President Trump touted the bonuses that corporations have given to workers since the Republican tax cut passed, pointing to it as proof that the legislation is already lifting up workers.
"Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker," the president said in his State of the Union address Tuesday, promising that more and more such bonuses would be coming in the near future.
Nearly 180 corporations have announced they are giving bonuses to their employees — bonuses they have publicly said the December tax cut, which lowered corporate rate from 35 percent to 21, made possible. Major employers like Walmart, Bank of America, AT&T, American Airlines, and Comcast announced they were giving workers a one-time payout of at least $1,000. Fiat Chrysler gave 60,000 workers $2,000 checks.
Trump added that other companies were investing in the U.S.
"Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion dollars in America, and hire another 20,000 workers," he said.
On Monday, ExxonMobil announced that it will pour $50 billion to expand operations in the U.S.
"This is our new American moment," Trump said.
Critics downplayed the bonuses.
"Some companies have doled out bonuses, and those extra dollars always make a difference to working families. But instead of putting more money into creating good jobs and increasing wages, these corporations have made it clear that their tax break will be used mainly to enrich executives and shareholders," said Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America.
Shelton had previously taken credit himself for one of the bonuses. Earlier this month he claimed that the $1,000 bonus that American Airlines gave to its workers was made in direct response to pressure from his union and implied that worker bonuses from other companies are its doing as well — pressure the companies had not mentioned or even alluded to, instead attributing the bonuses solely to the recently-passed tax cut.