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Expand chart
Data: Economic Policy Institute analysis of BLS data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Companies made headlines last year as they gave out a bounty of bonuses to their employees thanks to 2017's Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But those bonuses ended up totaling just 1 red cent in extra compensation for American workers, according to data analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

What it means: The left-leaning think tank's inflation-adjusted calculations based on Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation showed that bonuses fell $0.22 from December 2017 to December 2018, and the average bonus for 2018 was just $0.01 higher than in 2017.

Details: EPI's analysis of the government data shows very little increase in private sector pay or W-2 wages since the end of 2017. W-2 wages fell 2% from December 2017 to December 2018, and total compensation fell by 0.9%. For the full year, W-2 wages and compensation in 2018 rose by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively, over their 2017 levels.

What they're saying: "This is not what the tax cutters promised, or bragged about soon after the tax bill passed," Lawrence Mishel, a distinguished fellow at EPI, said in the report.

  • "They claimed that their bill would raise the wages of rank-and-file workers, with congressional Republicans and members of the Trump administration promising raises of many thousands of dollars within ten years. The Trump administration’s chair of the Council of Economic Advisers argued last April that we were already seeing the positive wage impact of the tax cuts."

Go deeper: A closer look at Trump's invisible tax cut

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.