John Kerry on Corporations
Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President
KERRY: That’s just not true. The Wall Street Journal said 96% of small businesses are not affected at all by my plan. And you know why he gets that count? The president got $84 from a timber company that[he partly] owns, and he’s counted as a small business. Dick Cheney’s counted as a small business. That’s how they do things. That’s just not right.
BUSH: I own a timber company? That’s news to me. Need some wood? Most small businesses are Subchapter S corps. 70% of the new jobs in America are created by small businesses. Taxes are going up when you run up the top two brackets. It’s a fact.
A: I will be a president who’s on the side of workers in this country to provide the American worker with a fair playing field, to provide the American worker with a fair shot to be able to compete. Because that’s not what they have today. We need a president who’s going to fight for trade that’s fair. We need a president who’s going to close the loopholes of these corporations that have a reward to take the jobs overseas.
Our economic system relies on the safeguards to ensure transparency, arms-length transactions, and the effectiveness of watchdogs. It’s all too easy for criminals to infiltrate the informal networks that link the business world to the political world.
And these offshore tax havens rob us of more than tax dollars, for they are where renegade corporations flee from all responsibility to shareholders, employees, rules of fair play, and their own country. It’s no accident that Enron had over 800 subsidiaries in countries with no taxes on income, profits, or capital gains. These included 692 in the Cayman Islands alone.
Taking on these abuses does not mean launching an attack on legitimate overseas operations of American businesses. I believe in opening new markets, and I want American companies to compete and win everywhere they can. But brass-plate addresses with nothing behind the door but a fax machine are not legitimate enterprises.
KERRY: We need to democratize the process. Clearly, boards of directors need to be represented better with respect to shareholders. There are many things we can do. The reason to be concerned about it is not as a matter of targeting CEOs or being angry at business. It’s because it’s a matter of fundamental fairness of how we hold ourselves together as a country.
It goes to the core of how Americans ought to have a relationship between worker and those they work for. And that workplace has been abused. When you have misconduct in the boardroom, it’s as bad as a mugging in the streets, except that in many ways it’s broader because more people are hurt. And many Americans are feeling mugged by what is happening in this country today, the fundamental unfairness.
Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.
Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is North America's Neighborhood Union--1.3 million members with UFCW locals in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our members work in supermarkets, drug stores, retail stores, meatpacking and meat processing plants, food processing plants, and manufacturing workers who make everything from fertilizer to shoes. We number over 60,000 strong with 25,000 workers in chemical production and 20,000 who work in garment and textile industries.
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