Surprise! Corporate Leaders Hoard Tax-Cut Surplus
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams
As America’s largest banks post record profits, massive companies continue their unprecedented stock buyback spree, and already-obscene CEO pay packages are set to rapidly expand in the aftermath of the Trump-GOP tax cuts, top corporate executives are now openly admitting that they have no plans whatsoever to invest their enormous windfall into wage increases for workers.
During what Axios described as a “rare, candid, and bracing talk from executives atop corporate America” at the Dallas Fed late last week, Troy Taylor, CEO of Florida’s Coca-Cola franchise, said of the possibility of broad wage hikes for workers: “It’s just not going to happen. Absolutely not in my business.”
“Of course the GOP tax scam didn’t help working people,” noted Wisconsin congressional candidate Randy Bryce, aka “The Iron Stache,” in response to the Axiosreport. “CEOs would rather pay themselves than pay us.”
And CEOs are not merely conceding that “the days of most people getting a pay raise are over” despite the lofty promises Republicans made after they rammed through their $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. As Axios reports, well-heeled corporate executives are also actively moving to “reduce their workforces further” to cut costs and boost their bottom lines.
“The message is that Americans should stop waiting for across-the-board pay hikes coinciding with higher corporate profit; to cash in, workers will need to shift to higher-skilled jobs that command more income,” Axios summarized.
While the executives’ comments were met with outrage and disgust on social media, few expressed genuine surprise that corporations are deciding to hoard their profits and line the pockets of top executives rather than redistribute the gains downward, as this is precisely what they’ve been doing for decades.
And this is also precisely what analysts predicted would happen as the GOP tax plan—which dramatically slashed the corporate rate and the top marginal tax rate for individuals—made its way through Congress last year.
“The tax cuts are working exactly as intended,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) concluded.
Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @wordsofdissent