Search for...
OnTheIssuesLogo

Barack Obama on Corporations

Democratic President (2008); IL Senator (2004)


Now business can write off the full cost of new investments

We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children. That's the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans' paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

But we have to do more. These steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession, but to win the future, we'll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2011 State of the Union speech Jan 26, 2011

Lower corporate tax rate; pay for it by closing loopholes

A parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change.

[Let's] simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years--without adding to our deficit.

Source: 2011 State of the Union speech Jan 25, 2011

OpEd: Bailouts of GM & Wall Street are crony capitalism

Since the financial crisis, government is now picking winners and losers. Through the purchase of large chunks of Chrysler and General Motors, the bailing out of Wall Street banks, and putting union cronies ahead of other creditors in bankruptcies, government is taking over more and more of the role that the free market has traditionally played in America. The problem is that when government is calling the shots, it's politics that matters, not good ideas, hard work, or perseverance.

It's called crony capitalism, and it's something I fought against as governor.

Our reforms helped reduce politicians' ability to play favorites and helped clean up corruption. "Big Oil", including executives and lobbyists of BP, Exxon, Conoco-Phillips, and others, didn't pal around with me, but, then, that was a mutual decision.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p. 84-85 Nov 23, 2010

OpEd: Overturn Court's campaign financing ruling in Congress

Sitting right in front of the president--robed in sober black, hands folded in their laps--were six of the justices, including three who had made it possible (in Obama's words) for American elections to be "bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

Even though Obama had ad-libbed "with all due deference to separation of powers" into his prepared text before unloading on the court, this was big-time head-butting between the Executive and Judicial branches of federal government. Some legal authorities worry about this.

In a way, Obama wasn't speaking directly to the court, but to Congress. The president and boosters of campaign finance law want lawmakers to pass something that can limit campaign contributions by corporations while also passing constitutional muster with the high court.

Source: Christian Science Monitor on 2010 State of the Union Jan 30, 2010

Lend $30B in TARP repayments to small businesses

The true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand & hire more workers.

We should start where most new jobs do--in small businesses, companies that begin when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream, or a worker decides it's time she became her own boss. Through sheer grit and determination, these companies have weathered the recession and they're ready to grow. But even though banks on Wall Street are lending again, they're mostly lending to bigger companies. Financing remains difficult for small business-owners, even those that are making a profit.

So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I'm also proposing a new small business tax credit--one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.

Source: 2010 State of the Union Address Jan 27, 2010

American elections shouldn't be bankrolled by corporations

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests--including foreign corporations--to spend without limit in our elections. I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems
Source: 2010 State of the Union Address Jan 27, 2010

FactCheck: Many steps until companies can bankroll elections

The president claimed that "foreign corporations" could begin spending big money to influence US elections. A recent Supreme Court decision, Obama claimed, would allow "special interests--including foreign corporations--to spend without limit in our elections."

But it's unclear whether the court's opinion in the case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, will lead to allowing foreign-based corporations to buy campaign ads and engage in other electioneering activities. There is still a law barring foreign corporations from spending money in connection with US elections (see 2 USC 441e(b)(3)), and that's a matter likely to be litigated further. The court's most recent decision explicitly didn't deal with that question. But strictly speaking, Obama couched his claim as something "I believe," making it a statement of opinion and not of fact. So whether his view turns out to be right remains to be seen.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2010 State of the Union speech Jan 27, 2010

We both cut taxes; but McCain offers $200B to corporations

McCAIN: I will not stand for a tax increase on small business income. Sen. Obama talks about the very, very rich--but 50% of small business income taxes are paid by small businesses. That’s 16 million jobs in America. The whole premise behind Sen. Obama’s plans are class warfare: spread the wealth around.

OBAMA: Let me tell you what I’m actually going to do. Tax policy is a major difference between Sen. McCain & myself. We both want to cut taxes; the difference is who we want to cut taxes for. The centerpiece of Sen. McCain’s economic proposal is to provide $200 billion in additional tax breaks to some of the wealthiest corporations in America. Exxon Mobil, and other oil companies, for example, would get an additional $4 billion in tax breaks. About small businesses: not only do 98% of small businesses make less than $250,000 [and hence below my tax increase cutoff], but I also want to give them additional tax breaks, because they are the drivers of the economy. They produce the most jobs.

