WASHINGTON, D.C. – As reported by Axios, “The latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis […] showed that total corporate profits in the third quarter grew 3.3% to an annualized rate of $3.28 trillion […] just shy of the all-time peak of $3.3 trillion reached in Q3 2022.” As government watchdog Accountable.US has documented, these near-record corporate profits come amid clearly unwarranted price hikes on everyday consumers across numerous industries, including pharmaceutical companies, corporate landlords, big food, big oil, as well as retail and utility giants.  

In just one glaring example of corporate greed needlessly raising costs on Americans, Walmart—the largest U.S. grocery chain controlling over 25% of the market— hiked prices on its “Great Value” food brands while seeing its net income climb by over 93.2% to over $10.5 billion in the nine months ending October 31, 2023, as it rewarded its shareholders with over $5.9 billion through a combination of share buybacks and cash dividends

Meanwhile, highly profitable industries ranging from airlines, auto dealers, banks, credit card companies, cable giants, property owners and ticket sellers are socking Americans with excessive, often-hidden junk fees that collectively total $64 billion every year. It is why the Biden administration has launched several efforts to lower costs for American families by ending junk fees and pressuring corporations to stop the price-gouging – which has faced stiff resistance from industry lobbyists and numerous Congressional Republicans in their pocket. Efforts that include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule limiting most credit card late fees to $8 down from as much as $41, which Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) noted in a hearing today would bring down costs for consumers by billions every year.

Near record corporate profits shows that industry price-gouging and hidden junk fees are based on greed, not need. But too many Republicans in Congress give their industry CEO and lobbyist donors a free pass to nickel and dime struggling families. If these lawmakers truly cared about lowering costs for working Americans, they would support – not obstruct -- Biden administration efforts to tackle corporate price-gouging and junk fees. Lawmakers who side with corporations over consumers only embolden CEOs to find new ways to fleece working people to pad profits.”

Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick.
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