KEY FACTS: HOW CORPORATIONS ARE SPENDING THEIR TRUMP TAX CUTS

Claims that corporations are sharing a big slice of their huge Trump tax cuts with employees through bonuses and wage hikes are mostly hype, the “Trump Tax Cut Truths” website of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) shows.

The data on this website primarily covers Fortune 500 companies, whose revenues are two-thirds of the entire U.S. economy (GDP). But the universe is all Fortune 1000 corporations and businesses not on the Fortune 1000 that are included in the List of Tax Reform Good News maintained by Americans for Tax Reform.

Data estimates are based on information from corporations, the media, independent analysts or ATF research and cover activities since the tax law was passed on December 20, 2017. See the Methodology explanation for more details.

HOW ALL OF AMERICA’S BUSINESSES ARE SPENDING THEIR TRUMP TAX CUTS

  • % of workers are getting any one-time bonuses or wage increases from their employers. Just million workers are getting a one-time bonus and/or a wage hike tied to the business tax cuts. The total U.S. workforce is 155 million, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Source: Topline Corporate Data spreadsheet]
    • million are getting bonuses and million are getting a wage hike; some number are getting both.
  • Just businesses are providing their workers with one-time bonuses and/or wage hikes for which the cost has been announced or is able to be estimated. There are 5.9 million employers in the U.S. per the Census Bureau.
  • Corporations are getting times as much in tax cuts as they are giving to workers in one-time bonuses and in wage hikes. companies have been identified as receiving $ billion in total tax cuts. That compares to $ billion in one-time bonuses and wage hikes identified as going to workers.
  • Corporations are spending times as much on stock buybacks as they are spending on workers’ bonuses and wages. Authorizations for stock buybacks, which overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, have increased by $ billion since the tax law was passed, while workers are getting $ billion in one-time bonuses and wage increases.
    • The richest 1% own 40% of all stock; the richest 10% own 84%. [National Bureau of Economic Research/Washington Post] Stock buybacks waste money that could be used for useful investments, creating jobs and higher pay.
  • A total of private-sector job cuts have been announced at companies since the tax law was passed by Congress. [Job cuts spreadsheet] The actual job-loss total is higher, but some big companies, including Amazon and Wells Fargo, have not offered precise figures in their layoff announcements.

HOW AMERICA’S 500 RICHEST CORPORATIONS ARE SPENDING THEIR TRUMP TAX CUTS

  • Corporate Cheapskates: , or %, of Fortune 500 companies have not said publicly whether they are giving any bonuses or wage increases to their employees due to their tax cuts. [Corporate Cheapskates spreadsheet]
    • Among the list of cheapskates are ExxonMobil, UnitedHealth Group, General Motors, Ford, Amazon, General Electric, Walgreens, Chevron, Boeing, Microsoft, Citigroup, IBM, Target, Aetna and UPS.
    • Fortune 500 companies’ revenues were $12.1 trillion in 2016, or two-thirds of the entire U.S. economy (GDP). [Fortune]
  • Just Fortune 500 corporations, or %, are providing one-time bonuses and/or wage hikes to their workers for which the cost has been announced or is able to be estimated.
  • Fortune 500 corporations are getting times as much in tax cuts as they are giving to workers in one-time bonuses and in wage hikes. companies are getting a total of $ billion in tax cuts, compared with $ billion in one-time bonuses and wage hikes for workers.
  • Fortune 500 corporations are spending times as much on stock buybacks as they are spending on workers’ bonuses and wages. companies have increased their stock buybacks by $ billion since the tax law was passed, while workers are getting $ billion in one-time bonuses and wage increases.

ADDITIONAL DATA

EMPLOYEE BONUSES

  • corporations, from the Fortune 500, have announced they are giving one-time bonuses due to the tax cuts for which we are able to estimate the cost.
  • ATF estimates that million workers are getting $ billion in one-time bonuses (including stock grants), ranging from $50 to $6,000 per employee. Most of the bonuses are $1,000. [Employee Bonuses spreadsheet]

WAGE INCREASES

  • corporations, from the Fortune 500, are raising base wages, to levels ranging from $11 to $16.
  • ATF estimates that million workers are getting wage hikes worth a total of $ billion this year. [Wage Increases spreadsheet]

FRINGE BENEFITS & PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS

  • corporations, from the Fortune 500, have announced enhancements to employee benefits, such as increasing 401(k) matches, instituting or improving parental and sick leave benefits, or increasing job training. [Fringe Benefits spreadsheet]
  • corporations, from the Fortune 500, have announced that they are making “voluntary” contributions to defined benefit contribution plans, or they are “accelerating pension funding.” Such expenditures are not new or additional benefits: they fulfill obligations companies have already made to their employees and are often made because the pension plan is underfunded. [Pension Contributions spreadsheet] 

NEW INVESTMENTS

  • corporations, from the Fortune 500, have announced they are planning to make “new investments” due to the tax cuts. However, ATF’s review of some of the largest promised investments indicate that many are nothing new. For instance, of the $ billion in “new investments” recorded in the New Investments spreadsheet, a total of $435 billion is by three companies—Apple, Comcast and ExxonMobil. A close examination of their “investments” in the Corporate Stories section of this website indicate these claims are unlikely to be due to the tax cuts.