>>SINCE THE TRUMP TAX CUTS
PASSED WE HAVE BEEN COVERING HOW SOME OF THE BIGGEST
BENEFICIARIES, THESE HUGE CORPORATIONS, ARE USING THE
MONEY. BOTH IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY SAY, THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS
THEY MAKE ABOUT BONUSES AND THE P.R. THEY ARE GETTING FROM ALL
THESE PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY
BEHIND-THE-SCENES WHAT ARE THEY DOING THAT IS NOT GETTING AS
MUCH COVERAGE, THAT THEY ARE TOUTING FOR THE MEDIA TO COVER? TODAY WE HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF THE STARK DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE
TWO THINGS, HAVING TO DO WITH COMCAST. COMCAST ANNOUNCED THEY
WOULD BE GIVING $1000 BONUSES TO 100,000 WORKERS, THEY GOT A LOT
OF GOOD PRESS FOR THAT, AND IF YOU GET THAT MONEY THAT’S
CERTAINLY NICE, BUT DOES IT REALLY HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH
THE TAX CUTS? PERHAPS NOT, WE WILL TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE
OTHER THINGS THEY HAVE GOTTEN UP TO WITH THAT MONEY AND A LOT OF
THIS IS COMING FROM A LOT OF INFOGRAPHICS PRODUCED BY THINK
THINKPROGRESS –>>NOW, IF WE COMPARE THE
ANNOUNCED BONUSES WITH TODAY’S ANNOUNCED STOCK BUYBACK IN
DIVIDENDS –>>THAT MIGHT BE HARD TO
VISUALIZE, SO LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS GRAPHIC, YOU WILL SEE
IT’S BIGGER. IT’S A LOT BIGGER.>>WHOA.>>ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT
BEHIND-THE-SCENES, AND THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE TOLD YOU
BEFORE, THE COMPANY LAID OFF MORE THAN 500 SALES EMPLOYEES AT
THE SAME TIME THEY WERE ANNOUNCING THOSE BONUSES, AND
THEY AREN’T THE ONLY COMPANY. AT&T ALSO TOUTED BONUSES AND
FIRED THOUSANDS AT THE SAME TIME. NOW, WE WILL FOCUS ON
COMCAST IN THIS STORY BUT IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THIS LAST CHART
IT WILL COMPARE ALL OF THE ANNOUNCED BONUSES WE HAVE BEEN
TALKING ABOUT, AND SOME WE HAVEN’T, COMPARED TO THE COST OF
THE ENTIRE TAX CUT PLAN. IT’S DIFFICULT TO SEE IN A GRAPHIC,
BUT IT’S .13% OF THE BENEFIT TO CORPORATIONS SPECIFICALLY COMING
FROM THIS TAX PLAN, AND IS IT GETTING .13% OF THE PRESS? I WOULD ARGUE IT’S GETTING
SLIGHTLY MORE.>>LET’S BREAK ALL THAT DOWN. OVER 99.8% OF THE CUTS ARE GOING TO GO STRAIGHT INTO THE
CORPORATE POCKETS, AND WHEN THEY DO THE BUYBACKS AND DIVIDENDS
YES IT GOES TO SOME SHAREHOLDERS BUT IT ALSO GOES TO EXECUTIVES
WHOSE STOCK PRICES GO UP, THEY HAVE A LOT OF STOCK OPTIONS, SO
THEY WILL MAKE MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. A TINY,
TINY SLIVER OF THAT, AS JOHN POINTED OUT, 0.13%, WILL GO TO
WORKERS. AND THEY ARE BRAGGING, WE ARE GIVING IT TO THE WORKERS. IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY ARE JUST GIVING IT STRAIGHT TO THE
WORKERS. NO, THEY ARE GIVING 99.87% TO THEMSELVES. THIS HAS
LAYERS TO IT. IS A COMPANY ALLOWED TO DO DIVIDENDS AND
STOCK BUYBACKS? OF COURSE, THAT’S THEIR CALL. NOW, DO SOME
EXECUTIVES WANT TO DO THAT BECAUSE IT ARTIFICIALLY DRIVES
UP THE STOCK PRICE? BECAUSE WHEN YOU ARE BUYING BACK SHARES,
BECAUSE OF LAWS OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, YOUR PRICES GO UP — BUT
IT’S NOT BECAUSE YOUR COMPANY GOT ANY BETTER, IT’S NOT THAT
YOU HAD MORE CUSTOMERS OR YOUR BOTTOM LINE WAS BETTER, IT’S
JUST THAT YOUR STOCK PRICE IS HIGHER BECAUSE YOU ARE BUYING
BACK STOCK. IF YOUR STOCK PRICE IS HIGHER AND YOU HAVE AN
EXECUTIVE WITH TONS OF OPTIONS, HE JUST MADE TENS OF MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS BY THINK HE INITIATED BECAUSE OF THE TAX CUTS. AND
THEN THEY DO A CUTE LITTLE TRICK. I BET YOU COULD FIND ONE
EXECUTIVE THAT HAS MADE THAT HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS BY
HIMSELF, THAT THEY DISTRIBUTED TO THE EMPLOYEES. THAN THEY DO
THE CUTE PROPAGANDA OF, OH, WE GAVE IT TO THE WORKERS. THIS WAS
ALL TO CREATE JOBS. THEN THEY CUT JOBS. THAT WE CAN’T ABIDE,
BUT WHEN YOU COST AMERICAN TAXPAYERS $1 TRILLION AND YOU
ARE GOING TO SHIFT THAT BURDEN ONTO THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WHO IS
