans, asserting:
‘The new tax code establishes a business tax rate that will make the United States competitive around the world and frees U.S. companies to bring back profits earned overseas. The cumulative effect of capital retained and reinvested over many years in the United States will help cultivate strong businesses and ultimately create jobs and increase wages.’
Dimon claimed that JP Morgan Chase took the opportunity of their ever-increasing profits to invest in technology, new locations (which include new jobs), and salary increases that the bank first announced early last year, which include an average 10 percent yearly increase for some 22,000 workers. Dimon says that the company’s salary for entry-level, full-time jobs is now $31,000 a year, which works out to around $15 an hour — which many advocates tout as a baseline “living wage.”
That’s not all, though. While JP Morgan execs tout their company letting their workers have enough money to not starve or end up on the street, they’re raking in massive amounts of cash that those tens of thousands of workers can no doubt only dream of. In 2018, Dimon’s salary went up by about 5 percent over the previous year, with the CEO bringing in a total of some $31 million, the majority of which came from “performance-based incentives.” That works out to just under $15,000 an hour were he to have put in a normal, 40 hour work week every week — and we’re supposed to be thankful that they got around to offering their employees a living wage.
That really shouldn’t be the bar here! Although Dimon, Trump, and others have claimed that the tax cuts would pay for themselves, the federal deficit and debt are still ballooning wildly out of control, with corporate tax receipts having plummeted while many individual taxpayers saw little change.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who’s among the many Democrats vying for a shot at taking on Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race, quipped that Dimon should “give back” the money his company made off the “GOP Tax Scam” in response to him noting some dismal statistics about widespread financial instability in the lower rungs of the United States.
Warren has been among those squarely on the side of turning the GOP Tax Scam around, proposing measures like an asset tax on the ultra-rich that’s actually widely popular, according to polling data.
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