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Stand with Rep. Ellison: Reward work, not corporate gimmicks

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Petition to Congress:

"Support the Reward Work Act, sponsored in the House by Rep. Keith Ellison and Senate by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, which would slow inequality and raise wages by reining in stock buybacks and giving workers a seat on corporate boards."

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    Stand with Rep. Ellison: Reward work, not corporate gimmicks

    Trump Republicans promised the Trump Tax Scam would eventually trickle down to working people and boost the economy. Instead, corporate executives have used the handouts to funnel money into their own pockets through stock buybacks.1

    Buybacks are financial gimmicks that fuel inequality. Corporations have already declared plans to spend 30 times as much on buybacks – which enrich their executives and shareholders – as they will on rewarding hard-working people, according to one study.2 Big corporations are on track to spend $800 billion buying back shares of their own stock since the Trump Tax Scam became law, which would set new records.3

    It's outrageous, and progressive champion Rep. Keith Ellison is out to stop it. He has a new bill that would reward work by reining in stock buybacks and giving working people more power.4 This is the kind of progressive alternative to Trump's cronyism and corruption that needs as much support as possible.

    Stand with Rep. Ellison: Reward work, not corporate gimmicks.

    Buybacks punish workers and the economy to help the rich get richer. Corporations should return profits to the workers who produced them or invest the money in future economic growth. Instead, companies increasingly buy shares of their own stock. Buybacks increase demand for a company's stock and artificially boost its price. This enriches corporate executives, whose compensation is tied to stock price, and the wealthiest 10 percent in America, who own 84 percent of all stocks.5

    Worse, more and more big corporations are laying off workers and going into debt in order to pay for stock buybacks – hurting families and risking another economic crash in order to pad the pockets of a small group of people. Companies also spend big on donations and lobbying to convince Republicans and corporate Democrats to reward them with legislation like the Trump Tax Scam and use the tax handouts on more stock buybacks. The result is a transfer of wealth from working people to a handful of well-connected and powerful people.6,7

    Rep. Keith Ellison has a better idea: Rewarding work. His bill – the house version of a Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin and co-sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren – would repeal a 1982 Securities and Exchange Commission rule that made stock buybacks easier to accomplish and harder for the public to keep track of. And it would require that one-third of the board of any publicly traded company be made up of representatives of workers, giving working people power at the highest level.8,9

    Stock buybacks are one of the financial gimmicks that help the super-rich get richer at everyone else's expense, and they are at the heart of the lies around the Trump Tax Scam. Every voice speaking out for bills like this shows that progressives have solutions to inequality and helps expose the corrupt, pro-Wall Street Trump agenda.

    Stand with Rep. Ellison: Reward work, not corporate gimmicks.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Justin Miller, "It’s Time to Ban Stock Buybacks," The American Prospect, Feb. 8, 2018.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Rep. Keith Ellison, "Rep. Ellison Introduces Bill to Rein in Stock Buybacks," June 12, 2018.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Matt Egan, "Exclusive: Democrats plan crackdown on booming stock buybacks," CNN Money, March 21, 2018.
    7. Steven Pearlstein, "Beware the ‘mother of all credit bubbles,'" The Washington Post, June 8, 2018.
    8. Rep. Ellison, "Rep. Ellison Introduces Bill to Rein in Stock Buybacks."
    9. Egan, "Exclusive: Democrats plan crackdown on booming stock buybacks."