Corporate Stock Buybacks Hit $500 Billion Since Tax Law Passed With Walgreens’ $10 Billion Announcement Today

June 28, 2018

The Pharmacy Giant Becomes the Latest Corporation to Use its Trump-GOP Tax Cut To Reward its Shareholders, Not its Employees or Customers

Walgreens, the second largest pharmacy chain store in the U.S., today announced that it will repurchase $10 billion worth of stock from its shareholders, the latest in a growing list of corporations that are using their Trump-GOP tax cut to reward its wealthy shareholders instead of its workers or lowering prices for consumers.

The Walgreens announcement brings the total of corporate stock buybacks since passage in December of the Trump-GOP tax cuts to nearly $503 billion, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness.

Stock buybacks mainly benefit CEOs and wealthy shareholders, rather than raise the wages of workers or make new job-creating investments as proponents of the tax cuts promised. Forty-percent of all stock is owned by the richest 1% while the richest 10% own 84%. Since passage of the tax cut law, corporations are spending 72 times more on stock buybacks than the $7 billion they are paying out to workers in one-time bonuses or wage hikes.

The tax-cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy and big corporations will add $1.9 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. To help pay for the cuts, House Republicans last week released a budget plan for 2019 that cuts $2.1 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid, $923 billion from food and nutrition and other income security supports, and $231 billion from education and social service programs.

“Walgreens’ announcement today is another example of how CEOs and wealthy shareholders are the real beneficiaries of the Trump Tax Scam,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Instead of giving workers the $4,000 raise they were promised or lowering the cost of prescription drugs for its customers, Walgreens has followed the path of numerous other corporations that are putting their tax cut windfall in the pockets of rich executives and shareholders instead of job producing investments.”