In the wake of the GOP tax plan going through and the massive wave of bonuses and salary hikes being announced by hundreds of companies (over 200 at last count), the Democrats were left scrambling to come up with a reason why this is bad. They tried sticking to their “Armageddon” nonsense at the horror of working people getting to keep more of their own hard-earned money, but when that didn’t seem to be playing with people who were already seeing not just their withholding reduction but ALSO getting a pay increase, the angle they decided to take was to belittle the gains the average person was seeing. Nancy Pelosi came up with the term “crumbs” to blow off thousand-dollar bonuses and other boosts to working people’s take-home pay.
Since then it’s come into fashion for these fools to try to demean the pay increases by putting them in terms of “here’s what this buys,” scoffing at things like a part-time school secretary saving enough to pay for her Costco membership for the year, or a low-rent worker being able to afford a Big Mac for lunch once a week. I for one am all for the Democrats continuing to take this line of attack. If they want to keep demonstrating how grievously out-of-touch the “party of the people” is with the average American, the last thing I want to do is interrupt them while they make that mistake. A typical person can hear “your taxes are going down by [some complex formula]” and before the politician is done talking they’ve changed the channel, in their heads if not on the actual television. They can hear “your taxes are going down by about X percent” and that starts to maybe get their attention on an intellectual level, but it doesn’t touch them. They can hear “you’re going to be taking home a $1000 bonus” or “your pay is going up to $15 per hour” and NOW they’re starting to get a sense for what this really means to them. But if you put it in terms of “this will cover your Costco membership” or “this will pay for you to get a hot lunch once a week,” THAT puts it in personal terms that really resonate. It makes it much more real to people on the ground level, and it shows them what they were not able to have thanks to the government taking it from them before. To a mom working part-time answering phones at the school to cover some household expenses, “covering the Costco membership” is probably on her list of things she is working for. To a guy working a blue-collar sweat-and-dirt job, having the freedom to get a burger once a week instead of bologna on white bread with yellow mustard AGAIN is huge. I’ve worked that kind of job with that kind of guy. Hell, I worked with a guy who put in a 14-hour day doing farm work who ate cold beans out of a can in the middle of a field, using a dull Buck knife as a spoon–and he smiled while he did it. If you gave that man a cheeseburger he’d feel like a million bucks.
I know the real angle these socialist nitwits are trying to play here is “but the corporations and the CEOs are keeping SO MUCH MORE of the benefit of the tax cuts!” That’s true, they are. So what? If I buy a box of cookies and I give you two of them, I get 28 cookies and you get two you didn’t pay for. You aren’t entitled to my cookies, I gave them to you because I felt like it and maybe because I want you to hang out with me. These companies are in no way obligated to give their employees ANYTHING that they did not contract for, but in a free market, they have an incentive to share in the benefits so they can hang on to their workers and engender some goodwill both with their employees and their customers. Nevermind that a lot of these stock buybacks are putting money into the hands of investors and are shoring up the companies who are buying their own stocks (because stable, profitable companies don’t end up shuttering stores and laying off workers). The bottom line of all this is that these businesses don’t exist to give people jobs, they exist to make their owners and investors money. But this line of thinking is right up there with a “you get an X percent tax cut” in terms of how much your average person has to think about it and is going to sail right over people’s heads while they shop at Costco and stop for a fresh hot bratwurst on their way out the door. Keep it up Democrats, it’s working so well for you!