Taxes

The GOP’s Tax Cuts Are Going Directly Into CEO Pockets

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If you say the GOP's tax cuts were primarily tax cuts for the rich, Republican may push back by saying the tax cuts were for corporations, not individuals, but that is only technically true.

In reality, a tax cut for a corporation is a tax cut for individuals; it's a tax cut for executives and wealthy shareholders.

As you know, the GOP's tax cuts have led to record-breaking stock buybacks and dividends and, according to a review of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings by Politico, the buybacks have led directly to record-setting compensation for executives.

Since the tax cuts were enacted, Oracle Corp. CEO Safra Catz has sold $250 million worth of shares in her company — the largest executive payday this year. Product development head Thomas Kurian sold $85 million. The sales came after the company announced a $12 billion share repurchase.

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga sold $44.4 million of stock in May, the largest single cash-out by an executive of the company in at least 10 years, months after the company announced a $4 billion buyback of its own stock.

Two days after Eastman Chemical announced it would purchase $2 billion of its own stock, CEO Mark Costa sold 55,000 shares for $5.4 million.

Analysts who spoke to Politico also say another round of buybacks is likely coming and that will obviously lead to even more profits for executives and shareholders. You may recall that we discussed that possibility here a couple weeks ago when investors began to speculate that corporations may compensate for Trump's trade war by boosting the value of their companies with more buybacks.

Much to my surprise, we also recently discussed how executives using their knowledge of upcoming buybacks to profit handsomely from their own stock is not illegal even though it would be considered insider trading if virtually anyone else did it.

In many of these cases, it would almost be a misnomer to say that corporations have exclusively benefited from the GOP's tax cuts because that depends on how you define the corporation.

Corporate executives and shareholders are befittingly greatly, but rank and file employees are not. The GOP's tax cuts for corporations are more of a tax cut for wealthy shareholders than any actual business operation. Recent Labor Department data confirms that wages are effectively flat if not declining, so the tax cuts are not benefiting regular employees of the companies whose executives are profiting tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars.

We can see where this is heading, but I think even right now we can't fully comprehend what the legacy of this is going to look like five to ten years from now.

Republicans have an uncanny ability to destroy everything they touch in a very short period of time.

  • katanahamon

    What?!? Republican voters voted against their own interests and now everyone except the one percent are screwed? I’m so…not shocked, not surprised..

  • muselet

    Welcome to the Second Gilded Age, with all the corruption and concentration of wealth but none of the economic growth of the first.

    –alopecia

  • Christopher Foxx

    Republicans have an uncanny ability to destroy everything they touch in a very short period of time

    History is cyclical. And our history of the last 45 years has been
    Republicans screw things up fast
    Then Democrats come in and steadily put things back in order so that
    Republicans come in a trash it all over again

    The Modern Republican party: The drunken frat boy who keeps showing up on weekends to party and trash your house.

  • Aynwrong

    “Republicans have an uncanny ability to destroy everything they touch in a very short period of time.”

    https://youtu.be/sWh0DOAfc7A

  • Scopedog

    “Republicans have an uncanny ability to destroy everything they touch in a very short period of time.”

    And the Democrats are always elected to fix the destruction that the GOP brought about, but the media, the idiot Left, and yes, the GOP will immediately set upon them, demanding that they do everything in two seconds or less, insulting them for not doing it the “right” way, and then….the GOP come back in a couple of years and blame Democrats for everything. And because the media suffers from amnesia when it comes to both the GOP and Democrats, they’ll parrot whatever the GOP babbles out, and then the idiot Left whines about how the Dems just aren’t progressive enough and how Dems lost the WWC, so people should just not vote or cast a ballot to some third party charlatan.

    And then the GOP gets back into office and fucks things up even more. Wash, rinse, repeat.