On Thursday, House Democratic Party Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized as "crumbs" the bonuses of $1,000 or more, pay raises of up to $3 per hour, and other benefits well over 100 companies have showered on over 2 million employees as a result of December's tax law passage. Given their track record, there's no reason to believe that the establishment press will report Pelosi's condescending remarks — or that they will remind their audience that in 2011 and 2012, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress treated the prospect of workers losing $40 every other week in their paychecks as catastrophic.
The issue in late 2011, and then in early 2012 after a two-month extension, concerned the imminent expiration of a temporary 2-point reduction from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent in the employee's portion of the Social Security payroll tax which was was originally set to expire at the end of 2011. (The employer portion remained at 6.2 percent during this entire time, and the employee break ultimately expired at the end of 2012.)
As the late-2011 and early-2012 expirations loomed, the Obama administration and Democrats embarked on "What $40 Means to Americans Across the Country" campaigns. The $40 represented the extra money a person making $50,000 per year had been seeing in their biweekly paychecks as a result of that temporary tax break, annually totaling roughly $1,000.
The administration received testimonials from citizens about how important having that extra money was to them, and made its case for extending the reduction or making it permanent as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The thing is, $40 is real money for working families, as people all over the country told us. That money buys things like school lunches, the gas needed to get to work or visit ailing relatives, and co-pays for doctor visits and essential prescription medicines.
When all was said and done, because they were only able to extend the break for a year, a typical earner avoided paying another $1,000 in Social Security taxes.
Readers should keep the Democrats' 2011-2012 effort in mind as they watch Pelosi ridicule the huge number of one-time $1,000-plus bonuses paid up-front, and then catch Trish Regan's reaction on Fox News (full Fox segment is here):
(previously recorded comments by Pelosi)
NANCY PELOSI: In terms of the bonus that Corporate America received, versus the crumbs (moves hand dismissively and looks down at the floor) they are giving to workers to kind of put the schmooze on, is so pathetic. It's so pathetic.
(back to live)
FOX REPORTER: Well, I'm not too sure, Trish, whether those more than 2 million people who have been getting a bonus or a wage hike would say, "That's pathetic."
But of course let's not forget that all of this is in addition to the actual tax breaks that will show up in everyone's paycheck or many, many Americans' paychecks starting next month.
So more money in people's pockets, more money in the economy, that normally means good times for all, Trish. Back to you.
TRISH REGAN: All right, thank you very much. Did you hear Nancy Pelosi there, everyone? Crumbs? Crumbs! That's what she thinks an extra $1,000 in everybody's pocket means for the average Walmart worker. Just crumbs? C'mon.
Heather Zumarraga finds that to be, well, kind of crummy, right? Kind of crummy!
HEATHER ZUMARRAGA: Right, I wish Pelosi would donate some of her own money. That's hardly crummy to middle-class Americans, maybe crummy to her.
Zumarraga's point is well-taken. Nancy Pelosi's net worth is reportedly $100 million, and she is clearly out of touch with the concerns of average workers.
At the end of the segment, Reed played several clips of Democrats slamming the Trump-GOP tax bill, and wondered how campaigning against an improving economy and improved household finances will play out in November:
REGAN: Nancy Pelosi isn't the only high-ranking Democrat slamming the tax cuts. Watch.
(cut to a series of recorded clips of Democrats' statements)
PELOSI: This is Armageddon. This is a very big deal.
STENY HOYER: They're telling us it's a Christmas present.
ELIZABETH WARREN: This is a trillion and a half dollars that the Republicans gave away to billionaires and to giant corporations.
CHARLES SCHUMER: Republicans will rue the day they passed this bill. And you can bet Democrats will make sure of that?
(back in studio)
REGAN (laughing): Is he (Schumer) telling us that he doesn't want the economy to succeed with a comment like that? He doesn't want to see the Dow above 25,000? He doesn't want to see unemployment at a record low, or wages going up?
Are Democrats going to have a tough time defending those kinds of statements come Election Day?
In a Monday NewsBusters post, I asked, "How many companies have to announce new tax law-driven bonuses and raises before the left and some in the establishment press finally stop calling them "PR stunts" or some equivalent?"
Thanks to Walmart's Thursday morning announcement affecting over 1 million of its employees, we're at over 2 million beneficiaries — and the question remains unanswered. Meanwhile, the winners keep piling up (see Chrysler), and leftists' shrieks are only growing louder.
Surely no one will be surprised that searches on "crumbs" at APnews.com and at an AP raw news feed done at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday evening each returned nothing relevant. (Update: Searches were repeated mid-afternoon Saturday with the same non-results.)
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.