White House Confirms: 96% of Workers Still Waiting for Pay Raise from Tax Cuts

April 17, 2019

Trump’s Tax Day Statement Says Just 4% of Workers Got a Pay Hike

In a Tax Day statement touting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) this week, President Trump’s White House released a statement saying “more than 6 million workers received pay raises, bonuses, or increased retirement contributions thanks to the President’s tax cuts.”

But with nearly 157 million people employed in the U.S. labor force, six million workers translates to just under 4% of the workforce. In other words, 96% of workers saw no hike in their pay that Trump and proponents of the tax cut law promised.

The 4% figure corresponds closely to calculations by Americans for Tax Fairness, which estimates 4.3% of workers got some form of a pay hike from the TCJA since its passage in late 2017. ATF’s data tracking system shows that most of the pay hikes were one-time bonuses.

“Either President Trump and his people don’t understand math, or they don’t think anyone else does,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “He’s bragging that just 4% of workers got a pay raise from his tax cuts after promising corporations would give a $4,000 raise to every American family. Maybe he thought no one would notice, but polling shows the American people certainly notice that his tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations left them out.”

ATF estimates those pay hikes have cost corporations just $7.1 billion – a pittance compared with the  $1 trillion they have announced they are spending to buy back their own stock, which further benefits wealthy shareholders and CEOs.

In addition, the Economic Policy Institute estimates that bonuses for rank-and-file workers increased by just one cent in 2018.

Adding insult to injury, at least 60 of the biggest and most profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid no federal income taxes in 2018, thanks to the TCJA per the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

“President Trump’s own figures show that his tax cuts failed to help out American workers and instead gave most of the benefits to the wealthy and big corporations,” said Clemente.