LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk

Crediting Trump tax cuts, Lawrence businessman gives bonuses to employees and takes his story national

Advertisement

President Donald Trump doesn’t have his portrait on any U.S. currency — yet — but about 200 Lawrence employees have $500 that basically is courtesy of Trump and his fellow Republicans. So says Justin Hill Jr., president of the Lawrence Paper Company. The maker of cardboard boxes gave all of its employees a $500 bonus, and Hill said it absolutely is the result of the Republican-led tax cuts.

Hill went to the company’s three plants — Lawrence, Hutchinson and Fremont, Neb. — to deliver the news that each employee would receive a $500 bonus this week. He said the tax cut recently passed by Congress and signed by Trump spurred him to do so.

As elections every two years seem to confirm, Lawrence is not a big Republican town. (Trump received only 28 percent of the vote in Douglas County.) But Hill told me the news of $500 bonuses was well-received by all.

“For some strange reason, they all liked that,” Hill said.

In this file photo from March 2003, workers leave the production facility of Lawrence Paper Company, 2801 Lakeview Road.

In this file photo from March 2003, workers leave the production facility of Lawrence Paper Company, 2801 Lakeview Road.

Hill is convinced the tax cuts — which include cuts for individuals, but also a cut to the corporate tax rate — is going to result in an increase in business for his box-making company.

“I think the outlook for the economy is very positive,” Hill said. “We tend to grow in step with the economy.”

Critics of the tax cuts do not agree with his outlook. While some concede the economy may see a boost, others contend that most of the benefits accrued go to the wealthiest, and there is no guarantee that the wealthy will spend more money simply because they have more money.

I’ll leave that debate to others, but Hill said his company is spending money as a result of the tax cuts. In addition to the bonuses — there were 300 of them companywide — he’s also announced a $9 million expansion project. Before local economic development leaders get too excited, the expansion is at the company’s Fremont, Neb. plant. The company plans to build a 60,000-square-foot addition to the plant and invest about $5 million in new equipment.

Hill told me the Nebraska plant was chosen for the expansion because it is near capacity and the Nebraska location made the most sense to serve some of its customers. But Hill said he thinks expansion at the Lawrence and Hutchinson plants are possible, if the economy grows like he thinks it will. (He thinks the economy will grow at an additional 1 percent to 2 percent a year because of the tax cuts.)

In the meantime, Hill said the company has added about six employees to the Lawrence plant, as it adds a second shift on some machines to compensate for an uptick in customer orders.

And, yes, Hill has made a conscious decision to tout what he is doing. Lawrence Paper Company, while one of the oldest businesses in Lawrence, usually isn’t very public with its affairs. But Hill had the Kansas Chamber of Commerce send out word of the bonuses, with special emphasis on the role that the tax cut bill played in his decision.

Plus, Hill is going to soon take his story national. He told me he is scheduled to be interviewed Monday by Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Network.

“We are just very excited about what this (tax cut) is going to do for the economy,” Hill said. “We thought if we got a chance to generate some excitement and get other people thinking about doing what we’ve done, get them thinking about making an investment, then we should do it. And, thus far, it has been a lot of fun.”

Comments

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

Did he give any bonuses when he didn't have to pay state income taxes? Is he going to follow AT&T and Walmart and lay off workers?

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

I do not think they are an LLC. If they are not then they still paid taxes. They also operate in other States, which would make them have to pay taxes no matter the situation in Kansas.

Alex Landazuri 4 months, 1 week ago

is this a one time bonus or will he continue to give the bonus? if its a one time bonus, then i will call bs on his action and consider it more of a publicity stunt.

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

So him giving money to his staff is bs?

Robin Jones 4 months, 1 week ago

Anyone upset about their fellow working taxpayers getting more money needs to do some soul searching.

Geoff Ermlap 4 months, 1 week ago

or just search deep enough to figure out they'd been better off with the medicare and medicaid they forfeited for the 500 bucks so Mr Hill could get Millions of dollars.

Bob Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

And the whiny little sing-along-with-Mitches chime in right on cue.

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

Snarkiness or not, Bob is right. You liberals will complain about anything and everything.

