EDITORIAL: South Point bonuses show tax reform is helping workers

Christmas came a bit late for South Point employees this year, and it wasn’t Santa Claus who doubled their bonuses.

As the Review-Journal’s Rick Velotta and Nicole Raz recently reported, South Point owner Michael Gaughan boosted worker pay after Republicans passed tax reform in late December. “We had a big year, and I’m going to save some money with The Donald, so we just doubled the bonus and we dropped the insurance increase for next year,” Mr. Gaughan said.

The average employee received a bonus worth around $500, while some received more than $2,000.

South Point employees aren’t the only Nevada workers receiving unexpected benefits tied to tax reform. Other prominent Nevada employers who have given bonuses include Southwest Airlines, AT&T and Bank of America. Last week, Walmart, the mega-retailer liberals so often denigrate, announced bonuses of up to $1,000 and raised its starting wage to $11 an hour.

Reality stands in stark contrast with the doomsday scenario painted by Nevada’s congressional Democrats about tax reform. “[T]his plan is designed to provide tax relief to wealthy donors and corporate special interests while everyday people get crumbs or eventually face a tax hike,” said Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is planning a run for the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Rosen may not remember a time when $500 or $1,000 was more than “crumbs,” but it’s a certainty her constituents do. Asked for her reaction to Mr. Gaughan’s announcement, Rosen didn’t reply. Neither did her Democratic colleagues, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Rep. Ruben Kihuen.

“Michael Gaughan’s generosity and the announcement from the Fontainebleau (that tax reform will lead its owners to finish the project) are admirable and indicative of the resort industry’s commitment to our community,” said Rep. Dina Titus. “But I don’t think that a few auspicious acts completely annul the potential dangers of the new tax law. I can only hope that every worker in my district will get a raise …”

That’s a more reasonable objection than Rep. Titus’s assertion last month that the bill was the equivalent of “pissing on our boots and calling it rain.”

The good news for Rep. Titus is that next month around 80 percent of the workers in her district will get that raise. That’s because the IRS recently released new withholding tables, and the Trump administration is asking employers to implement them by mid-February.

It’s certainly going to be amusing to watch Democrats square their apocalyptic rhetoric with the happy reality most workers will see in their paychecks.

For now, bravo to Gaughan for his generosity. The good news for all other Nevada workers is that your pay increases aren’t far behind.

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