Major US firms say workers will see some of tax windfall

NATION-NOW     AT&T is giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees after tax bill     
       AT&T giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees

NATION-NOW AT&T is giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees after tax bill AT&T giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees

He said on Friday: "Our big and very popular Tax Cut and Reform Bill has taken on an unexpected new source of "love" - that is big companies and corporations showering their workers with bonuses". But let's just say that with an effective tax rate now standing at 32.7%, AT&T's federal tax expenditures dwarf its $200 million outlay in employee holiday bonuses-which were a standard US business practice dating back before the Reagan tax cuts in the 1980s.

Comcast will be giving hundreds of thousands of employees $1,000 bonuses and investing $50 billion into jobs and infrastructure. Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N said the bank will hike minimum hourly pay to $15 an hour in March, up 11 percent from its previous minimum.

Some CEOs wasted little time in promoting President Trump's tax-cut bill as a win-win-win for their workers as well as for their companies - and the country as a whole.

The bill indisputably helps corporations.

In addition to these companies, Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp said it will pay a $1,000 bonus to more than 13,500 employees, as well as raise minimum wage for 3,000 workers to $15 an hour. Boeing said it would spend $300 million on worker training, workplace enhancements, and charitable giving. Do some of these companies have pressing business before the federal government and wish to curry favor with the Trump administration? AT&T, for instance, is seeking regulatory approval for a takeover of Time Warner (the Justice Department is suing to block the merger).

"Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by USA businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world", AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.

AT&T said in a statement that once the Act is signed into law, it plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States during 2018.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, said in a statement, "Congress, working closely with the president, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by USA businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world".

AT&T, for instance, said it would pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 of its non-management workers, once the tax law kicks in.

The announcement seemed tailor-made for Trump to announce at his elaborate White House event celebrating the legislative achievement.

Commentators, however, questioned whether those firms announcing benefits for their staff could have broader motives beyond staff morale. The office of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., circulated a list of more than 30 large companies that have announced a combined $83.7 billion in share buybacks in recent days in anticipation of the bill's passage. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of NY criticized AT&T on the Senate floor.

On Wednesday morning, Congress passed the biggest tax-reform bill in 31 years. Would they have spent some of this money anyway, even without a tax bill?

"That's because of what we did", Trump said of AT&T.

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