AFREF and the Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project led a comment letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about its uniform guidance, which sets the boundaries around the types of strings states and localities are allowed to attach when they disburse federal funds. This comment letter argues state and local governments should be allowed to give preferential treatment to bidders that commit to make productive investments in their companies and refrain from stock buybacks and excessive executive compensation.
Washington, D.C. – Commerce Department guidelines finalized today are a critical step in ensuring that public investment in chip makers is used for productive ends instead of squandered on stock buybacks.
Schumer uttered those words as the Senate was on the brink of passing the Inflation Reduction Act—the compromise reconciliation bill that resulted from prolonged, heated negotiations amongst Democrats. The version that will go to President Biden includes something brand-new in U.S. economic policy: a one percent excise tax on stock buybacks, which reached an astonishing $882 billion last year.
This morning, the Biden administration unveiled its annual budget, which includes a tax on households with wealth over $100 million, a 1% tax on stock buybacks, and a proposal for a three-year freeze on corporate executives selling their shares after a buyback.
The CARES Act stimulus continues a pattern of permissive regulation of large corporations that has enabled them to channel their income to providing capital payouts to wealthy shareholders and top executives, rather than support for workers or investment towards the long-term stability and success of the firms.
“The money that is being siphoned off from earnings to increase executive bonuses doesn’t just make wealthy insiders wealthier,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, senior fellow at Americans for Financial Reform. “It is money that could have been used to invest in making the business more competitive and pay workers living wages.”
The message, for too long, has been that policymakers must choose between policies that protect shareholders’ interest and those that protect workers’ interests. Investors know that economic stability is good for investment outcomes. Over the long-term, economic stability requires broad-based economic growth and shared prosperity.