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Howard Dean on Corporations

Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President


AdWatch: “Hold corporations accountable”-but gave incentives

AD VIDEO: Dean, dressed business-like, speaks slowly & softly, rather than with passionate populism.

AD AUDIO: Energy companies gouging consumers. Accounting firms cooking the books. They get away with it because they have too much power in Washington. Hard work and the free market made America great. But that doesn’t excuse business from its responsibility. It’s time to hold corporations accountable. To protect workers’ pensions and investors who depend on honest accounting. And it’s time Washington worked for people.

ANALYSIS: Dean has proposed stricter disclosure requirements for corporations and closing tax loopholes. The use the headline “Enron Auditor Admits Crime” reflects Dean’s constant attacks on Enron as a symbol of corporate greed. But opponents have hammered him for offering tax incentives to lure corporate business to Vermont while he was governor-a program that benefited Enron, although Dean has said it was not tailored to the now-bankrupt energy company.

Source: Ad-Watch of N.H. market, Washington Post, p. A04 , Jan 12, 2004

Regulation of finance companies is the right track

Q: Do you agree with the idea of cracking down on the credit card companies?

A: I do. I don’t know there’s a lot I could do to improve it, except to say this: that in corporate America today, Bush has turned a blind eye to morality. We have lost our moral compass in this country because what business is doing to ordinary people in America. Bush has run this country for the benefit of corporations. Regulation of those finance companies that you’re talking about is exactly the right track.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum , Jan 11, 2004

Government of, by, and for the special interests

Another reason our democracy is having a difficult time right now is because of the influence of money in our political process. People watch the process from afar, and they see the special tax breaks & loopholes that special interests are able to obtain

Our founders feared that economic power would one day seize political power. Frankly, that fear has been realized with the Bush administration. The largest corporations and wealthiest individuals benefit from tax cuts that are bankrupting the states. They reward the largest political contributors at the expense of today’s middle class, whose property taxes are skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, the oil companies write our energy policy, big pharmaceutical companies draft Medicare reform; and Halliburton is awarded no-bid contracts in Iraq. It is a government of, by, and for the special interests. The only way the American people are included in the process is that we are left to pay the hills.

Source: Winning Back America, by Howard Dean, p.123-4 , Dec 3, 2003

Corporate America is insensitive to plight of middle class

GEPHARDT [to Dean]: I’m glad Grasso resigned from the New York Stock Exchange . We have a crisis of confidence in this country because we see every day excesses of people that have more money than people can imagine wanting more money. Greed & selfishness can kill this great democracy and ruin capitalism. We need to have governance to make capitalism work for everybody.

DEAN: While what Gephardt did was legal, it was really inappropriate. And it’s a symptom of a larger problem with corporate America. There’s an incredible insensitivity at the highest levels of corporate governance in terms of the plight of the middle class. Middle-class people are really struggling in this country. Corporate America has lost touch with the average Americans’ concern in this country. And until they get that touch back, we’re going to have this big divide and need for supervision of issues like salary and pension reform.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan , Sep 25, 2003

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Corporations.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Howard Dean.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Howard Dean.
Other candidates on Corporations: Howard Dean on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Families/Children
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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014