Tax Reform ‘Wonderful’ In Missouri

‘Bonnie Brazzeal, Who Works In The Cafeteria At The College Of The Ozarks, Choked Up When She Told The President That She Received A Bonus From Her Employer As A Result Of The Tax Cut’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Last Wednesday, President Trump visited a Boeing manufacturing facility in St. Louis to hear how tax reform is helping Americans. … These Americans’ tax reform stories are amazing. So is the fact that only one senator from Missouri voted to help all this good news happen.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 3/19/2018)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “The hardworking men and women who shared their stories at President Trump’s roundtable in St. Louis made one thing clear: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is having a major, positive impact on families and our economy. We heard from one mother and veteran who is putting money away for her daughter’s college to give her the opportunity to succeed. We heard from another mother who used her bonus to defray travel costs when her daughter faced a medical emergency. We heard from a construction company owner whose employees have more confidence their pensions will be there for them when they retire. As College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis put it, this is a lot more than ‘crumbs.’ More than 4.5 million Americans have received bonuses or other benefits because of tax reform.” (Sen. Blunt, Press Release, 5/14/2018)

JERRY DAVIS, President Of The College Of The Ozarks: “My name is Jerry Davis, and I'm the President of the College of the Ozarks. As most people in this room know, this college is unique in that it admits students of financial need, they pay no tuition, they all work each semester at an on-campus job, they graduate debt-free because we don't do loans, not federal, not state, not private…. As a result of the recent tax bill savings, our college to our knowledge was the only one in the United States that passed along a bonus to its employees. We hope other colleges will follow us. … And so I brought two employees today, and they'd like to tell you how they used their unexpected bonus, which they appreciate very much.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

  • BONNIE BRAZZEAL: “Mr. President, my name is Bonnie Brazzeal and I work in the cafeteria at College of the Ozarks alongside the hard-working students and I am very grateful for the bonus when the college gave it to us. I put mine in savings for my retirement. I want to thank you, Mr. President. God bless you.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)
  • RENEE CROOKER: “Mr. President, my name is Renee Crooker, and this bonus could not have come at a better time in my life and my family's life. My daughter, Erika, was diagnosed with double viral pneumonia and she was put into a medically induced coma, and was on a ventilator for two and a half weeks. The college money that was passed on to us [due to tax reform] helped me get to her bedside. She was out of the country. So I'm just very thankful that I got to be there and [be] with her.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

MARY BETH HARTMAN, President of a highway construction company: “I'm Mary Beth Hartman, I have a union highway construction company. It's very small. We have 30 employees. But immediately upon you being elected as president, my whole mindset as an employer changed, and I started at that moment operating in a way that I believed your tax cuts would be happening and they did. And that translated into an upgrade of all the fleets for my seven foremen, I spent half a million dollars in new equipment this year, which something I was always afraid to do. Everyone received -- they're all union employees so they have a very good benefit already package but I gave them an additional week's vacation for my tenured employees, which was very meaningful to them and to all of my management. And then they all received at least $500 at Christmas, some of them as much as $2,500 depending on what their ranking -- their ranking was. So the biggest thing I thought, for ten years, my employees that were union were very concerned about their pension fund. It had been underfunded for over ten years. And when I talked to them last week, they are now at 94 percent funded with the expectation that they're going be 100% funded by the year 2020.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

DAVE JOHNSON, CEO of Mid-Am Metal Forming.: “Mr. President, I'm Dave Johnson, CEO of Mid-Am Metal Forming. We employ 150 employees throughout three states, headquartered in Rogersville, Missouri. We were able to give all employees a $250 net bonus, and our outlook looks very strong. We're hiring at all facilities. We thank you for your leadership, and we thank you for the Tax Act and Jobs Act. And 150 other stories throughout our plant of the bonus and higher take-home pay as a result of lower taxes. And I brought one of those individuals with a story with me today, Brandon Pister, and I like to thank you for your leadership.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

  • BRANDON PISTER, Production Supervisor: “Thank you for having us. I've been with Mid-Am for about 8 years now. I started out as a welder and worked my way up to production supervisor. And the bonus has been extremely helpful, to not only me, but my fellow workers and friends as well. I have a son who's almost 2 years old who recently had to have surgery for a hernia, and I was able to take that bonus and put that towards the deductibles for that, and help me and my family get ahead, and get to where we can put some money in savings again, which has been extremely helpful.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

