WASHINGTON, April 1 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, announced Friday that the committee will hold a hearing Tuesday, April 5, at 11 a.m. titled “Corporate Profits are Soaring as Prices Rise: Are Corporate Greed and Profiteering Fueling Inflation?”
Tuesday’s hearing comes as working families across the country are increasingly bearing the brunt of growing economic pain and inequality. Across every major industry, prices continue to rise – this includes a 38 percent increase in the price of gasoline, a 44 percent increase in the price of heating oil, a 41 percent increase in the price of a used car, a 24 percent in the price of rental cars, and a 17 percent increase in the price of furniture. Further, Tyson Foods recently increased beef prices by 32 percent, the price of chicken by 20 percent and the price of pork by 13 percent. As prices increase, corporate profits hit a record high of nearly $3 trillion in 2021, up 25 percent in a single year.
This level of corporate greed has only widened the gap between the top one percent and the working class. In 2020, CEOs of the top firms in the U.S., on average, made nearly 350 times more than the median worker. As corporations increase costs for working families, many are rewarding their shareholders with stock buybacks and their CEOs with massive compensation packages. In 2021, S&P 500 firms spent nearly $900 billion on stock buybacks. Corporate executives have bragged to shareholders about increasing prices to make themselves obscenely richer.
“Let me be clear,” said Sanders. “The American people are sick and tired of corporate greed. They are sick and tired of being ripped-off by corporations making record-breaking profits. They are sick and tired of being forced to pay outrageously high prices for gas, rent and food while large corporations make out like bandits. We cannot continue to allow large, profitable corporations to use the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the specter of inflation to make outrageous profits by price gouging Americans in every sector of our economy. It’s time we discuss how corporate greed and profiteering are fueling inflation.”
Testifying at the hearing will be Robert Reich, Lindsay Owens, and Michael Faulkender.
What: Hearing of the Committee on the Budget to consider “Corporate Profits are Soaring as Prices Rise: Are Corporate Greed and Profiteering Fueling Inflation?”
When: Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 11:00 a.m. ET
Where: Room SD-608. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the Budget Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.
The Honorable Robert B. Reich, Carmel P. Friesen’s Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkley
Ms. Lindsay Owens, Ph.D., Executive Director, Groundwork Collaborative
The Honorable Michael Faulkender, Ph.D., Dean’s Professor Of Finance, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland