Buybacks and Tax Cuts

Who benefits most and what was the value of the Trump administration’s tax cuts, if all that companies are going to do with their tax cut related income boost is use it to buy back shares?  This seems actually confusing to some folks on the Left.

Here are some of the happy totals.  Share buybacks have run to some $200 billion in the last three months.  Moreover,

Of the companies in the S&P 500, about 44% have said they plan to reinvest some portion of their tax gains into capital expenditures or wages, while 28% said they would use them to increase shareholder returns, Morgan Stanley found in an analysis of earnings transcripts. Its own analysts expect companies to spend about 43% of their savings on buybacks and dividends, and 30% on capital expenditures and labor.

Progressive-Democrats are making the argument that the buybacks benefit only the 1%.  Certainly, stockholders—those owners of the company—who choose to accept a buyback deal are better off: they get something of value to them that they didn’t have before, which is more cash in their pocket.

Progressive-Democrats actually think the money stops there.  Or so they imply.

It doesn’t.  The money doesn’t disappear under a rich man’s mattress; he didn’t get rich doing that.  No, the tax reduction money that goes to capital expenditures improves production efficiency, which lowers costs to the consumer, which raises demand for the product, which increases pressure to hire more workers to make more product.

Money spent on buybacks and dividends (another bugaboo of the Left—how dare a company return any of its money to its owners) is money received by the company’s owners, who include not only the stinking rich but ordinary folks like you and me, either as investors ourselves or as beneficiaries of company pension plans or as holders of 401(k)s and IRAs.  That money received by us, including the Evil Rich among us, then gets spent.  That’s increased consumer demand, which increases pressure to hire more workers.  Even the buyback and dividend money that goes into those retirement accounts gets spent—we’re all going to retire someday, and if we die, our heirs will spend the money.

It stretches credulity to believe that folks as undeniably brilliant as Progressive-Democrats hold themselves out to be don’t understand this.

But, hey—votes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *