It would be nice if I had evidence to counter this argument with more than Words, but I am sadly not doing research at this point. It is true that companies are hoarding much Cash, whether it equals $1.8 trillion cannot be proven by myself. David Leonhardt continues the tradition of treating Corporations with kid gloves. He wants further persecution of Labor, free Trade, remove Risk for Corporate decisions, higher Tax giveaways to Corporations, and suppression of any profitability in labor Savings by elimination of equitable long-term Interest rates. I do not think this is an Answer to anything, as Corporations are hoarding Cash simply because they spot no sincere Consumer Demand out there for a higher level of Product.
The supposition must be that Corporations have become a sinkhole where funds go in, but nothing comes out.
I think there is a Solution to this environment, though Congress is not likely to impose it. My suggestion would be tax law insisting that Corporate funds cannot be held over 3 years without becoming re-taxable at Corporate Income rates. This, combined with a limitation on bonus awards–something like 25% of the total Profits in the first year, with no down-the-road non-taxed award system–would insist that such funds would be distributed to Stockholders on a timely basis, or absorbed as Taxes at a high percentage rate where exemptions are difficult to defend. This lets Corporations understand that they spend it, or have backup Spenders to spend it for them.
The entire purpose of the legislation simply precludes a Tax system which encourages Corporate executive malfeasance in organizing slush funds which they eventually intend to spend themselves. It is not the responsibility of Congress to guarantee the lifestyle of any private citizens, though they do have a responsibility as an Employer. Why should Thousands of citizens be allowed immense Income, while Millions are denied Contractual Rights? Congress has made a Wrong Turn when they seek to penalize the Poor for simply providing the services demanded by the Affluent. I would suggest a law insisting that Government employees be laid-off when and if their Contractual Wages and Benefits cannot be met; the Government responsible for Unemployment Benefits for these Workers until Government can meet its contractual obligations to themselves. It makes much more sense to tax the Wealthy rather than the Poor, with many more tax revenues available. This is your sorta un-reconstructed Socialist. lgl