Corporate Tax Cuts Are Really Just Tax Cuts For The Rich

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Republicans are proposing a huge, huge cut in corporate tax rates. They are also proposing to let giant, multinational corporations keep much of the money they already owe on profits they have stashed in “offshore” tax havens.

Lower tax rates mean higher after-tax profits, which increases the value of stock holdings.

Who owns corporate stock, and therefore will receive the benefits of these tax cuts?

Do We All Benefit From Corporate Stock?

Lets look at just who owns corporate stock.

Republicans like to pretend that we are all invested in the stock market, if not by directly owning stocks, then through “our” retirement plans. This is usually repeated and believed by comfortable people who actually do have 401k or other individual retirement accounts (IRAs) through their workplace.

But 45 percent of Americans have no money for retirement at all. Only 44 percent of Americans put anything into a 401k, even if their company offers one — and this number includes workers with only $100 in the plan.

Only 18 percent of Americans are putting money in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), ehich may or may not hold stocks. Only 4 percent of private-sector workers have only a “defined benefit” plan, usually called a pension.

So much for “our” retirement plans. Aside from retirement plans, a 2016 Gallup survey found that only 52 percent of Americans own any stocks at all – down from 65 percent in 2007.

So Who Does Own Stock?

Here is a chart of who owns corporate stock (and therefore pays those taxes.)

 

As of 2007, the top 1 percent owned 50.9 percent of all stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. The top 10 percent owned 90.3 percent. Things have only concentrated upward since 2007.

How much have things concentrated upwards since then? 20 Americans now hold as much wealth as half of all Americans put together and “the 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the population.”

People talk about an “upper class” that holds most of the wealth in our society now. Maybe the thinking on this needs to change from a “class” of people to just a few people.

It is these few people who are the beneficiaries of corporate tax cuts. As tax rates drop the value of their stock holdings rises. The rest of us lose our ability to have good schools, roads, health care, courts, scientific research and all the rest of the things our government tries to do to make our lives better.

This is who we are talking about when we talk about corporate tax rates. It’s not anonymous, nameless corporations, it is people – just a very few, very rich, people.

***

This was reposted from Our Future.

Johnson also is a fellow at the Commonwealth Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Renewal of the California Dream. Follow Dave Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dcjohnson.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Campaign for America's Future

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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