By Brett Linley
When the GOP finally passed tax reform, many critics vocally opposed the effort. The bill received much criticism as being a boon to corporations, considering that it slashed corporate taxes down to 21%. However, it seems that the working class is making out better than anticipated.
As Politico reports, Walmart is the latest company to show their appreciation for tax reform. Like with many others, that appreciation is materializing in the form of employee benefits.
Walmart will boost starting wages for hourly associates to $11, beginning with the Feb. 17 pay cycle. Full- and part-time hourly associates in the U.S. will be eligible for a one-time bonus, determined by how long they’ve been with the company. Associates with 20 or more years under their belt could qualify for up to $1,000.
This is following the trend of companies like American Airlines and Comcast, both of whom engaged in similar actions. Many claimed during the Senate debate that Republicans were selling out working class Americans to benefit corporations. Now, the wealth seems to be trickling down after all.
Wage hikes and bonuses weren’t the only benefits seen by Walmart employees, either. Now, the store’s parents are enjoying the results of tax reform as well.
Walmart will also expand its parental and maternity leave policy, allowing full-time hourly associates 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Walmart will also offer financial assistance to associates who are adopting a child, the company said.
Granted, these are just some of the short-term, immediate benefits that we’re seeing now. For one, we don’t know how many of these corporations are going to proceed in the future. Also, the bonuses some companies are distributing are by their very nature temporary.
As it pertains to American workers, only down the road will we be able to see who is truly benefitting. If the economic growth that many expect doesn’t materialize, the government could end up raising taxes on these newfound gains.
Even so, there is cause for optimism with these early developments. Tax reform might just be good, after all.