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ICYMI: Polls, analyses show Republicans' corporate special interest tax bill not fooling anyone

Concord, N.H. -- A new UNH poll finds that Granite Staters overwhelmingly doubt that the Republican tax bill will benefit them, and unfortunately, they are right. Despite Congressional Republicans' misleading claims about the bill, it has now been confirmed that instead of raising wages and passing along benefits to workers, big corporations are opting for massive stock buybacks that benefit top executives and wealthy shareholders.

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

"The vast majority of New Hampshire families don't believe they will be better off because of the Republican tax plan that puts corporations and the super rich ahead of working families. Today's poll proves that Governor Sununu & the NHGOP's argument is failing to convince the average American to take a tax hike just so the rich can get richer. With New Hampshire losing jobs in 2017 for the first time since the recession, Granite Staters need to save the state from slipping any further under Sununu's watch by making him a one-term governor in 2018."

See below for a roundup of coverage highlighting the reality of the Republican tax plan:

Key Points:

  • ...only one-third believe their taxes will decrease or that they will be better off...

  • Thirty-four percent of Granite Staters believe their family will be better off under the new tax law, 33% think it will not make much of a difference, 23% think they will be worse off, and 9% don't know or are not sure.

  • For months, critics… predicted that the new law would be a handout for large corporations, which would drive up their stock prices and enrich wealthy investors.

  • The most basic criticism of the GOP’s tax cut was that the boons for corporations and their shareholders would far outweigh the benefits for ordinary workers. That’s exactly what seems to be happening.

  • Stock buybacks announced between January 1st and February 15th reached historically high levels, totaling about $170 billion in that period. That’s 28 times larger than the total value of end-of-year bonuses that were credited to the corporate tax bill—some of which had been announced months earlier and had nothing to do with the tax cuts.

  • Companies might be advertising new bonuses. But they’re quietly reaping the benefits of higher profits.

  • In sum, the GOP tax cut is raising wages (except it isn’t); it’s good for stocks (except the market has been a nauseous mess all year); and it’s poised to grow the economy—so much so that the Fed is determined to choke off inflation and discourage more business investment, which will hurt economic growth.

  • It all adds up to this: The GOP law was always an enduring corporate tax cut advertised as fast middle-class tax relief.

  • Critics weren’t wrong in 2017 to say that the tax cut would exacerbate inequality, helping rich investors at the expense of workers.

Wall Street Journal: Boom in Share Buybacks Renews Question of Who Wins From Tax Cuts By Akane Otani, Richard Rubin, and Theo Francis Key Points:

  • U.S. companies are buying back their shares at an aggressive pace, stirring debates in Washington and on Wall Street about how savings from corporate tax cuts are being used and who benefits most… The [GOP] tax overhaul cut the tax rate on large corporations from 35% to 21%.

  • Share buybacks announced by large U.S. companies have exceeded $200 billion in the past three months, more than double the prior year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data for S&P 500 companies.

  • Morgan Stanley analysts… expect companies to spend about 43% of their savings on buybacks and dividends, and 30% on capital expenditures and labor.

  • By buying back shares, companies reduce the amount of shares held by the public and thus boost their per-share earnings, a metric followed closely by investors… Still the practice is controversial on Wall Street. Some critics say companies are better off funneling cash into spending on research, upgrading equipment and raising employee wages.

  • It is a hot-button issue in Washington too. Democrats have pointed to buyback announcements as proof that the tax law’s benefits are tilted to high-income households. Tens of millions of households have stock investments, but some 84% of stocks are held by the wealthiest 10% of households. By another measure, about a third of U.S. corporate stock is owned by foreigners.


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