Instead of creating jobs, big businesses are using their tax cut bonanza to hike stock value and CEO pay
Remember last year when President Donald Trump and his congressional Trumpeteers bragged their “yuge” tax cut for corporations would spark a “yuge” corporate spending spree to create new jobs and higher wages?
Well, just as they promised, we’re now seeing corporate chieftains spending wildly — on themselves, not on boosting America’s economy.
Mainly, they’re pouring billions into a self-serving scheme called “buybacks” — buying up shares of their own corporation’s stock. Google executives, for example, are spending $8.6 billion from their taxpayer bonanza on buybacks, PepsiCo is in for $15 billion, and Apple for $30 billion.
Why? Because reducing the total number of shares on the market increases the value of each remaining share, giving those lucky shareholders a bigger piece of the company’s profit pie. Yes, less magically means more.
But it’s not magic, it’s manipulation. And the top executives doing the manipulating are primary beneficiaries, since most of their pay comes in the form of millions of dollars’ worth of their corporation’s stock.
If Trump and the GOP Congress had really intended their trillion-dollar giveaway of the people’s tax revenue be spent for the benefit of all, they would’ve required the corporate recipients to plow the bulk of the money into our nation’s grassroots economy.
Instead, once again, our corrupt political officials duped taxpayers into giving away public funds in the name of workers. But they actually stiffed workers, enriched CEOs, increased inequality, and diverted tax dollars from urgent national needs — and enabled corporate powers to donate even more corrupting campaign cash to the politicians and party doing this to us.
In other words, the Trump tax scam worked just as the GOP intended.
Behind the White House's demeaning "food box" idea is a plan to eliminate food aid for poor people completely
Even Charles Dickens, England’s masterful satirist of the Victorian upper class, couldn’t have imagined elite rulers using a box of food as a gratuitous way to slap poor people.
But President Donald Trump and two of his slap-happy cabinet officials did imagine it — and then did it. They slipped a malicious, punish-the-poor provision into the food stamp budget Trump sent to Congress.
Instead of providing a small monthly allowance for destitute families to spend on foods of their choice, the Trump provision would take away half of the allowance and substitute a monthly box of peanut butter, canned goods, and other packaged edibles chosen for them by the federal government.
It’s bureaucratic, patronizing, and demeaning — and stupid. But Trump Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hailed it as a “bold, innovative” idea.
Perdue also has disdainfully said food stamp recipients are hooked on a culture of dependency. So maybe a diet of peanut butter will cure them of that.
Then came Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney, a tea party extremist who bizarrely tried putting a luxury spin on the government-issued box of grub by comparing it to Blue Apron, an upscale grocery delivery system.
But, Mick, get a clue — Blue Apron patrons get to choose what’s in their box, and it ain’t peanut butter. It’s locally-sourced, fresh food.
As Rep. Jim McGovern, who opposes the Trump mob’s food-stamp gut job, said in dismay of the administration: “My god, these people are awful. In addition to being totally misinformed on policy, they are really just not nice people.”
Less nice still is their real intention to kill the food stamp program entirely. Trump’s budget calls for slashing 30 percent of the funding this year.
As watchdogs at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put it, “That’s the real battle.” The food-box silliness is a distraction to let them pull off the big theft. For more info, go to www.cbpp.org.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed by OtherWords.org.