Wall Street flourishes under GOP tax bill, workers are left behind

The New York Stock Exchange

Reps. Mimi Walters and Steve Knight voted to raise taxes on millions of Californians so corporations can "lavish Wall Street" with billions of dollars in stock buybacks.

As critics of the tax bill warned, an overwhelming share of corporate tax cuts are going to shareholders, with workers getting a mere 3 percent. Republican members of Congress, like Reps. Steve Knight of Palmdale and Mimi Walters of Irvine, peddle deceptive spin about a bill they championed. But there’s no denying it’s a massive giveaway to corporate America, not average Californians.

“American companies have lavished Wall Street with $171 billion of stock buyback announcements so far this year,” according to analysis by research firm Birinyi Associates. Stock buybacks “tend to boost the share price in part by inflating a key measure of profitability”— meaning that investors receive the benefit, not workers.

Average Californians, meanwhile, are left far behind by the bill. The amount of money spread among everyday jobholders comes to a measly 3 percent of what corporations are “lavishing” on Wall Street according to recent research.

The tax bill was extremely unpopular in California, opposed by colleges and universities, the business community, and an overwhelming percentage of voters. Yet Knight and Walters bowed to the will of Trump and gave the bill their support. If California Republicans had opposed the measure, it would not have passed into law.

While Knight and Walters have been silent about corporations enriching their shareholders through stock buybacks, they used social media to promote instances of a companies providing bonuses and/or wage hikes. These attempts to distort the truth of the tax bill are a disservice to constituents, who deserve to know the full impact of the tax bill.

As the bill was being considered in Congress, it was clear to many that the end result would largely benefit the wealthy.

As Patti Domm with CNBC notes, “Democratic lawmakers who have been critical of the GOP bill have claimed it would be used for such things as share buybacks to enrich shareholders, rather than for capital expenditures or improving worker pay.”

While Wall Street is being lavished, Californians will see taxes increase for more than five million residents. Due to changes to the Affordable Care Act tucked away in the bill, Californians face skyrocketing health care premiums next year by up to 30 percent. The bill is so fiscally reckless it put America’s credit rating at risk.

Democrats in 2018 are targeting both Knight and Walters, seeking to oust the lawmakers who seem to be more interested in kowtowing to Trump’s will than listening to the concerns of constituents. No wonder they are desperate to deceive voters about the impact of the bill.

But voters aren’t buying it. According to a recent nationwide survey, 58 percent of Americans rightly understand that “large U.S. corporations or wealthy Americans stand to benefit most from the tax legislation.”

As CNN notes, it is clear that “shareholders, not workers, are far bigger direct winners from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.”

Voters will also make it clear in November whether they want someone who listens to them, or bends to the will of Trump.