Bloomberg.com had a story Thursday saying that Walmart is raising starting pay for new employees to $11 an hour and also plans to give existing employees bonuses of up to $1,000. The wage hike will cost the company $300 million. The bonus checks will cost another $400 million.
Credit for all of this goes to the new tax law according to the company. Said Walmart CEO Douglas McMillan,
Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,”
AT&T, Wells Fargo, Boeing and others have announced bonuses or pay increases and have all cited the new tax law as the reason for doing so. We will never know the stories of countless thousands of small businesses in cities and towns all across the country that are doing similar things for their employees.
Of course this flies right in the face of the Democrats’ narrative that says that reducing tax rates helps greedy executive-suite fat-cats at the expense of “ordinary hard-working Americans.” And we must realize that the Democrats’ narrative still resonates in many quarters, even among the very workers who will be benefiting from lower taxation on a higher rate of pay.
But the truth is the truth. Millions of Americans are getting, in one fell swoop, a double raise in the form of a higher hourly wage and a reduced tax burden thereon. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will have more cash available for expansion and capital investment. If you believe in free people and free markets, these are good things.
Are these announcements by big companies like Walmart publicity stunts? Of course they are, at least partly. What sane company would pass on the opportunity to gain the positive PR attendant to doing a good thing for its employees?
But it’s more than just PR. Like AT&T and Wells Fargo and the others, Walmart is taking most of a billion dollars that they will no longer have to send to the IRS and putting it instead in the hands of its workers to spend, save or invest as they see fit.
The Left is aghast. Nancy Pelolsi has the vapors. Economists are hedging by doing their “on one hand but then on the other hand” dance. The media can’t stop telling us that the deficit is going to explode. (Something that didn’t much concern them during eight years of Obama.)
The deficit may indeed go up. Or it may not. Such predictions are notoriously inaccurate.
But forget the deficit. Deficits can also be controlled by reducing spending let’s remember.
The real questions are these:
Whose money is it?
And who will put that money to its highest use in a free-market economy – the businesses and workers who earned the money through risk-taking, enterprise and hard work? Or the bumbling, bloated, agenda-driven federal bureaucracy overseen by career politicians?