The Republican tax cuts for the rich came with bogus promises of big bonuses being offered to workers. This was the cover that corporations wanted to provide the GOP, and was as genuine as a Donald Trump promise. Most of the bonuses being offered were a long time coming and had already been negotiated, long before the Republican tax cuts came into being. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation released some of their most recent data and the Economic Policy Institute analyzed it. Guess what? That’s right.
An examination of overall wage and compensation growth does not provide much in the way of bragging rights for tax cutters, especially given the expectation of rising wages and compensation amidst low unemployment. Private sector compensation and W-2 wages both fell by 0.9 percent over the last year (March 2019 versus March 2018) and were lower in March 2019 than the average for 2017, the year before the tax bill passed. W-2 wages in March 2019, $27.44, were lower than in December 2017, $27.79, a drop of $0.35 or 1.2 percent.
The Institute previously reported steep declines between between December 2017 and December 2018, but had warned that they might be (hopefully) a fluke. They now do not believe those things to be a fluke as the numbers remain at the same low level over a year later.
This goes along with the basic numbers, where an overwhelming amount of wealth afforded corporations by the tax cuts went right back into shareholder and C-suite pockets. Everything about the tax cuts, from their unpopularity, to the Republican hypocrisy about blowing a whole in the national deficit, to the continued promises of pay offs for regular folks some time in the future, has stunk. They are the most transparent and classic scam allowed the wealthiest in our country, and the basis for the corruption that pervades our Democracy.
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