With the number of companies moving their dividend payments from 2013 to 2012, looks like the taxes that the government expects will come up short in 2013. The taxes the the government will loose in 2013 has got to be close to a billion. Now the companies are looking to do away with the dividends all together for the next 4 years and just do stock buybacks. The tax lose for that has got to be billions of dollars.
special dividends work against the stock price. Its like paying yourself from your share holdings as the price of the stock is ultimeately reduced by paying out this 'special' dividend. What you should wish for are small yearly incremental stock dividend increases. This has a calming effect on the stock price. Nothing to get excited about, yet overall an increased dividend.