WORKING HIS ASS OFF, THEN YOU PRETEND IT’S TO CREATE JOBS,
THAT IS THE THING WE CAN’T STAND.>>THERE IS THE STOCK
PURCHASING, THERE IS ALSO THE DIVIDENDS. HYPOTHETICALLY I
COULD BUY THE STOCK, YOU COULD, AND YOU MIGHT MAKE A LITTLE
MONEY OFF OF IT, YOU WON’T MAKE ANYTHING LIKE WHAT THOSE WHO OWN
MILLIONS OR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THIS DOCUMENT, BUT
YOU CAN MAKE A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY HYPOTHETICALLY. BUT WHEN
THEY ARE DOING THIS AS THEIR STRATEGY, THE HUGE PERCENTAGE OF
THE MONEY THEY ARE MAKING WILL GO INTO THAT, IT LETS YOU KNOW
WHAT THEY THINK IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN TO THE COMPANY IN THE
FUTURE. IF THEY THOUGHT GROWTH WAS COMING THEY WOULD INVEST IT
INTO THE COMPANY, HIRE MORE PEOPLE, ALL OF THAT, BUT THEY
AREN’T. THEY ARE ACTING AS IF WE PROBABLY ARE GOING TO DO AS WELL
AS WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE BUT ARTIFICIALLY, AS CENK POINTED
OUT, INCREASE THE PRICE OF OUR STOCK. THEY ARE PUTTING THIS
MONEY INTO HIGHER WAGES, THE BONUSES SOUND GOOD BUT THERE’S A
BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A $1000 BONUS AND A $1000 RAISE. THE
RATES YOU GET EVERY YEAR, SO WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT YEAR WHEN
THE MEDIA IS LESS FOCUSED ON THIS? PROBABLY NOTHING. AND THIS
IS JUST ONE CASE STUDY IN COMCAST, WE HAVE TALKED
PREVIOUSLY ABOUT AT&T AND A NUMBER OF BANKS AS WELL, AND IF
YOU GO OUTSIDE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND BANKING
AND ALL THAT YOU WILL PROBABLY SEE THINGS LIKE THIS IN OTHER
INDUSTRIES. OR WORSE.>>LAST COUPLE OF THINGS, JOHN
MAKES A GREAT POINT — IF THEY TOOK THE MONEY AND INVESTED IT
IN THE ECONOMY AS THEY CLAIMED THEY WERE GOING TO DO, THAT
MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT. I STILL DON’T THINK THE TAX CUTS
WOULD BE WORTH IT BECAUSE OF ALL THE OTHER DAMAGE IT DOES, BUT AT
LEAST THEY WOULD BE PUTTING — CREATING NEW PLANS, MAYBE EVEN
CREATING NEW JOBS. BUT IF YOU TAKE THE MONEY AND ALL YOU DO
WITH IT IS INFLATOR STOCK PRICE, AND BY THE WAY THAT’S WHAT TRUMP
IS BRAGGING ABOUT, THE STOCK MARKET IS DOING GREAT — THIS IS
PART OF WHY IT’S DOING GREAT, THEY ARE BUYING THE STOCK BACK
AND DRIVING UP OTHER PRICES. AND WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU DON’T HELP
THE ECONOMY AT ALL AND IT’S POINTLESS. THAT I GO TO A SECOND
NUMBER, THE ONE JOHN MENTIONED. 56 TIMES MORE IN BUYBACKS AND
DIVIDENDS THAN GIVING OUT BONUSES. THE BONUSES, PEOPLE
WILL ACTUALLY SPEND BECAUSE THEY DON’T MAKE THAT MUCH MONEY, THE
AVERAGE WORKER WILL PROBABLY SPEND THAT $1000 AND RECIRCULATE
IT IN THE ECONOMY WHICH IS GOOD FOR ALL OF US. BUT THE TENS OF
MILLIONS EXECUTIVES AND SHAREHOLDERS ARE MAKING THEY
LIKELY WILL SAVE, WHICH DOESN’T HELP THE ECONOMY. AND IN TERMS
OF THE MEDIA COVERAGE, ALL THE STORIES YOU HEAR, OH MY GOD,
THEY ARE GIVING BONUSES — IMAGINE IF THEY HAD AND 56 TIMES
THAT MUCH COVERAGE ON THE BUYBACKS AND DIVIDENDS. THAT’S
ALL YOU WOULD SEE ON TV.>>BY THE TENS OF MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS THAT EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING, THEY LIKELY WILL SAVE
WHICH DOESN’T HELP THE ECONOMY. THINK ABOUT IT IN TERMS OF THE
MEDIA COVERAGE. IMAGINE IF THEY HAD DONE 56
TIMES THAT COVERAGE ON THE BUYBACKS AND THE DIVIDENDS? THAT’S ALL YOU WOULD SEE ON
TELEVISION. THAT GIVES YOU A SENSE OF HOW
DISPROPORTIONATE IT IS AND WHEN YOU HAVE A DISPROPORTIONATE
COVERAGE IT GIVES A MISLEADING SENSE OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE
COUNTRY AND HELPS THE PEOPLE ATTEMPTING TO DECEIVE YOU. LUCKILY THERE IS A THING CALLED
THE INTERNET WHICH LEADS ME TO MY LAST NUMBER, AT THE END OF ALL THIS PROPAGANDA A COUPLE OF
DAYS BEFORE THEY PASSED IT IT WAS A TERRIBLY UNPOPULAR
PLAN ONLY 24% OF AMERICANS THOUGHT IT WAS
A GOOD IDEA. THAT IS DISASTROUS. NO MATTER HOW MUCH TELEVISION
SET THE JOBS ON THE BONUSES ñ ALL THE MONEY IS GOING TO THE
RICH AND THE POWERFUL EXCEPT FOR THE 25% WHO ARE BASICALLY TRUMP
SHEEP, THE REST OF THE COUNTRY UNDERSTANDS MONEY WAS NEVER
MEANT FOR US.