Christine Davisson 4 months, 1 week ago

This is too funny. As soon as Bush was replaced by Obama, Mr. Hill made an announcement to his employees that they would no longer get a bonus due to having a "Democrat in office". I quit working at Lawrence Paper Company years ago because of low wages (office employee), verbal abuse by superiors, and a general poor working environment. Ask Mr. Hill about his maternity leave policy, his views on adding birth control as part of his health insurance policy (not covered), and his views concerning having an employee diagnosed with cancer, missing too many work days (because of chemo), and then fired. Mr. Hill can toot his Republican horn all he wants, he still runs a company that has no concern for his employees. This is nothing but a publicity stunt.

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

Did you sue him? He cannot fire you for missing time for cancer treatment but if you did not file legal action then that is your own fault. You were entitled to reprimands if you were fired for any of those reasons so if you did not challenge any of those points then it seems something else was the reason.

Rexy Bodean 4 months ago

Yes, because hiring an attorney is so simple and easy to do on a box factory salary. It's her fault she got cancer and lost her job. He must have had a great reason, I'm sure.

Geoff Ermlap 4 months, 1 week ago

Kudos to those who benefited from this stunt. My advice to them is to pocket the 500 and keep it until they need medicare to pay for a medical bill and just give the 500 bucks to the health care provider instead of the medicare that got decimated to pay for Mr. Hills tax breaks. Then they will see just how far Mr Hills generosity really goes. He got Millions in tax breaks, they got 500 bucks and no more medicare.

Charlie Dominguez 4 months, 1 week ago

What is the tax rate on bonuses? I thought it was like 25%...I may be wrong. So, after taxes, the employees are looking at $375.00 bonus, divided by 52 weeks, that is $7.20 per week. And didn't a cabinet official say that the tax savings to the middle class would provide opportunities to remodel homes, purchase new appliances.....Let's keep things in perspective when 'we' go around tooting the horn of generosity.....

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor......If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance........ you also should be careful how much you toot your own horn

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

Is this what you do when you can't defend your Republican's crud.

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

That was a response to him saying a cabinet member was not completely honest. I was merely highlighting the lies that came out of the last administration. It goes both ways

Bob Reinsch 4 months ago

Unless of course, your insurance plan discriminated against people with pre-existing conditions, rendering them illegal. People seem to forget about that part.

Amelia Anne Baranet 4 months, 1 week ago

Employers typically withhold bonuses at the maximum effective rate which is closer to 40%.

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

the ALEC conservative preferential tax scam will likely put more USA dollars in off shore secret tax evasion accounts thus taking these dollars out of circulation in the USA that could be used for lending and in general creating economic growth.

What do conservative ALEC minds have against keeping USA dollars circulating throughout the USA economy?

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced.

It’s a win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich, who helped build a nationwide right-wing political infrastructure following the reelection of Richard Nixon.1 In the same year, Weyrich helped establish the Heritage Foundation, now one of the most prominent right-wing policy institutes in the country.

One year later, he founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the predecessor of the Free Congress Foundation. In 1979, he co-founded and coined the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell, and in 1981 he helped establish the ultraconservative Council on National Policy.

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-in-state-legislatures/#Voter

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced.

It’s a win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich, who helped build a nationwide right-wing political infrastructure following the reelection of Richard Nixon.1 In the same year, Weyrich helped establish the Heritage Foundation, now one of the most prominent right-wing policy institutes in the country.

One year later, he founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the predecessor of the Free Congress Foundation. In 1979, he co-founded and coined the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell, and in 1981 he helped establish the ultraconservative Council on National Policy.

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-in-state-legislatures/#Voter

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

ALEC serves as a means for corporations to advise, lobby and sway legislators. By paying hefty dues and sponsorship fees, corporations are able to participate in ALEC ventures, forums and legislative advocacy work, and also underwrite conferences, task forces and meetings with politicians. Corporations use ALEC to formulate, present and promote model legislation to elected officials who are ALEC members, and hold leadership roles in the organization.

“Our members join for the purpose of having a seat at the table. That’s just what we do, that’s the service we offer,” explains Dennis Bartlett, an ALEC task force head who is also the executive director of the American Bail Coalition. “The organization is supported by money from the corporate sector, and, by paying to be members, corporations are allowed the opportunity to sit down at the table and discuss the issues that they have an interest in.”

