Tax reform bonuses: Don't expect Nancy Pelosi to spread the good news, Varney says

By OpinionFOXBusiness

Business is on trial: Varney

FBN's Stuart Varney on the political fallout over American businesses giving bonuses due to tax reform legislation.

In 2011, during the Obama administration, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., thought a tax cut, worth about $40 to working people, was a good thing. My how times change. Now, the former speaker thinks the $1,000 bonuses being handed out are "pathetic crumbs.”

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I beg to differ. "America needs a raise"... that was a Democrat election slogan. Well now millions of people have received a bonus and a wage raise, but because it’s the result of tax cuts for business, the left doesn't like it. There's no pleasing some people.

The point is, business is on trial. Corporations were indeed the major beneficiaries of the tax cuts, and now we want to see what they're going to do with the money. It is an opportunity to look good.

If the money is used to buy back stock or boost dividends, the left will pounce. See? Told ya ... just another give-away to the rich. In economic terms, there's great value in ploughing the money back into the company and its owners, but politically, it would be demagogued to death.

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In contrast, when the money is used for bonuses, better wages, more hiring and more investment in equipment, it looks good politically. That’s why Nancy Pelosi is so keen to dismiss the bonus surge as "insignificant.” But in doing so, she exposes herself to ridicule—she's extremely wealthy: Who is she to say a $1,000 bonus is just "crumbs.” At the very least she looks out of touch with the very people she, as a Democrat, is supposed to represent.

We are about to enter earnings season. The time when big companies tell us how much money they have made and how much they expect to make in the future. They will also tell us what they're going to do with the money. I'm expecting a slew of new bonus and wage hike announcements, as well as stock buy-backs and dividend increases.

Add it all up, and business is going to get some positive PR for a change. I don't expect Nancy Pelosi to spread the good news.

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