Bill Clinton on Corporations
President of the U.S., 1993-2001; Former Democratic Governor (AR)
They want to cut taxes for high-income Americans even more than President Bush did. They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit federal bailouts. They want to actually increase defense spending over a decade $2 trillion more than the Pentagon has requested, without saying what they'll spend it on. And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor children.
I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better: He inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy.
A: The banks have about $2 trillion in cash uncommitted to loans. They could loan, in theory, at conservative ratios of 10 to 1, $20 trillion. Obviously, if that happened, the recession would be over in 15 seconds. 40% of the small businesses said they would expand their operations and hire more people if they could get credit, and they can't get credit. We've got to clean these bank books up. Right now, everybody's frozen. And by far the biggest thing we could do is to have a more aggressive move on the home-mortgage problem.
Q: What else will make banks start spending cash?
A: You've got a lot of cash being held overseas. So what we should do now is say, You bring this money back for free if you can prove you increase net employment. For everybody you increase net employment on, you get that much credit for free. If you want to spend it on whatever you want, pay the long-term capital gains rate, 15%.
The modern world, for all its blessings, is unequal, unstable, and unsustainable.
Over the last twenty-five years, Grameen's success has inspired people all over the world. In the mid-1980s, Hillary and I raised funds to open a microcredit facility to spur development in rural Arkansas, based on the Grameen model. During my 1990s White House years, I secured funds from Congress to support microcredit programs and establish community development banks in the United States, and to provide about two million microcredit loans a year in developing countries.
Today, millions of loans are being made every year by microcredit institutions.
And why not? The boy wonder from Arkansas pushed through the greatest surrender of local, state, and national sovereignty in US history to those corporate-inspired systems of autocratic governance called NAFTA and the WTO. Clinton signed the megacorporate legislations involving the telecommunications and agribusiness industries, ballyhooed phony welfare reform for the poor while creating new models of corporate welfare, and undermined civil liberties in signing 3 criminal bills, all while losing a health insurance package in a Democrat-controlled Congress in 1994.
STATUS: Clinton signed legislation that denies a deduction to any publicly held corporation for compensation exceeding $1 million paid to CEO's or other high-ranking officers. Qualified retirement plan contributions and performance-based awards approved by shareholders are exempt from the cap.
PROMISE: Allow businesses to deduct bonus and severance packages for executives only if other employees are offered similar packages.
STATUS: No action taken
STATUS: As part of its 1993 Economic Plan, the Administration enacted a 50% capital-gains tax exclusion targeted at investments in small businesses. The provision allows investors who buy newly issued stock in small businesses and hold that stock for more than 5 years to receive a 50% cut in the capital-gains tax on the profit from the sale of the stock. The President also supports the Hatch-Lieberman bill, which would allow the profit from long-term investments in small business stock to be excluded from capital-gains tax. The percentage of profit that would be excluded would increase from the current 50% exclusion to a 75% exclusion. And if the profits are reinvested in another qualified small business stock, the tax would be 100% deferred.
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