The most important aspect of special dividends is that they are symptomatic of a sea-change in companies' outlook for the future of American Investment Capital... it's formation, and it's deployment.
Simply put, President Obama has been threatening for years to punish capitalism with high taxes on those who provide and deploy investment capital into the U.S. The special dividends are simply a final, low-tax distribution to shareholders before the dark ages of U.S. investment sets in...
... probably accompanied by low growth, high un-employment, and minimal capital investment that is so characteristic of the countries that have followed the path of socialism and wealth re-distribution before us.
We saw just the opposite in 1997, as Bill Clinton worked with the new, GOP dominated congress to lower capital gains taxes and unleash a torrent of tax revenues that grew the economy, minimized unemployment and balanced the budget. Obama's anti-capitalism crusade of punishing the sources of those same revenue streams should be expected to produce the exact opposite result.
As for the special dividends themselves, under better presidential leadership, the companies paying these dividends might be expected to RETAIN those earnings and invest them into new american industry and more american jobs. I would contend that it isn't just getting under the wire on the 15% dividend tax that's driving the torrent of special dividends... but also the fact that many american companies simply don't see growth opportunities in the U.S. over the next 4 years, so they may as well return the money to shareholders to ship offshore or dive into bonds and gold.
Socialism is a harsh lesson for countries to learn about in this way... but few american citizens truly understand what they're doing when a 20-something votes for Obama because he saw him on TV with Justin Bieber...
... Mr. Obama was highly reliant on such voters to NOT have an understanding of what his main supporters... Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro... had done to their countries before Mr. Obama set his sites on doing likewise to ours.
restoring sanity to the tax code during times of extreme deficits is NOT punishing capitalism, but perhaps rescuing it. You clowns scream about deficits and how they demean the value of the dollar,
and so now the president steps up and asks the very richest to pay their fair share, and he's branded a socialist. Laughable. The election is OVER, the majority has spoken, and fortunately, the sane have prevailed
Investment capital is stampeding offshore and into gold and treasuries at an unprecedented rate of speed. Capital Investment in the U.S. is currently at a 50-year low this year and the labor-participation rate hit an all-time low in September.
These are ALL symptoms of insipient socialism, wealth re-distribution, and a President bent on punishing success and investment capital until it picks up and LEAVES.
EVERY TIME a country has done this over the past 75 years, it's citizens have virtually ALL been worse off for it in the 1 or 2 decades that followed. EVERY SINGLE TIME!! We used to think this kind of socialist push could never happen in America...
... yet here we are... implementing our grandparents' worst nightmare.