Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said it is important to look beyond the headlines to put these bonuses in context. An ITEP study found AT&T paid an average effective tax rate of 8.1 percent from 2008 through 2015, for example.
“There really weren’t any impediments, in the tax system or otherwise, to AT&T paying its employees fairly in the first place,” Gardner said.
These corporations’ gains in profits due to the tax cuts are projected to dwarf any of the bonus payouts they are making to their employees.
“In the long run, it’s entirely possible some of the corporate tax cuts will pass through to wage earners,” Gardner said. “In the short run, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a PR move.” Read more