Dems: ‘We Could Take Some Of That Money’

Senate Democrats Propose Clawing Back Americans’ Bonuses, Pay Raises, & New Jobs

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Just yesterday, Senate Democrats announced they’d like to spend a trillion dollars of taxpayer money -- and to try and pay for some of it, they want to roll back Americans’ brand-new tax cuts while they’re at it. There they go again. Tax more. Spend more. Take money away from American families and give it to the federal government.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 3/8/2018)

“Senate Democrats unveiled on Wednesday a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that would be funded by repealing numerous tax cuts Republicans pushed through Congress last year.” (“Senate Democrats Pitch Repeal Of Tax Cuts To Fund Infrastructure,” Politico, 3/07/2018)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “But when [the American people] hear that we could take some of that money … I think Americans of all stripes will embrace that policy.” (Sen. Schumer, Floor Remarks, 3/07/2018)

  • SEN. SCHUMER: (D-NY): “So there are much better uses for the money.” (Sen. Schumer, Floor Remarks, 3/08/2018)

Why Do Democrats Want To Take Away…

Higher Wages For Families

WALMART, 1 million+ employees: “Today, Walmart announced plans to increase the starting wage rate for all hourly associates in the U.S. to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000. The company is also creating a new benefit to assist associates with adoption expenses. The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit the company’s more than one million U.S. hourly associates.” (Walmart, Press Release, 1/11/2018)

WELLS FARGO, 250,000+ employees: “Wells Fargo, meanwhile, also said it would be boosting its minimum wage for employees to $15 an hour. The bank alsopo said it would target $400 million in donations to community and nonprofit organizations next year.” (“Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp Unveil Minimum Wage Hikes After Tax Bill Passage,” CNBC, 12/20/2017)

HORMEL FOODS CORP., nearly 20,000 employees: “Hormel Foods Corp. this morning announced that it plans to use savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to award stock options to its employees and raise starting wages to $13 an hour. Hormel announced the new employee benefits as part of a first-quarter earnings report. … Hormel stated that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Donald Trump in December saved the Fortune 500 company $63 million in the first quarter of the year, and it will inject an estimated $110 to $140 million to cash flow in fiscal 2018. [Hormel President and CEO Jim ] Snee also announced that Hormel will continue to raise its starting wages following the $13 an hour increase. The company plans to bump the starting wage to $14 an hour by the end of fiscal 2020.” (“Hormel To Give Employees Stock Shares, Increase Wages,” Post Bulletin [MN], 2/22/2018)

Bonuses For Workers

FEDEX CORPORATION, 400,000+ employees: “FedEx Corporation is announcing three major programs today following the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 1) Over $200 million in increased compensation, about two-thirds of which will go to hourly team members by advancing 2018 annual pay increases by six months to April 1st from the normal October date. The remainder will fund increases in performance-based incentive plans for salaried personnel. 2) A voluntary contribution of $1.5 billion to the FedEx pension plan to ensure it remains one of the best funded retirement programs in the country. … more than 400,000 team members…” (FedEx Corporation, Press Release, 1/26/2018)

AT&T, 200,000+ employees: “AT&T Is Giving $1,000 Bonuses To 200,000 Employees After Tax Bill: AT&T was quick to respond to news of U.S. tax reform, announcing it would give some employees bonuses once the legislation is signed into law. The telecom giant said in a press release Wednesday that it would give more than 200,000 U.S. union members a special bonus of $1,000.” (“AT&T Is Giving $1,000 Bonuses To 200,000 Employees After Tax Bill,” CNBC, 12/20/2017)

VERIZON, 160,000+ employees: “Verizon says employees (other than top management) will receive 50 shares of restricted stock, the price of which will be set on February 1. The award could total over $400 million, based on Verizon's current share price. Shares traded around $53 a share on Tuesday, after quarterly earnings were released.” (“Verizon Says Many Workers Will Receive Shares Of Stock,” CNBC, 1/23/2018)

DISNEY, 125,000+ employees: “Walt Disney Co. said it will give employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000, joining a growing list of companies handing out awards in the wake of federal tax reform.” (“Disney To Give Employees $1,000 Bonuses In Wake Of Tax Reform,” Bloomberg, 1/23/2018)

  • “Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, today announced, more than 125,000 eligible employees will receive a one-time $1,000 cash bonus. The Company will also make an initial investment of $50 million in a new and ongoing education program specifically designed to cover tuition costs for hourly employees. The two new initiatives are a result of the recently enacted tax reform and represent a total allocation of more than $175 million in this fiscal year.” (Disney, Press Release, 1/23/2018)

New Factories And More Jobs

FIAT CHRYSLER: “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is investing $1 billion in a Michigan truck factory and paying worker bonuses in the wake of a U.S. tax cut, gestures that could come in handy amid major policy matters being sorted out in Washington. The Italian-American automaker will share the spoils of a lower corporate tax rate by sending $2,000 checks to about 60,000 U.S. workers. Fiat Chrysler also will spend more than $1 billion and add 2,500 jobs at a factory near Detroit to produce heavy-duty Ram pickups that the company has been making in Mexico.” (“Fiat Chrysler to Invest $1 Billion, Pay Bonus After Tax Cut,” Bloomberg, 1/11/2018)

