Friday, January 8, 2010

Worst Year on Record for Dividend Income from U.S. Stock Market

2009 was the worst year for dividends, according to Yahoo Finance.
The number of companies with dividend increases fell by 36% to 1191.
The numberof companies slashing dividends rose by 631% to 804 issues.

Of course, lower dividend payouts also mean that dividend tax income to federal and state governments will fall (or at least lag the growth in government, especially salary increases and rising prices).

And this is even before the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Allowing these tax cuts to expire will only cause companies to be more reluctant to pay higher dividends, preferring to hoard cash. This is rational since it preserves capital (for operations, acquisitions, or debt service) and defers taxes until gains are realized. Allowing these tax cuts to expire will only harm retirees, pension funds, and insurance funds -- requiring higher insurance premiums and higher contributions to pension funds. Once again, bigger government most harms those whom it fraudulently claims to protect.

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