In someone else’s special report that we’re Very Special Reporting on, The Intercept yesterday revealed that the cornerstone of Pres.-elect Donald Fcking Trump’s entire job-creation plan was a simple, good-natured hoax on Trump, and Trump fell for it, hook, line, and asshole. The impish pranksters behind it were America’s CEOs, who, unlike Trump, run real companies. They said they had hoped to surprise Trump with the hilarious reveal later in the first fiscal quarter, until The Intercept ruined the surprise.
It all began when Trump told voters his policies would create 25 million new jobs. Not having run a really big company himself, Trump believed the big boys when they said–totally deadpan!–that they would create jobs if the government just let them do what they want and lowered their corporate tax rates so they could keep more of the money they extract from us.
Trump didn’t get the joke even though he himself was maintaining both that America’s small businesses are its job creators and that the way to spur job creation is to let those small, Mom-and-Pop businesses repatriate the billions of dollars they’re keeping in overseas, Mom-and-Pop tax shelters.
Not being in on the joke, Trump explained to voters that corporate, small-business America would use the extra money to hire more fcking schlubs, and corporate America nodded and kept a completely straight face through its front groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Back in November—unhelpfully after the election—Bloomberg reported that past tax giveaways have funded corporate hiring…of robots, as our very own Fcking News aggrega-bots aggregajournalismed at the time. Tax giveaways are also used to buy other companies, a tactic which (a) usually fails in the long term, (b) boosts the stock–and therefore executive pay–in the short term, and (c) leads to layoffs, not hiringons.
Other than The Fcking News, however, not many gave that Bloomberg report much attention. So, the prank was still on! Until yesterday, that is. When The fcking Intercept had to spoil it, reporting that, since the election, the big boys have been quietly telling Wall Street analysts they’ll use your tax dollars that Trump will give them to make their companies more valuable and fire you.
The fact that corporate America was able to prank Trump like this is even more remarkable for having been pulled on the last Republican president, George W. Bush, who allegedly told Bill Clinton he was “so mad” at himself for falling for it like a fcking, war-of-choice-starting idiot.
The Intercept’s full report is worth reading. We came up with some fun context about the blabber-mouth pranksters that The Intercept identified. Just don’t tell Donald!
The Corporate Big Boys Who Played Trump
Meet the merry pranksters who punk’d Trump into giving them our money by cutting corporate taxes (because our bullshit, ostensible 35% corporate tax rate is too high) to fund their ongoing, wealth-extracting quest to destroy American jobs. These CEOrazy Kids!
Cisco (Fortune #54)
Estimated effective tax rate: 16.88%–17%The tech giant says it does want to hire lots of new people in America! Immigrant people! Not the kind who are already here…Cisco wants to import new immigrants, the skilled kind who can take (and/or reduce wage pressures on) high-paying American jobs designing computer servers so Trump voters can go online faster to wonder where all these rich immigrants came from.
But wait, that’s not the only way Cisco wants to use the billions in taxes it’s scamming from Trump/us. “We would have a blend of actions we can certainly take with our dividend as well as our share buyback, as well as leading flexibility for us to be able to do M&A and strategic investments,” Cisco CFO Kelly Kramer said, according to The Intercept.
M&A, of course, is when two companies double in size so they can fire half the workers.
And share buybacks? That’s when a company buys its own stock, raising the stock price, which puts more money in the pockets of rich shareholders, but more importantly, drives the pay packages—which are tied to stock performance!—of the same fcking executives who decided to buy back the stock. I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
In other words, Cisco’s plan under Trump’s plan is to use our stock money to make their executives richer while we get unemployder.
Of course, it’s not like Trump could have known any of this. It’s not as if CEO Chuck Robbins sat down with Trump at his big tech bigwig meeting last month. Oh, wait, the actual seating chart:
Robbins has suggested publicly he thinks Trump will let Cisco bring the workers it wants over the borders. But it’s not as if Trump said at the very same meeting, “There are a lot of border restrictions and a lot of border problems…We’re gonna solve those problems.”
Less than two weeks after Trump’s victory, Robbins said they’re also actively looking for more applicants. Wait, sorry, he said acquisitions. Which will lead to layoffs at the companies they acquisit of the very people whose tax dollars helped pay for the acquisition that cost them their jobs.
