2018: A Year of Stock Buybacks

Last year was an incredible year for wealthy investors, CEOs, and corporate shareholders — not so much for middle class American workers.

In 2018, corporate America set a record for the highest number of stock buybacks given to shareholders within a single year. With over $1 trillion in stock buybacks and dividends going directly to investors and shareholders, successful companies overwhelmingly chose to use this year’s profits to line the pockets of the wealthiest Americans at the highest rate we’ve ever seen in the history of our country.

Thanks in part to President Trump’s new tax bill, corporations saw their tax rates fall from 35% in 2017 to just 21% in 2018. Supporters of the tax bill claimed that a lower tax rate would free up revenue for companies to invest back into their businesses and hire more workers.

Instead of using the money they saved to modernize factories, set permanent pay increases for workers, grow their businesses, or create more jobs, many companies chose to pump revenue back into the pockets of shareholders. With workers seeing little to no return on the money being saved by corporations under Trump’s new tax law, tax policy organizations are finding that this bill will do more to deepen inequality between workers and wealthy CEOs and shareholders.

Click here to read more about corporate America’s record-setting year of stock buybacks.