Media: Companies Won't Increase Wages for Workers Because of Tax Reform

Dozens of companies have increased wages since tax overhaul became law

January 12, 2018

Before President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax reform bill into law last month, reporters and news anchors said the legislation would not result in higher wages for workers.

Many people in the media appeared to be skeptical of the idea that companies would increase wages for their employees if the tax bill passed.

"It feels like you're relying on this tax cut of the corporations and the wealthy to trickle down," MSNBC reporter Katy Tur said.

"So you are creating a huge tax cut and you might not get wage growth," MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle said.

"And anybody who thinks that this corporate tax cut is going to trickle down to lift wages has a staggering ignorance of how public companies function," MSNBC commentator Steve Schmidt declared.

"There are no examples anywhere of companies distributing their tax savings to their workers," MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi said.

"Who says that giving corporations more money will increase wages?" CNN anchor Chris Cuomo asked.

But after the tax bill became law, dozens of companies announced bonuses, wage increases, and new investments for their employees.

At least 81 companies have announced that they will invest more in their workers—in the form of bonuses, higher wages, or other benefits—since Trump signed the  tax overhaul into law, the Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday, citing a Yahoo News report.

AT&T said that it will give $1,000 special bonuses to more than 200,000 employees and invest an additional $1 billion in the U.S. Similarly, Bank of America announced $1,000 bonuses for 145,000 employees.

Other companies have focused on improving facilities. Boeing invested $300 million in "workplace of the future" facilities, infrastructure, and workforce development. The aerospace giant also said that it will increase its philanthropic giving.

Walmart, the largest private employer in the world, was the latest company to join the list. On Thursday, the company announced that it will increase its minimum wage from $9 to $11, along with increases in paid maternity and parental leave.

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.," Walmart CEO Doug McMillan said.

Other companies have also indicated that they will increase their minimum wages, included banks.

Wells Fargo said that it will raise its minimum wage for American employees to $15 an hour. The bank also plans to increase its philanthropic giving by 40 percent in 2018 to $400 million.

Fifth Third will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for employees and give bonuses of $1,000 to more than 13,500 employees.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Thursday described the bonuses and wage increases as "crumbs" and "pathetic."