Trump’s Tax Cut One Year Later: What Happened?

Many corporations made good on promises to raise wages and pay bonuses. But others announced layoffs, even as the $1.5 trillion tax cut added billions to their bottom lines.

By Jim Tankersley
Dec. 27, 2018
Apple employees during the announcement for a new campus in Austin in front of the map showing the layout.CreditRicardo Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press

Apple employees during the announcement for a new campus in Austin in front of the map showing the layout.CreditRicardo Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press
There was a point in early 2018 when big American companies couldn’t stop talking about the Trump tax cuts. Flush with the projected savings from a $1.5 trillion law, they promised to raise wages, hand out bonuses to workers and invest in big projects. They scored headlines, along with applause from President Trump.

The fawning faded quickly. Analysts noted that the handouts to workers amounted to a relatively small share of the roughly $200 billion in federal income taxes that corporations avoided thanks to the cuts. Wages across the economy ticked up, but not by nearly as much as some Republicans had promised when they voted for the law. Capital investment surged at the start of the year, but the rate of growth fell sharply in the third quarter.

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