AT&T Preps For Even More Cuts After $42 Billion+ In Trump Tax Cuts And Regulatory Favors

from the ill-communication dept

It seems like only yesterday that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was promising on live television that if Trump followed through on his tax cuts, the company would dramatically boost investment and add thousands of new jobs. Not "entry-level jobs," mind you, but "7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in the ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year." Each $1 billion in new investment spurred by government favors, AT&T insisted, would result in 7,000 new jobs. "Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages," Stephenson said.

The same rhetoric was a common occurrence as AT&T lobbied to have net neutrality (and FCC oversight in general) stripped away, insisting this would result in significant job creation and a massive surge in investment. The amount of money AT&T saved from turning the FCC into a glorified rubber stamp for industry is likely incalculable. The tax cuts were more easily calculated, with CBS suggesting the cuts should net AT&T around $42 billion.

Here on planet Earth the exact opposite of what AT&T promised occurred: the company actually decreased its 2020 CAPEX by some $3 billion, and unions say the company has cut more than 37,000 jobs since the Trump tax cuts took effect.

This week, AT&T announced it would be conducting another $6 billion in cuts that will include additional "headcount rationalization," which in human language likely indicates even more layoffs:

"The effort may include layoffs. Stankey didn't specifically mention that word, but instead said the operator would enact a "headcount rationalization," a term that could include layoffs as well as reductions by not hiring replacements for workers who retire or leave. That program, he said, would reduce the operator's labor expenses by 4%, or roughly $1.5 billion, by the end of 2020. He added that the reduction would target employees in AT&T's call centers, management structures and distribution strategy. AT&T employed roughly 252,000 people at the end of September."

It's odd that when news outlets discuss AT&T's cost-cutting and layoff strategies, they fail to mention we just got done throwing tens of billions in regulatory favors and tax cuts at the company in exchange for absolutely nothing. In fact, we apparently paid AT&T to do the exact opposite of what it repeatedly promised to do. It's particularly galling given that most of AT&T's current problems stem directly from spending too much money on harmful megamergers and bumbling its entry into the online streaming video space.

But as usual, the end result isn't AT&T executives paying any sort of penalty for incompetence, it's the company's workers and customers who have to pay for the mistakes -- in more ways than one. And it's all being subsidized by American taxpayers who, thanks to a general press unwillingness to call a duck a duck, often don't understand the scope of the grift directly underfoot.

Filed Under: competition, jobs, layoffs, monopolies, subsidies, tax cuts
Companies: at&t


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Richard Bennett, 23 Apr 2020 @ 6:38am

    Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

    Bodeyface! Bodeyface! Big Mean Karl is a Bodeyface! That's what you get for supporting filthy pirates, McBodey Bodey Bodeface.

    Shiva might not have been able to deal with you, but Pai will. You wait! Just you wait! He doesn't take kindly to people who doubt the corporate genius of CEOs who run ISPs. There will never be someone who supports net neutrality in politics, sorry! Up yours too, Masnick!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:00am

      Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

      you didn't label it. What kind of fanfic is this again?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

        Considering the self-aggrandizing tone, the constant use of "Bodeface", the irreverent worship of Ajit Pai's FCC... If this is a spoof, it's really hard to tell from the real deal.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisonin

          If this is a spoof, it's really hard to tell from the real deal.

          If you get your shit & giggles from pretending being an idiot, don't be surprised when you are placed in the same company as the real idiots.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol pois

            Look up Ken White's Rule of Goats

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol pois

            How do you tell apart Richard Bennett from a spoof? The spoof is more honest!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisonin

          Welcome to the internet.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      wereisjessicahyde (profile), 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:35am

      Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

      You should would worry about alcohol poisoning because you being out of your mind on a dangerous amount of vodka is the only thing that explains that post. Unless it's acid? Are you on acid?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Annonymouse, 23 Apr 2020 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

        Home brewed and he always does the taste test on the first dram or so.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ehud Gavron (profile), 24 Apr 2020 @ 3:10am

        Re: Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

        Are you on acid?

        Well at least in one post this year he didn't call a telco an ISP.

        Must be some good stuff...

        E

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 23 Apr 2020 @ 10:50am

      Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

      Seriously: please stop spoofing various trolls. It's not funny. It's not good. It's just lame.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 24 Apr 2020 @ 1:31am

      Re: Every time Karl writes a post I get alcohol poisoning

      The only thing sadder than the usual troll contingent is the people who get their kicks from pretending to be them

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 6:42am

    and bumbling its entry into the online streaming video space.

    More like disastrous customer retention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2020 @ 7:01am

    i think a look at those politicians who have gained from AT&T getting tax cuts would be in order. that wouldn't have happened unless the cuts were voted in, surely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 23 Apr 2020 @ 5:36pm

    " if Trump followed through on his tax cuts, the company would dramatically boost investment and add thousands of new jobs. "

    Yeah, in the unemployment sector.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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