In wake of the vote in Congress on the Republican tax reform plan, AT&T announced that it plans to give a special $1,000 bonus this month to each of more than 200,000 employees of the Dallas, Texas, corporation. In the Wednesday memo, Stephenson told employees: "Once tax reform is signed into law, we plan to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 — all union represented, non- management and 1st and 2nd line managers — as added recognition for their dedication and hard work."

It is up to President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law, after Congress passed the final version of the tax bill on Wednesday afternoon. Besides cutting the corporate tax rate dow to 21 percent from 35 percent, it makes cuts in the tax rate for middle income families and raises the standard deduction.

After the bill passed, President Trump made mention of the AT&T bonuses as a sign of how the tax bill will benefit Americans.

Back in May, Stephenson told CNBC said the new spending by AT&T would have a multiplier effect. "The arithmetic for us is simple: For every billion dollars of additional investment we make is 7,000 additional jobs we have to put on to put that capital into the ground or on cell towers and so forth.”

In November, Stephenson spoke at the Economic Club of New York, saying that AT&T would spend “at least” $1 billion and create an estimated 7,000 jobs if the tax reform package were to pass. “From my standpoint, the driver of this is the business tax reform… if we get investment going, we get productivity going, we get wage gain going, we invest another billion dollars,” Stephenson said then. “Every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.”

Stephenson described passing tax reform as a “major” item for the economy. “I cannot overstate how important I think a tax bill that makes the US corporate taxes a competitive regime around the world — that’s big. That’s significant,” he said. Saying that it would be a “capital-freeing” event for corporate America, he added, “You are freed up to invest more capital.” He said, “We have so many initiatives and projects that we would like to invest more in.”


 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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