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Figuring out personal impacts of the recently passed national tax reform act has a lot of people crunching numbers on their calculators these days, but it will probably take months — even years — before things sort out.

But corporations are signaling their enthusiasm for the cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 21 percent and in a move that is welcome for workers across the country. Many of them are sharing that good fortune by sending out bonuses — in many cases of about $1,000.

American Airlines is in the $1,000 club, as are AT&T, Bank of America, Nationwide Insurance, Comcast, JetBlue Airways and U.S. Bancorp, according to news stories this week.

Critics — and there will always be critics — say the one-time bonuses are not the same as boosting base wages which is more beneficial to workers over the long haul — and which President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans said will eventually happen with the tax plan.

But there is some evidence that wage increases are also in the works. Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, this week said it is boosting the minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $11 and also is handing out bonuses of up to $1,000 based on work longevity.

Walmart credited the corporate tax cut for giving it “the opportunity to become more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement: “Today we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates (employees), in their wages and skills development. It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”

Walmart also said it is boosting paid maternity leave for full-time hourly workers to 10 weeks at full pay, up from its previous leave policy of six to eight weeks at half pay and also adding paid leave benefits for new fathers and non-birthing mothers.

News reports this week said about a dozen banks have said they will raise their minimum wages and VISA and AFLAC plan on boosting contributions to their employees’ retirement plans.

The wealth-sharing has been called the “Trump bonus” by some and the president is not shy about claiming credit.

Speaking in Nashville early this week, President Trump said, “Businesses across America have already given bonuses and other benefits to hundreds of thousands of workers as a result of these massive tax cuts.”

That’s a good start and we can only hope that those results are sustained over the long run and workers continue to share in the benefits.


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