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Man walks by the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Trump has touted that the recent tax code overhaul would prompt companies to use extra funds to hike up their employees’ paychecks. While some companies have announced plans like this, others are using much of the extra cash to invest in their own companies by buying back shares, NYT’s Matt Phillips reports.

Why it matters: That’s an investment back into the companies which will likely enhance their stock prices, but it is “most likely to worsen economic inequality because the benefits of stocks purchases flow disproportionately to the richest Americans,” Phillips writes. The bottom line is what companies do with their extra wiggle room will determine how successful the tax code overhaul is for Republicans.

  • The White House knows buybacks are more popular than wage investments now. “Right now we’re going to have an adjustment where you see probably more dividends and share buybacks than wage increases,” the head of White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, Keven Hassett said last week.

But, but, but:

  • Buybacks are a boon for the stock market. The fact that buybacks were coming down the pipeline helped the stock market recover from some its losses earlier this month, Phillips says.
  • The causality for the buybacks isn’t necessarily about the tax code overhaul. Some economists believe the recent uptick in buybacks is due to a decline in capital investments.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

"Assassin's Creed," but for schools

"Viking Age: Discovery Tour." Image via Ubisoft

For the third time since 2018, Ubisoft is releasing a nonviolent version of its latest “Assassin’s Creed” game as part of a unique effort to turn one of the medium’s most popular series into an educational tool.

Driving the news:Viking Age: Discovery Tour” transforms last year’s “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” from a bloody 150-hour game about Viking conquest in 9th century England into a peaceful four-hour game about merchants and monks.

School enrollment fell by almost 3 million from 2019 to 2020

Kindergarten student Natalia Bayoumi holds the hand of her father Amir Bayoumi as he walks to the front door of Normont Elementary School in Harbor City, CA. Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of individuals enrolled in the U.S. education system dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, according to new data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: This marks the lowest level of school enrollment for those under 35 years-old in over 20 years, per the Census Bureau.