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In one of the more economically ignorant moves of recent times, Senator Tammi Baldwin has come out swinging against corporate stock buybacks. She feels that she has a right to tell the companies how to use their cash. She wants them to reinvest it in the company and share it with workers. I wonder how she feels about companies that pay dividends? In any case, I imagine her legislation has zero chance of passing.

Washington Free Beacon
By Harris Alec
Aug 9, 2018

Baldwin Slams Corporations for Stock Buybacks, Continues to Take Their Money
Accepted over $86,000 from corporations that used profits to reacquire their own stock

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.) has accepted over $86,000 from corporations that have used profits to reacquire portions of their own stock—the practice was denounced by Baldwin as "wrong" and a driving force behind "wealth inequality."

Since the passage of President Donald Trump's tax cut package in December, which Baldwin opposed, the senator has seized on the issue of stock buybacks, an alternative form of returning money to shareholders, arguing that savings made available by the cuts should be invested back into the company and shared with workers.

In March, Baldwin sponsored an amendment with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) to significantly "rein in" stock buybacks. The amendment would expand the powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission by allowing the agency the discretion to reject a company's attempts to repurchase its stock if a determination is made that such an action would "hurt workers." The amendment would require the SEC to "certify" that a buyback is in the company's "best long-term interest."

In a statement released to accompany the amendment's introduction, Baldwin lambasted the "poor" decision making that results in buybacks as a driving force of "wealth inequality and wage stagnation."

"It’s clear to me that the poor management decisions made by self-interested executives who are seeking short-term profits are driving wealth inequality and wage stagnation in our country," the senator said. "This amendment requires the SEC to do what I have been asking for years—provide stronger oversight of corporate stock buybacks."

Baldwin's opposition to buybacks has led her to sponsor legislation, alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), to ban "all open-market" stock repurchases outright. The legislation, if enacted, would prohibit companies from reacquiring shares through the stock market. Baldwin's legislation would also mandate one-third of a corporation's board of directors to be directly elected by the company's employees.

In explaining her reasoning for the bill, Baldwin expressed it was "wrong" for corporations to use savings afforded by the president's tax cuts for stock buybacks. The senator elaborated that banning "all open-market" repurchases out-and-out would prevent corporations from "hurting long-term economic growth."

"Corporate profits should be shared with the workers who actually create value. It’s just wrong for big corporations to pocket massive, permanent tax breaks and reward the wealth of top executives with more stock buybacks, while closing facilities and laying off workers," Baldwin said. "The surge in corporate buybacks is driving wealth inequality and wage stagnation in our country by hurting long-term economic growth and shared prosperity for workers."

Baldwin's strong stance against stock repurchasing has not prevented the senator from taking campaign donations from companies engaging in the practice as she faces a tough reelection battle this year.

Financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Elections Commission indicate Baldwin's campaign has accepted over $86,000 from at least 28 companies that have taken part in buybacks.

One of those companies, the consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, donated $2,500 to Baldwin's campaign only three days before the senator introduced her "open-market" ban on buybacks. In 2017, Procter & Gamble announced it would initiate "significant value return to shareholders" by reacquiring $22 billion of its stock. As Baldwin's campaign disclosures note, the senator has accepted $5,000 from the company's PAC for her reelection bid.

Another contributor, General Motors Company PAC, donated heavily to Baldwin only months after unveiling its own buyback plan. In January 2017, the GM board of directors disclosed they would repurchase $5 billion of the company's stock. After declaring its intention, the corporation's PAC made two donations, one in June and another in September totaling $2,500 each, to Baldwin.

GM PAC donated a further $5,000 to her campaign in January 2018, not long after it was reported the company would see large savings because of the very tax cuts Baldwin opposed. Overall, GM PAC has donated $10,000 to bolster Baldwin's reelection bid, according to FEC disclosures.

It is unclear if Baldwin has plans to return any contributions from the 28 companies in question or if the senator will refuse such donations in the future. Baldwin's campaign did not return requests for comment on this story.

Baldwin has not followed the lead of her fellow Democrats, including senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, in disavowing corporate PAC contributions for her campaign.
Posts: 5292 | Location: FL | Registered: March 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good lord what a dipshit. These morons really do think Atlas Shrugged is a roadmap and not a warning.
Posts: 11656 | Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA | Registered: October 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just another nitwit leftist who doesn't know enough to simply shut up rather than look foolish.

Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
Posts: 27876 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I believe in the
principle of
Due Process
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Maybe somebody ought to send her a memo explaining that if a corporation were to buy all of its own shares, the buying would drive the price up, and the corporation would get rich without having to pay taxes.

Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
Posts: 48369 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Main Thing Is
Not To Get Excited
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At first I thought she had no idea what she was talking about but I looked her up on a Wiki profile. Now I understand that she is:
*the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin.
*She is the first openly gay person elected to the House of Representatives
*She is the first open lesbian elected to Congress.

She's also a lawyer, so with that kind of street cred we ought to listen to her when she is discussing, things like private ownership, corporate finance and corporate governance.

I'm a little surprised that she wants to require corporate boards to have a mandated number of directors elected by employees. Why doesn't she just cut out the middleman and have the DNC decide what companies should do and save the director compensation and use it for the homeless in Seattle. I mean, c'mon, think about the children.


Posts: 5541 | Location: Washington | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used to think that she wasn't a total idiot.

I was wrong.
Posts: 922 | Location: WI | Registered: July 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Be stupid, say stupid things, and get your name back in the news.
Scary and amazing how some people think, well more accurately don't think!

Posts: 999 | Location: Southern Black Hills | Registered: September 14, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’m not at all excited about companies piling up debt to buy back stock, but I tend to believe in free markets. I think it is up to investors to actually study the companies they buy and make their own decisions. Putting bumpers on the stock market is more likely to limit the upside than the downside.

I tend to view the ACA (Obummercare) as clear evidence that the government is fully capable of screwing up anything it touches...
Posts: 3895 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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