ALEC propagates a wide range of “model legislation” that seeks to make it more difficult for people to hold corporations accountable in court; gut the rights and protections of workers and consumers; encumber health care reform; privatize and weaken the public education system; provide business tax cuts and corporate welfare; privatize and cut public services; erode regulations and environmental laws; create unnecessary voter ID requirements; endorse Citizens United; diminish campaign finance reform; and permit greater corporate influence in elections.

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-in-state-legislatures/#Voter

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction:

Undercutting Health Care Reform

What Does ALEC Lobby For?

How Does ALEC Work?

Who's Behind ALEC?

Who Founded and Funds ALEC?

Private School Vouchers

Tax Policy

Corporate Power and Workers' Rights

Conclusion

Obstructing Environmental Protection

Voter ID and Election Laws

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-in-state-legislatures/#Voter

Gary Stussie 4 months, 1 week ago

Only one piece of propaganda per article Richard!

Greg DiVilbiss 4 months, 1 week ago

I love the fact people are hating on a company who just gave a $500 bonus to their workers. I am sure the employees appreciated a surprise bonus. I know I would

If it is so insignificant I challenge you to go to your favorite charity and donate $500.00 of your money in protest over this horrible thing that Lawrence Paper has done to their employees by investing in new infrastructure and giving a bonus.

Please report your donation in this thread so we can acknowledge you and your charitable contribution for the benefit of others as a protest of Lawrence Papers actions.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

He gets the tax cut every year from now on, so where is the commitment to give them the bonus every year? Why not give them a raise? Does he presently pay them a living wage? Let's see what happens in the future, before I make a judgment. And wouldn't it be nice if he did this without going on TV to say how wonderful he is. AT&T and Walmart did the same thing, but they were pretty quiet when they started laying off people. And apparently they shut down some Sams outlets without even notifying the workers. They just went to work and the doors were locked.

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

No money is never enough for you people. Give the kid a cookie and he asks for milk. These people have $500 more than they had before the tax cuts. Maybe this becomes a permanent change and maybe it does not but who has a right to complain about this?

Gary Stussie 4 months, 1 week ago

Let's increase the unemployment benefit period to 106 weeks ... Obamanomics.

Amelia Anne Baranet 4 months, 1 week ago

Nobody's hating on the company for giving the bonuses. They're hating on the company for using it as a PR smokescreen to cover up all the other awful things that both they and this tax plan are doing to the same workers.

Rexy Bodean 4 months ago

People are disgusted with the owner crediting the Trump tax cut not the $$ to the employees. If you want to give your employees a bonus don't be a preening, Trump-promoter about it. Just do it because they deserve it.

Bob Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

It's always fun to see people who have never run a business taking on airs and pretending to dictate how other people's businesses should be run.

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

If it were up to them then the government would control how every business is run.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

You are not too smart are you? You make generalizations, and say we believe things we don't believe. What business do you own, Josh?

Justin Hoffman 4 months, 1 week ago

"You make generalizations, and say we believe things we don't believe"

Hi pot, meet kettle.

Gary Stussie 4 months, 1 week ago

“The Left has failed to understand the extent to which its intolerant, often coercive, approach to issues that permit good-willed disagreement has turned off voters who might otherwise be sympathetic to their general program.” ― Ian Tuttle

Josh Berg 4 months, 1 week ago

" All Republicans are evil", I sure remember that time you made generalizations. How many times have you called Republicans racist? You stink as bad as anyone Dorothy

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

No not all Republicans are racist. Those who still support Trump after he has shown his true colors aren't racists. There are several Republicans who have decided they can't support this man's racism.

Kim Watkins 4 months ago

Dunning–Kruger effect. Enough said.

Steve Jacob 4 months, 1 week ago

Good for the company. I keep telling everyone, inflation is coming hard this year, $3+ gas this summer and many interest hikes are coming.

Gary Stussie 4 months ago

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday slammed President Trump’s tax reform that led to companies giving as large as $2,000 bonuses as “crumbs,” despite praising Obama-era $40 tax cut to workers as a “victory for America” in 2011.

2,000,000 people getting bonuses or wage increases so far!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

loading...