Several major companies announced plans to increase wages and give out holiday bonuses in response to Congress passing the Republican tax overhaul bill on Wednesday, but not everyone was excited about the news.
Large companies like AT&T, which said it will give $1,000 special bonuses to more than 200,000 employees and invest an additional $1 billion in the U.S., declared their plans on Wednesday afternoon, as the GOP passed sweeping tax reform that included a major cut in the corporate tax rate. The bill's passage marked the Trump's administration's most significant legislative victory to date.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the firms' actions on Thursday morning, writing that the "massive tax cuts" had already led to companies making "big payments to workers."
Some media figures, however, expressed derision for companies like AT&T and Comcast making these announcements, describing them as crass public relations efforts or as attempts to curry favor with Trump.
Companies saying they will increase wages/give bonuses to employees because of the tax bill so far:
Fifth Third Bancorp
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) December 20, 2017
One New York Times contributor suggested the bonus announcements were done to make Trump look good and would appear worse if done in another country.
Company pays giant bonus to employees to make the president look good while it has a merger pending – what would you say if you saw it in another country? https://t.co/jBghEQrEOC
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) December 21, 2017
MSNBC's Joy Reid said this was corporate America "trying to convince you that their naked greed is charity."
Left-wing "comedian" and blogger Dean Obeidallah called the bonuses "crumbs," echoing the sentiments of other liberal Twitter users and some journalists.
Hey corporate America: you just got a 40% tax cut and the best you can offer is a handful of companies giving a one time $1000 bonus. You need to raise salaries by 4 to 5% -not throw crumbs at your workers!
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 21, 2017
I bet the 200,000 AT&T workers are all stoked about their $1k bonuses (which were announced a week before the tax plan passed)… after tax, they’ll be halfway there to getting a new iPhone X!
— William LeGate (ig: @legate) (@williamlegate) December 21, 2017
Companies are claiming they are giving back in the wake of the tax bill with one-time $1,000 bonuses.
Don't fall for it, the money they are spending on bonuses pales to what their stockholders will get. Raising wages, not a one-time bonus, is the real path to economic security.
— Alex Morash (@AlexMorash) December 21, 2017
I'm also not terribly impressed with these announcements of seemingly spontaneous bonuses etc. Smacks of PR suck-uppery. This is a gigantic, long-term macro play.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) December 21, 2017