PAT OTTENSMEYER, CEO of Kansas City Southern: “Mr. President, I'm Pat Ottensmeyer, the president and chief executive officer of Kansas City Southern. Chad is one of our leaders in the field. He runs about half of our U.S. railroad. We're one of the nation's largest freight railroads based in Kansas City as our name implies. About 7,000 miles, 7,000 employees, big presence in -- in Missouri. So the tax reform was wonderful for our business, our company, as you I'm sure understand. The railroad industry is hugely capital intensive. Our company spends 24 percent of our revenue capital assets, track, infrastructure, equipment. … we estimate over the next 3 years, the combination of lower tax rates and expensing is going to create, for our company, well over $100 million of additional cash flow that we can use for reinvestment in growth, create jobs, and so it's a very big deal.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

  • CHAD DEVENNEY, Kansas City Southern Railway:Mr. President, Chad Devenney with the Kansas City Southern Railway, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. I'd like to thank you for your leadership with the tax reform. Once the passage -- it was perfect timing. Our executive team did give all of our employees a $1,000 bonus, perfect timing with the -- right at Christmas season which several of the employees were very grateful with the needs for their -- for their family during that time. I heard many great stories such as medical bills, just repairs needed to automobiles, vehicles. So thank you for your leadership with the tax reform.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

TERRY BASSHAM, CEO Kansas City Power & Light: “Mr. President, my name's Terry Bassham, I'm Chairman and Chief Operating -- Chief Executive Office of Kansas City Power & Light. We're the primary electric provider in the Kansas City region. As a direct result of the tax cut, we're working with our regulators in Kansas and Missouri both to reduce our overall cost by $100 million. We are also in the middle of finalizing a merger with our neighbor, they're in Kansas, which are a former Fortune 500 Company in our region. They equally have $100 million that they'll be able to flow back. So our company, year over year, will be able to flow back $200 million, which goes right into the pocket of the folks who pay for our product. … [the economy’s] a whole different ballgame.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

HAZEL MIMS, IT Manager at Boeing: “Thank you, Mr. President. And thanks, Dennis, for the invitation today. My name is Hazel Mims, and I'm an IT Manager here at The Boeing Company, and I have a great job…. Recently I noticed an increased amount of my take-home pay. What that means for me personally is an opportunity to reinvest or invest in my daughter's college education, and give her the opportunities that I had.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

BRYAN COOK, CEO of Central Bank Group: “My name is Brian Cook and I’m President and CEO of Central Bank Group, a $13 billion total asset bank holding company. We employ over 2,500 people across four states. Because of the tax reform, we were able to give $1,000 bonus to each full time and a $500 bonus to each part title employee. We felt it fully appropriate and reasonable to share the income from the tax cut with those hard-working people at Central Bank. It really helped our company. The act has generated more positive and appreciative employee responses, texts, letters than almost any action we’ve ever taken for our employees. Thank you Mr. President for your strong leadership to get this much-needed tax reform accomplished.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

DAVID TURNER, CEO of Hawthorn Bank: “Mr. President, David Turner, I'm Chairman CEO of Hawthorn Bank and Hawthorn Bank shares a publicly traded community bank headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri. We are a $1.4 billion [company] with 348 employees and 21 banking centers in the central and western part of Missouri. As a result of the tax relief, we were able to give a $1,000 bonus to all of our employees, a $500 bonus to our part time employees, in addition to that Mr. President, we've got a profit sharing plan. So in the future, our employees will continue to benefit from what you did with your leadership role to get that tax relief passed and I thank you very much.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

KEVIN BAKER, Chief Credit Officer of Great Southern Bank: “Hi, my name is Kevin Baker, I'm the Chief Credit Officer of Great Southern Bank, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. The bank has 1,200 employees serving 325,000 clients in nine Midwestern states, from Minnesota to Texas. The tax reform gave us the unique opportunity to reward our associates with $1,000 for all full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees. The bonus, as you can imagine, created a lot of excitement throughout our company, and we have heard countless stories of how it was used, from one-time family trips to needed repairs on automobiles, homes, and one associate even needed it to pay her monthly rent. Certainly, we believe your 2016 election and this tax reform have been the most positive economic drivers, you know, since the 2008 downturn.” (President Trump, Roundtable In St. Louis, 3/14/2018)

But To Democrats: This Is Just ‘A Few Crumbs,’ ‘We Could Take Some Of That Money’ Back

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “No, it is the end of the world…. This is Armageddon…. So let’s be truthful with the American people about that. They throw a few crumbs to the middle class.” (Rep. Pelosi, Press Conference, 12/04/2017)

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, 3/7/2018)

  • SEN. SCHUMER: (D-NY): “So there are much better uses for the money.” (Sen. Schumer, Floor Remarks, 3/8/2018)

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): “Frankly, if you look at the bonuses, I mean… I’m not sure that a thousand dollars, which is taxed—taxable, goes very far for almost anyone.” (Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Town hall meeting, 1/25/2018)


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