Source: 2008 third presidential debate against John McCain Oct 15, 2008

No capital gains tax on earnings under $250K

OBAMA: I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. If you make less than a quarter million dollars a year, then you will not see your income tax go up, your capital gains tax go up, your payroll tax. Not one dime. In fact, independen studies have looked at our respective plans and have concluded that I provide three times the amount of tax relief to middle-class families than Sen. McCain does.

McCAIN: Sen. Obama was in Ohio and he had an encounter with a plumber, his name is Joe. Joe wants to buy the business, but he looked at your tax plan and saw he was going to pay higher taxes, which was going to cause him not to be able to employ people. Joe, I’ll not only help you buy that business you worked your whole life for, I’ll keep your taxes low. I will not stand for a tax increase on small business. And what you want to do to Joe and millions like him is have their taxes increased and not be able to realize the American dream of owning their own business.

Source: 2008 third presidential debate against John McCain Oct 15, 2008

We need Wall Street responsibility BEFORE financial crises

Q: Are you going to vote for the Senate bailout plan?

McCAIN: Sure. But there’s also the issue of responsibility. I’ve been heavily criticized because I called for the resignation of the chairman of the SEC. We’ve got to start also holding people accountable, and we’ve got to reward people who succeed.

OBAMA: McCain’s absolutely right that we need more responsibility, but we need it not just when there is a crisis. We’ve had years in which the reigning economic ideology has been what’s good for Wall Street but not what’s good for Main Street. There are folks out there who have been struggling before this crisis took place. And that’s why it’s so important we look at some of the underlying issues that have led to wages and incomes for ordinary Americans to go down, a health care system that is broken, energy policies that are not working. Unless we are holding ourselves accountable day-in, day-out, not just when there’s a crisis for folks who have power and influence and can hire lobbyists.

Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain Sep 26, 2008

High corporate tax rate is offset by numerous loopholes

McCAIN: Right now the US business pays the second highest business taxes in the world, 35%. Ireland pays 11%. If you’re a businessperson and you can locate anyplace in the world, then obviously if you go to the country where it’s 11% tax versus 35%, you’re going to be able to create jobs, increase your business, make more investment, etc. I want to cut that business tax. I want to cut it so that businesses will remain in the US and create jobs.

OBAMA: Here’s what I can tell the American people: 95% of you will get a tax cut. If you make less than $250,000--less than a quarter-million dollars a year--then you will not see one dime’s worth of tax increase. McCain mentioned that business taxes on paper are high in this country, but there are so many loopholes that have been written into the tax code, oftentimes with support of McCain, that we actually see our businesses pay effectively one of the lowest tax rates in the world.

Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain Sep 26, 2008

We still need corporate ethics & vigilant government

When CEOs are making more in ten minutes than the average worker earns in a year, and millions of families lose their homes due to unscrupulous lending, checked neither by a sense of corporate ethics or a vigilant government; when the dream of entering the middle class and staying there is fading for young people in our community, we have more work to do.
Source: McCain-Obama speeches at 99th NAACP Convention Jul 12, 2008

Enforce against insider trading & market manipulation

We have allowed our markets to become extremely unregulated. Obama, a lawyer, understands that regulation is the cornerstone of economic justice. Not stifling bureaucratic regulation, but enough regulation to ensure everybody is playing the game by the same rules.

In financial markets, Obama believes this means enforcing the laws that prohibit the trading of securities based on insider information.

A just financial system has to enforce laws to prevent insider trading. Similarly, Obama believes there is no place in a just financial system for market manipulation. In a speech in New York, he said, "We must remain vigilant and crack down on trading activity that crosses the line into market manipulation. Reports have circulated in recent days that some traders may have intentionally spread rumors that Bear Stearns was in financial distress while making market bets against the company. The SEC should investigate & punish this kind of market manipulation."

