The Law of Unintended Consequences: Corporations using McConnell tax bill to lay off American workers

INDIANAPOLIS – More than a month after passage of the McConnell tax plan, the law’s effects on workers are much more complex than proponents have claimed, and they’re downright nasty for the thousands of workers whose companies have used the tax bill as a reason to lay them off.

Despite a handful of highly publicized bonuses over the past month, few companies have actually put forward plans to use their tax savings to boost wages. Any that do are likely to belong to select major corporations that ultimately make up a small portion of the workforce; few of the smaller companies employing fewer than 500 employees, which half of all American workers belong to, are likely to show positive effects, CNBC wrote.

Meanwhile, even some of the corporations that have touted bonuses are laying off so many workers that they’ve actually managed to cut down their wage bills. Other companies have gone further than that, taking their windfall from the tax bill and using it to lay off even more workers that they claim they wouldn’t have been able to fire were it not for the McConnell bill.

These disturbing trends are taking place at some of America’s largest and most well-known companies, and they’re directly affecting Hoosiers. In the latest example, paper products company Kimberly-Clark admitted that the savings it received from the McConnell tax bill will be used not to fund raises, but instead directly to pay for layoffs of over 5,000 employees. Similarly, Walmart was quick to trumpet bonuses for employees following the tax plan but announced the very same day that they planned to shutter multiple Sam’s Club locations, including several in Indiana. The closings will affect over 400 Hoosiers. Even more layoffs by the company were announced yesterday.

“More than a month after passage, Republicans can’t keep misleading Hoosiers about what the McConnell tax bill really is: a budget-buster that will ultimately raise taxes on the middle class to create new tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations who lay off American workers,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “If this tax plan is the boon that Republicans like Congressmen Messer and Rokita claim it is, why are companies using it simply to lay off more American workers?”

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