In October, HP announced it will lay off 4,000 people. “But, that was BEFORE Trump promised he’d give HP our money to hire people,” you astutely point out, not having clicked on the fcking link we just fcking linked to, which also mentions the fact that at the exact same time they announced those layoffs, which would save them $300 million, they also announced it would be giving shareholders around $2 billion in dividends and spending $3 fcking billion to invest in, no fair if you guessed it…HP stock. Here’s the link.
HP also had $1.05 billion lying around last year to acquire a printer/copier business. The deal will go through this year, but this acquisition won’t result in a single layoff among the 2,000 South Korean workers at the South Korean company HP bought.
Agilent (Fortune #589)
Estimated effective tax rate: 2%
The Intercept reports the $15 billion company was specifically asked shortly after the election what it would use Trump’s/our tax-holiday money for. The answer: “For U.S.-based M&A…[and] situations where we’ve been using debt, such as our share repurchases.”
We checked the transcript of the earnings call. Wall Street analysts understand so well what companies do with their massive cash caches that no one even asks whether they’ll be hiring people. And it wasn’t because they didn’t have money before. Here’s what Agilent CEO Mike McMullen says they spent more than a billion dollars on before Trump got elected: “In the past year we distributed $150 million in cash dividend, repurchased $434 million of our shares and invested $480 million directly into the business through M&A, strategic transactions and capital expenditures.”
United Technologies (Fortune #45)
Estimated effective tax rate: 29%
Remember these guys? They own a plucky little Pence-Mex joint called Carrier? Trump supposedly saved 800 jobs by giving them a tax break because they needed the money?
Here are some highlights from their October earnings call, where they assured Wall Street they have FUCKING GOBS of money and no plans to spend it on anything involving workers unless it means replacing them with automation or squeezing their pensions:
- “We remain on track to return $22 billion in cash to shareowners from 2015 through 2017.”
- “We are actively looking to reduce our pension exposure…We took a couple of measures to reduce our liabilities by approximately $2 billion.”
- “The entire organization remains focused on our four key priorities: Flawless execution, innovation [automation] for growth, structural cost reduction [firings] and disciplined capital allocation [not too many hirings].”
- “We’re continuing to automate [robots]…We’re also standing up a brand new factory about four miles away from the current factory in Lansing, which will be mostly automated processes [skeleton crew of robots served by smaller skeleton crews with actual skeletons].”
- “Since we acquired Goodrich back in 2012, four years ago, we’ve realized about $600 million of synergies [firings]. We’ve closed [closed] more than 30 factories. There are still more factory consolidations [closings] to come…We’re going to continue to look for ways to take costs [people] out everywhere, from the corporate office [white-collar firings], to the aftermarket [blue-collar firings], to the supply chain [frayed-collar firings].”
Following Trump’s “victory” buying those 800 Carrier jobs with our tax dollars, United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes said he’ll use those tax dollars to invest in robots so he can fire more people.
Manitowoc Foodservice (Fortune #???)
Estimated effective tax rate: Jesus, people, really?
Gimme a break…
As The Intercept reported, the $2 billion company said after the election it will use our money, “For industry consolidation [M&A] purposes [firing your A].”
A local profile of CEO Hubertus (swear to God) Muehlhaeuser (yes) reported last year that, “Muehlhaeuser will eventually look to chase growth through acquisitions [purchases with our money] he says, in Europe [not where you live] and Asia [where you’d travel some day, if you could ever fcking afford it…maybe when you reti–oh, right, FUCK]. But the current status is to forge ahead on the short-range simplification [firing] goals. Says Muehlhaeuser: ‘It’s blocking [fcking] and tackling [fcking] status for us right now.’”
Muehlhaeuser is aided in his crusade to use our/Trump’s tax gift to eliminate people by his vice president of making people go away:“Senior officials already there include Senior Vice President of Innovation Rick Caron, who holds multiple foodservice industry patents, in automated frying and rapid cooking systems. ‘It’s not just the equipment,’ Caron says. ‘We look at the food, people and equipment as one system [Soylent Green].'”
Automated frying? That’s right. Manitowoc–or is that Robotitowoc?–is a company that’s laying off workers in its manufacture of machines that let other companies lay off more workers.
Who created this monstrous, Ouroboric engine of Trump/our tax-dollar fueled personnel destruction? The corporate break-up last year that spun off Manitowoc Foodservice was forced by an activist shareholder named Carl Icahn, now a top economic advisor to Donald Trump.