President Donald Trump traveled to Ohio on Monday as part of his mission to highlight local businesses that saw fruits of the administration-labeled tax reform “Trump bump.”
Cincinnati-area Sheffer Corp. recently joined the wave of companies that have awarded their employees a bonus after the passage of the GOP's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Sheffer CEO Jeff Norris, who doled out an extra $1,000 each for his 126 employees, credits Trump as the harbinger of much-needed change to the tax code.
“In all my years, you pray for a president like this, that will take care of the working class and businesses,” Norris said. “We finally have one here.”
Trump continued to hammer home his affection for Middle America with a direct appeal to Ohioans.
“I love equipment, and I love workers. You have them both,” Trump said.
He recalled a time when he and his father lived and worked in Cincinnati's Swifton Village neighborhood as a real estate developer. For the president, the recent tax legislation is a personal gift to the city he bills as the site of several successes early in his career.
“Your paychecks are going way up. Your taxes are going way down. And right now, for the first time in a long time — and you’ve seen it — factories are coming back. Everything is coming back,” he said.
Repeating sentiments laid out during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the president stressed that companies from around the world now have incentives to invest in American businesses.
“We're bringing back the four magnificent words: Made in the USA.”
These are talking points the American public has heard before.
In previous tax cut victory laps, the president heralded the legislation as the latest in several achievements by his administration. Trump recounted familiar talking points — the slashing of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, significant reductions in corporate taxes and the doubling of the child tax credit — as victories, both for his party and for the American worker.
Trump took a jab at his predecessor for presumed inaction in job creation. Trump noted that the GOP tax plan will likely result in an uptick in job growth for manufactures unlike “the other kind [of plans] where they talk but there's nothing there.”
A target was on the backs of congressional Democrats, too, who the president labeled as apathetic about border security, MS-13 gang violence and military funding. Two primary subjects of the president's ire were Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who Trump described as key for clinching Republican races the upcoming midterm elections.
“Oh, I look forward to running against [Chuck and Nancy],” Trump said. “They want to raise your taxes. You know, I figure we're safe. ... I have a feeling that we're going to do incredibly well in '18.”
After the brief ad-lib, the president then pivoted back to taxes, ushering Sheffer employees onstage to share how they plan on spending their recent bonus. Answers ranged from investing in real estate to paying off bills to sending children to college.
Sheffer's recent announcement comes hot off what Trump called a “tidal wave of good news” — a slew of companies across the country have offered their employees higher wages and hefty bonuses for the new year.
He applauded technology juggernaut Apple as one of the latest for its plan for a $350 billion investment in new plants and a larger campus, though critics argue that the actual investment number is less impressive. ExxonMobil, Fiat Chrysler and Jergens are among other companies to dole out more money because of savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Public support for the recent tax overhaul has improved over the past month, with a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing an increase of 6 percentage points since December.
White House spokesperson Raj Shah stressed to a gaggle of reporters on Air Force One that the tax bill would bring sweeping relief — about $8 billion worth — to the families of Ohio.
That relief, according to Trump, is enough to re-energize manufacturing to new heights. Trump ended his remarks by underscoring his belief that workers are the lifeblood of the American economy, and more broadly, American life.
“When our workers win, who really wins? Our country wins because we're all in this together. We're one team, one people and one family, and we're saluting one great American flag.”