Speaker of the House Paul Ryan went to Dallas on Monday afternoon to tell Southwest Airline employees about the benefits of tax reform, but it became quickly apparent those present couldn’t wait to describe how tax reform has benefited their lives.
Ryan, along with GOP Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, traveled to Southwest Airlines’ Dallas, Texas, headquarters Monday to tell airline employees and members of the community how the 2017 Republican tax reform bill has and will continue to improve the American economy.
“What we saw was a U.S. economy that was really lagging our peers and other countries. What we saw are U.S. companies, just to stay competitive, moving overseas and becoming foreign companies because of our tax laws. What we also saw are U.S. companies put in a huge competitive disadvantage with other businesses, sectors and other countries. We wanted to fix that to put a strong foundation on the U.S. economy,” Ryan told the crowd Monday.
The speaker said tax reform is already bringing about higher wages, bonuses and will help bolster the American for years to come. Southwest Airlines announced in the wake of the GOP tax reform bill it would provide full and part-time employees $1,000 cash bonuses and donate $5 million to charitable causes in 2018.
Southwest employees took little time to tell Ryan and Brady what they are doing with their bonuses.
1) Paying For Child’s College Education
“When I got my $1,000, I knew there was only one thing I could do. I took that check, made the best paper airplane I could ever make and sailed it four miles East to Southern Methodist University where my oldest daughter is an undergrad. So, my daughter Madeline thanks you; Southern Methodist University thanks you; and I thank you,” one man told Ryan.
2) Paying For Family Vacation
“My name is Carla, I’ve been with Southwest for 17 years … One of my exciting things is I go to an annual beach vacation every year. …This year I got to pay off the condo early, and I’m taking my parents,” Carla told Ryan.
3) New Washer And Dryer
“I’m married to an engineer. So, last year for Valentine’s Day, I got three new garage doors. It was really exciting. This year, with the bonus, I was very excited to know we were going to use that to buy a new washer and dryer. I have two teenage boys, so it was time for a new washer and dryer,” another person in the crowd told Ryan.
4) Paying For Continuing Education
“Welcome, y’all. My name is Caroline, I’m with general counsel. In two weeks, I’m about to start flight attendant training, so it was welcome to get that money to put towards those four weeks I will be in training,” another attendant told Ryan.
5) Paying For Charity In Kenya
“Hi, my name is Don and I work for supply chain repairs over in the tech office building. I’d like to share something with you and it really should come from me and my wife, so we prepared something together. A couple years ago, my wife Diana started a ministry of helping feed and clothe a needy family in rural Kenya. It also help them start being self-sufficient. This grew into feeding and helping the whole village,” Don told Ryan.
“In the last year, we opened a primary school and community outreach center in that same village. Within a few months, the student enrollment exploded to close to a hundred children and nine staff, and we have that many more on our waiting list. We realize that we cannot financially support this increasing growth all on our own, but we could also not live with ourselves if we turn these children away,” Don said.
“We made the decision to take on the extra children not knowing the where the money would come from but on the belief that God would provide. Two days later, we found out we were getting a bonus. It was exactly what was needed to feed these people for two months,” Don said. “This decision you have made did not just impact one employee or their family, but many children and their being fed, clothed and attending school. You have given hope and love to the whole village in rural Kenya.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the bonuses as “crumbs” in January.
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