On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Creating Real and Useful Middle-Class Benefits and Savings (CRUMBS) Act, H.R. 5012, introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.). The bill would ensure that bonuses under $2,500 will not count towards an employee’s federal tax liability in 2018.
After the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, large and small businesses alike began announcing bonuses to employees, as well as other compensation increases that benefit workers. Companies that announced bonuses include Apple, AT&T, Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, U-Haul, and Walmart. More than 400 businesses have announced some form of compensation increases, positively impacting more than 4 million Americans.
Unfortunately, many Democrats have downplayed the positive impacts of these bonuses, which generally range from $1,000 to $2,500. In January, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic. It’s so pathetic.” She doubled down on these comments in February, “A banquet for everyone up here. Crumbs for people down here.”
In 2015, the median household income in the United States was $56,516. A bonus like those handed out by businesses may not be a lot to Leader Pelosi, who has a minimum net worth of $16 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, but to most American families, an extra $1,000 or $2,000 could mean a family vacation, signing up a child for Little League, paying off debt or even getting caught up on bills.
The fact is that Americans are seeing the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Their incomes have gone up and businesses are investing in both expansion and in their employees. If this is “Armageddon,” which is what Leader Pelosi called the bill, then we embrace it with open arms.
Although there are some concerns about CRUMBS Act and the potential for businesses foregoing wage increases in favor of bonuses this year, Congress should be looking for ways to continue to show the successes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and making the individual tax cuts permanent.
For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Creating Real and Useful Middle-Class Benefits and Savings (CRUMBS) Act, H.R. 5012.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks