Actually, we don't know the extent to which the tax cut was a factor in Walmart's decision to close 63 stores, as it announced it was doing yesterday. Nor do we know the extent to which the tax cut was responsible for the increases in wages and benefits that the company also announced yesterday, although the company did claim a direct relationship in this case. Walmart's competitors, like Target, had been raising wages months before the tax bill was even public, so it is entirely possible that Walmart would have been forced to raise pay due to a tighter labor market, even if there had not been a tax cut.

It is worth noting that by Walmart's own estimate the pay increases will only cost it $300 million a year. This is roughly 15 percent of the $2 billion a year that it should save from the tax cut. This is in line with most economists estimates of the share of the tax cuts that would go to wages. By contrast, the administration had claimed that the wages would rise by more than the full amount of the tax cuts, although this impact would only be seen after a number of years as increased investment led to higher productivity.