Tax reform: A million workers at more than 100 companies got a surprise, Gary Cohn says

Companies have already responded to the tax reform package, announcing plans to pass along some of the savings to their employees.  AT&T (NYSE:T) said it would give $1,000 bonuses even before the tax plan was signed into law and other companies such as Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), U.S. Bank and Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) have followed suit.  Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) said it will raise the minimum wage at the company to $15 an hour.

White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn weighed in on corporate America’s response to the tax package telling FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.,” “Look at what’s happened since we announced tax reform.  In just two weeks we’ve had well over 100 companies announce year-end bonuses, 401(K) contributions or increased minimum wages for about a million workers in the United States.”

According to Cohn, even those at the White House were surprised by the response.

“So, a million workers in the last week of 2017 got a surprise just because of the tax reform package and that is something that we didn’t even expect to see.”

Cohn says that along with passing along some of the tax savings to employees, some companies have also revealed plans for capital expenditures.

“In addition to that, a bunch of companies did announce pretty big capital expenditure plans as well, and we expect to see a lot more action and activity just like that.”

Varney brought up criticisms that those companies’ efforts are just window dressing to keep in good standing with President Trump.

“Stuart, if you just got $1,000 bonus and you weren’t expecting it, I don’t think it’s window dressing.  If your wages just went up to $15 and you were earning $8 or $9 and you’re an hourly employee, I don’t think that’s window dressing,” Cohn responded.