Using Tax Cut, Kleenex Maker Wipes Out Jobs

The $1.5 trillion Republican tax cut was supposed to create jobs. But giant corporations are using their savings to kill jobs and reward investors.

Record Profits. No hardship case, Kimberly-Clark—which makes Kleenex, Huggies, Kotex, and other popular brands—racked up $3.3 billion in profits last year. This year, it’s shooting for even more by taking aim at the American workers and communities who built the company.

Tax Breaks Pay for Layoffs. Adding insult to injury, Kimberly-Clark is using its tax breaks to get rid of 10 manufacturing plants and wipe out about 5,500 jobs. In an earnings call, its chief financial officer said “cash flow benefits” from the tax cut will fund “the restructuring program over the next few years.”

Enriching Investors. But, while workers are getting the shaft, investors are getting a goldmine. After buying back $900 million of shares last year, the company is repurchasing another $700–900 million this year and increasing dividends for its shareholders.

Socking It to Wisconsin. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed through the corporate tax cuts that paid for the plant closings. Now, his home state is taking the hit: Kimberly-Clark is shuttering two plants in Wisconsin, destroying about 600 jobs.