What has happened since tax reform, opposed by every single Democrat in the Congress-including North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp-was passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate?
More than 100 companies have announced they will increase wages, hand out bonuses, and pursue business investments that will expand opportunity for workers throughout the country and here in North Dakota.
Gate City Bank, which employs hundreds of North Dakotans, announced that non-management employees would receive a $1,000 bonus. "I think $1,000 goes far with anybody," Gate City employee Jalyssa Sorenson said in a recent interview, "I have a two-and-a-half-year-old son. So, I'm hoping to deposit some of that into his college fund, pay off some debt. Just whatever we can do to spread it around and help us out. I think it's fantastic."
Also fantastic: The bank is giving back to customers by offering free appraisals for anyone applying for a loan, a $600 savings, until the $500,000 set aside for the giveaway runs out. It doesn't stop there. Gate City plans to boost philanthropic giving by $500,000.
And Walmart, another large employer in our state, recently announced a starting wage increase, service-based bonuses of up to $1,000 to many employees, and longer paid parental and maternity leave. CEO Doug McMillon explained that additional investments would look toward "lower prices for customers [and] better wages and training for associates"-music to the ears of thousands of Walmart shoppers and employees.
All over the country, workers are benefiting from tax reform. U.S. Bank plans to raise its minimum wage and provide bonuses of $1,000. Wells Fargo is raising minimum hourly pay to $15 and bolstering its philanthropic commitment by roughly 40 percent, including "expanded support for small businesses and homeownership."
And the list goes on. AT&T gave holiday bonuses to more than 200,000 employees all of whom were "non-management and front-line managers." The company also plans to increase U.S. capital spending by $1 billion.
But this isn't surprising. Prior to tax reform's passage, researchers at Boston University said that the proposed cuts to the corporate rate could result in a $3,500 average boost to household incomes. And the White House Council of Economic Advisers predicted the increase could range from $4,000 to perhaps as much as $9,000.
History shows these projections of growth to be realistic.
After the Reagan tax cuts, the economy added nearly 12 million jobs and Americans took home an extra $2,700 per person. In the five years following the 1964 Kennedy tax cuts, per-capita income was up $2,200 as the economy grew at an average 5.2 percent rate.
Similar growth is on the horizon now. Several thousand dollars more in their bank accounts will help millions of hardworking Americans like Jalyssa Sorenson get out of debt or save for their future.
North Dakotans ought to thank Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer for supporting tax reform and improving opportunity for families throughout our state.
Fedorchak is the North Dakota state director of Americans for Prosperity.