Trump Tax Cut Causes Boom In Stock Buybacks

Republicans sold their tax plan as a boon for the American worker, but so far stock buybacks top the list of outcomes.

Vox has an update this week on the effects of last year's Republican tax plan, championed by the likes of Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump as a tool to get America's economy plugging away toward greatness -- and the primary beneficiaries certainly would be everyday Americans.

So how has that promise held up?

After a few rounds of corporate America boasting of worker bonuses and domestic investment, the results are more in line with predictions of the tax plan's detractors than its proponents.

It was a major PR opportunity for both corporate America and the GOP, meant to show that American businesses were sharing their billions of dollars in tax cut savings with their workers and the broader economy.

But over the next few months, the real winners from the corporate tax cut became clear — not workers and consumers, but shareholders. Companies have boosted dividends and stock buybacks. A stock buyback is when a company buys back its own shares from the broader marketplace.

As much as Republicans wanted Americans to believe this tax bill was about creating jobs, driving up wages, and simplifying the tax code, time has revealed that the majority of benefits are headed toward companies and shareholders:

A Bloomberg analysis found that about 60 percent of tax cut gains will go to shareholders, compared to 15 percent for employees. A Morgan Stanley survey found that analysts estimate 43 percent of tax cut savings will go to stock buybacks and dividends, while 13 percent will go to pay raises, bonuses, and employee benefits. Just Capital’s analysis of 121 Russell 1000 companies found that 57 percent of tax savings will go to shareholders, compared to 20 percent directed to job creation and capital investment and 6 percent to workers.

American workers who invest in the stock market most likely will see a boost in their portfolios, but as Vox notes, that is not the majority of the population.

According to Gallup, just over half of Americans own stocks at all. What’s more, the richest 10 percent of Americans own 80 percent of all stock shares. The bottom 80 percent of earners own just 8 percent.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Everyone knew this would happen.