Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank, plans to cut about 30,000 jobs over the next few years in an effort to save $5 billion per year. These cuts, many of which the company expects to come through eliminating unfilled positions, will follow up 6,000 job cuts that the bank has already made through the third quarter of this year.
The bank’s plan to cut 10 percent of its workforce is yet another sign that Congress’ policy of corporate welfare is not working. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that President Obama must lower the corporate tax rate and “be as bold about liberating job creators as he is about shackling them” if he hopes to lower unemployment and stimulate the economy. It’s hard to see what more could be done for a “job creator” like Bank of America, however.
Bank of America received $45 billion dollars of capital investments and emergency funding through the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, it paid zero dollars in federal income tax in 2009 and 2010, and last year it received a tax refund of $1.9 billion from the IRS despite making $4.4 billion in profits. But despite all of this goodwill from the U.S. government, Bank of America is choosing to eliminate 30,000 more jobs in a climate of over 9 percent unemployment.
It’s about time that we stop showering praise on companies like Bank of America, which receive charity from the federal government and respond by exploiting loopholes to avoid paying taxes, and by cutting jobs at the worst possible time. It’s time to be honest with ourselves: Bank of America is not a “job creator;” it’s a profit-seeking institution without concern for the public good.