The Examples of Private Redistribution of Tax Cut Advantage


Philip DeVoe highlights some early good news for the Republicans’ just-passed tax reform:

Earlier today, AT&T, Boeing, and Fifth-Third Bancorp announced separate plans to invest in the U.S. and pay workers bonuses with the money saved thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. If President Donald Trump signs the bill, which passed both houses of Congress today, it will reduce the corporate tax rate by 14 percent, leading to a significant economic windfall for AT&T, Boeing, and other U.S. businesses.

DeVoe subsequently noted that Comcast-NBC Universal and Wells Fargo made similar announcements.  These announcements are dramatic and immediate illustrations of the ways in which tax cuts on businesses find their way back to Americans by other means.

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Of course, a cynic might observe, for example, that AT&T currently has a big merger under review of the executive branch.  On the other hand, that cynicism should be tempered by the fact that the announcements could have come earlier, if their purpose had been to curry favor with politicians.

Speculative political intrigue aside, I’ve tried to explain for years that the incentive is not for businesses just to hand out every dollar to fat-cat executives and owners because doing so would open an opportunity for competitors to lure away talent or lower prices and capture market share.  Of course, everybody seeks their own advantage, and humanity inherently lives amidst corruption, but the idea that government can spend money better than people making decisions in their own interest and out of their own sense of responsibility is laughable.