AMGEN: “Amgen Inc. said Thursday it will spend up to $300 million to build a new U.S. manufacturing plant as it detailed the impact of the recent tax law changes…. The new U.S. plant, which will make products for both domestic and foreign markets, is part of $3.5 billion in capital expenditures planned over the next five years. Amgen said it expects about 75% of planned capital spending to be in the U.S., up from about 50% in recent years.” (“Amgen Plans New U.S. Plant After Tax Changes,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/01/2018)

AMICUS THERAPEUTICS INC.: “Specialty drugmaker Amicus Therapeutics Inc. has decided to spend as much as $200 million on a new production facility in the U.S. instead of Europe.” (“The Tax Law, Just One Month Old, Is Roaring Through U.S. Companies,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/26/2018)

More Generous Family Leave Policies

WALMART, 1 million+ employees: “…broadly, associates in the U.S. will share in tax savings through: … An expanded parental and maternity leave policy, providing full-time hourly associates in the U.S. with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.” (Walmart, Press Release, 1/11/2018)

CVS, 150,000+ employees: “CVS Health today announced three major programs that will enable employees to share in the tax savings created by the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. … The company is also creating a new paid parental leave program. Effective April 1, 2018, full-time employees who welcome a new child into their home can take up to four weeks away from work at 100% of their pay to ensure the newest addition to their family gets off to a strong start in life.” (CVS Health, Press Release, 2/8/2018)

STARBUCKS, 150,000+ employees: “The world's largest coffee chain is adding perks for its employees in the wake of the U.S. tax cuts… Starbucks also announced Wednesday that it would add six weeks of paid parental leave for its hourly employees who become new dads, a benefit that had been offered only to new mothers and adoptive or foster parents.” (“Starbucks Expands Its Paid Sick Leave And Parental Leave After Tax Cuts…” The Washington Post, 1/24/2018)

Better Retirement Benefits

HONEYWELL, 130,000+ employees: “I am confident in Honeywell's future, and our ability to continue to deliver for our shareowners and our employees. Our strong performance in 2017, together with the enactment of new U.S. tax legislation, has enabled us to increase our 401(k) match in the U.S. This is a sustained, annual benefit that will provide a more secure retirement for our employees.” (Honeywell, Press Release, 1/26/2018)

AFLAC, 10,000 employees: “…as a result of the recent tax reforms enacted by Congress and signed into law by the president, it intends to invest in several key areas… Effective in 2018, Aflac makes the following commitment to our U.S. workforce: 1. Increase the company’s 401(k) match, from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of employee contribution, while making a one-time contribution of $500 to every employee’s 401(k) plan.” (Aflac, Press Release, 12/28/2017)

ANTHEM INC., 50,000+ employees: “Encouraged by the new tax reform law, more well known employers have announced plans to boost retirement plan contributions for their workers. The most recent is Anthem Inc., which says it will make a one-time $1,000 contribution to the retirement saving accounts of more than 58,000 employees and recent retirees.” (“More Employers Raise Retirement Contributions After Tax Reform,” NAPA-net.org, 2/6/2018)

PNC BANK, 40,000+ employees: “PNC Financial Services Group announced today it would be investing in its employees with cash, retirement fund cash and an increase in minimum pay following today’s signing of the tax reform bill. The company said it will provide an additional $1000 cash payment to 47,500 employees and $1,500 to their existing pension accounts.” (“PNC Bank Announces Employee Cash bonuses After Tax Reform Bill,” CBS Pittsburgh, 12/22/2017)

Savings On Utility Bills

FLORIDA: “Florida Power & Light Company today announced that customers will not pay a surcharge for Hurricane Irma restoration as previously expected. Instead, FPL plans to apply federal tax savings toward the $1.3 billion cost of Hurricane Irma restoration, which will save each of FPL's 4.9 million customers an average of approximately $250…. ‘The timing of federal tax reform, coming on the heels of the most expensive hurricane in Florida history, created an unusual and unprecedented opportunity. We believe the plan we've outlined is the fastest way to begin passing tax savings along to our customers and the most appropriate approach to keeping rates low and stable for years to come,’ said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.” (FPL, Press Release, 1/16/2018)

KENTUCKY: “Customers of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company will begin to see the financial benefits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act beginning in March. The two utilities announced today that they will file a unanimous settlement agreement with the Kentucky Public Service Commission requesting approval to return tax savings to customers this spring. If approved by the commission, customers would see nearly $180 million in savings in the form of a reduction on the Environmental Surcharge line item on their bill in March, followed by a new line item credit on the bill based on energy consumption starting in April. Kentucky, which opened the proceeding on the tax changes in late December, was one of the first regulatory commissions to take action and begin a process that would allow utilities to return the savings to customers as soon as possible.” (Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities Company, Press Release, 1/29/2018)

MICHIGAN: “The recent passage of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will offer benefits to energy customers across the country – including DTE’s utility customers here in Michigan. The reduction of the corporate tax rate will result in lower bills for DTE’s 2.2 million electric and 1.3 million gas customers. In 2018, a savings of nearly $190 million will be passed along to customers. As this tax reduction works through the regulatory process, our average electric and gas customers will see a reduction in their rates of about 3 percent.” (DTE Energy, Press Release, 1/23/2018)

MISSOURI: “Today KCP&L announced its intention to file rate update cases with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) to pass approximately $100 million in annual tax savings to customers, resulting from federal tax cost reductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. KCP&L is committed to passing 100 percent of the benefit from this tax cut on to customers.” (Kansas City Power & Light Company, Press Release, 1/18/2018)


Related Issues: Taxes, Labor, Economy, Jobs, Senate Democrats, Middle Class, Tax Reform