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Republican tax plan delivers massive rewards for Wall Street

Wall Street's biggest banks are making out like bandits under the GOP tax plan, but don't worry, Paul Ryan knows a secretary getting an extra $1.50 per week.
People walk down Wall Street in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty)
People walk down Wall Street in New York City.

If you were one of those Americans who argued last year, "Wall Street giants deserve a massive tax break because they don't appear to have nearly enough money," the Associated Press had some news today that should make you feel much better.

An analysis by The Associated Press shows the nation's six big Wall Street banks saved at least $3.59 billion in taxes last quarter, thanks to the recently enacted Trump tax law.Banks typically kick off the earnings season, and their reports for the January-March quarter are giving investors and the public their first glimpse into how the new tax law is impacting Corporate America. Banks historically paid some of the highest taxes, due to their U.S.-centric business model. Before the Trump tax cuts, these banks paid between 28 to 31 percent of their income each year in corporate taxes.The results show why banks supported the tax overhaul. Tax rates at banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley dropped to between 17 and 23 percent.

This is a feature, not a bug, of the Republican tax plan. One of the points of the tax breaks was to deliver a windfall to financial giants that didn't need the money.

All of which reminds me of a secretary in Pennsylvania whom House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was briefly eager to talk about.

The Associated Press had this report on February, which noted a secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose paycheck went up $1.50 a week as a result of the Republican tax cuts. The article added, "That adds up to $78 a year, which she said will more than cover her Costco membership for the year."

The GOP Speaker of the House briefly touted the anecdote as proof of the tax plan's merits. Ryan soon after deleted his messages about this, however, probably because it dawned on him that it was far less impressive than he'd hoped.

And this morning we were reminded why: while that secretary gets $1.50 a week, the Republican tax plan delivered at least $3.59 billion in savings to nation's six big Wall Street banks, just in the first three months of 2018.

Evidently, this is how the right likes to spread the wealth around?