In an avalanche of crumbs, one particularly delicious soupçon slipped by on Friday. After Disney’s Robert Iger announced that the entertainment group would award employee bonuses as a result of the tax reform bill, another entertainment mogul felt compelled to share the wealth with employees, too. Staffers at Saban Capital Group got a memo with the great news last week, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
To our valued team,
As you may know, at the end of 2017, the Federal Government enacted the most fundamental tax reform since 1986. These reforms are impacting our company in different ways, including a lower tax rate.
As a global investment firm, we recognize that our most important assets are every one of you – at Saban Capital, Real Estate, Films, Brands, Foundation and the Family Office.
We have been inspired by what Bob Iger has done for Disney employees. As the Hebrew saying goes “I shall learn from all my teachers” so we decided to follow suit.
Eligible employees will receive a one-time after-tax bonus of $1,000. We recognize and appreciate your hard work and dedication.
Cheryl & Haim
Who’s Haim Saban? Neither the Hollywood Reporter nor The Hill mentions it, but Saban Capital Group owns Univision, which Saban used to support Hillary Clinton in the last election. Haim Saban used that platform to advise the Hillary Clinton campaign on strategies for winning Hispanic support and for countering Donald Trump’s focus on hardline immigration policies. Early in the cycle, Noah Rothman wrote a post here describing Univision under Saban’s leadership as “a Democratic PAC with a studio,” with the media beginning to take notice.
Saban put his personal money where his corporate mouth was, too. Saban donated or committed at least $30 million to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State. Cheryl Saban joined the Clinton Foundation board in 2013 after Hillary’s departure from State. The Sabans ranked 14th on the Center for Responsive Politics’ list of top individuals funding outside spending groups, with $13.8 million in the 2016 cycle. He poured millions of those dollars into Priorities USA, a pro-Hillary super-PAC in the 2016 cycle, calling Trump a “danger” to the country. National Review noted nearly three years ago that Saban has given other Democrat candidates and party orgs a total of $12 million since 2002, a figure that has undoubtedly grown considerably since that time.
And that sets up a conundrum for the Democratic La Resistance. They could have argued — and have argued — that the bonuses and wage hikes related to the tax reform bill were nothing but corporate public relations intending to suck up to the White House. The workers get crumbs while the billionaires light their cigars on $100 untaxed bills!, the argument goes. If that’s the case, though, how do Democrats explain Saban’s largesses, which he and his wife explicitly attribute to Donald Trump’s “most fundamental tax reform since 1986”? Does Saban only light his cigars with $20 bills?
Democrats don’t have a “crumbs” problem. They have a “straws” problem, in that they are grasping at straws to explain away the good news that most workers have either already seen or will shortly see both directly and indirectly from the tax reform bill. Maybe Saban can explain reality to them at the next super-PAC meeting.