Source: Obamanomics, by John R. Talbott, p. 40-41 Jul 1, 2008

Regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are

In his Cooper Union speech, Obama discussed regulatory changes he would recommend to better regulate Wall Street:
  1. If you can borrow from the government, you should be subject to government oversight and supervisions.
  2. Capital requirements should be strengthened, particularly for complex financial instruments like some of the mortgage securities that led to our current crisis.
  3. We need to streamline a framework for overlapping & competing regulatory agencies.
  4. We need to regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are. Over the last few years, commercial banks and thrift institutions were subject to guidelines on subprime mortgages that did not apply to mortgage brokers and companies. It makes no sense.
  5. We must remain vigilant and crack down on trading activity that crosses the line to market manipulation.
  6. Finally, the American people must be able to trust that their government is looking out for all of us--not just those who donate to political campaigns.
Source: Obamanomics, by John R. Talbott, p. 87-88 Jul 1, 2008

Cap the farm subsidies for Fortune 500 companies

We’ve got folks in Manhattan and Fortune 500 companies who are getting farm subsidies, while family farms are getting squeezed out. This is something you hear about all across rural Iowa. I would cap those subsidies. We have to have a structure that are provides protection for farmers if a drought or collapse in market prices, but we have to take that money that is saved, invest in conservation, invest in organic and alternative crops, invest in nutrition programs. Through that process we cannot only save the land, but we can also improve the economic engines in a lot of these rural communities, and that is something that I’m absolutely committed to doing as president, but it’s going to require overcoming the excess influence of agribusiness lobbying There were elements of the [Senate farm bill] to replace traditional subsidies for certain crops and shift the money to conservation and nutrition and biofuels programs that did not make the changes I would have, so I would have voted against it.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic Debate Dec 13, 2007

End tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas

Obama believes that companies should not get billions of dollars in tax deductions for moving overseas. Obama will fight to ensure that public contracts are awarded to companies committed to American workers.

In today’s economy, American workers have to compete against high-skilled workers across the globe. Obama will make long-term investments in education, training, & workforce development so that Americans can leverage our strengths--our ingenuity & entrepreneurialism--to create new high-wage jobs

Source: Campaign website, BarackObama.com, “Resource Flyers” Aug 26, 2007

Hold corporations responsible for pensions & work conditions

Source: Campaign website, BarackObama.com, “Resource Flyers” Aug 26, 2007

Tax incentives for corporate responsibility

    Obama’s “REAL USA” Corporations Plan (Responsible, Accountable, Loyal USA Corporations) will reward companies that create quality jobs in America with tax incentives. Companies will be required to:
  1. locate in the United States 90% of its production and employment for the sales of goods and services that are consumed here;
  2. invest at least 50% of its R&D budget here in the U.S;
  3. make sure their workers have access to affordable health care by providing a standardized and portable health insurance plan and pay at least 70% of the cost;
  4. make sure their workers have retirement security by contributing at least 5% of payroll to a portable, multi-employer pension fund and operating a profit-sharing plan for all full time employees; and
  5. limit management compensation to 50 times the lowest-paid full-time worker.
Source: Campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com Jun 25, 2004

Close tax loopholes for US companies relocating abroad

Obama will change the tax code by closing loopholes that give companies incentives to move jobs abroad, including denying tax benefits to former American companies that reincorporate offshore to avoid paying taxes.
Source: Campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com Jun 25, 2004

REAL USA Plan: Reward companies that create domestic jobs

Obama’s “REAL USA” Corporations Plan (Responsible, Accountable, Loyal USA Corporations) will reward companies that create quality jobs in America with tax incentives. Companies will be required to:
  1. locate in the United States 90% of its production and employment for the sales of goods and services that are consumed here;
  2. invest at least 50% of its R&D budget here in the U.S;
  3. make sure their workers have access to affordable health care by providing a standardized and portable health insurance plan and pay at least 70% of the cost;
  4. make sure their workers have retirement security by contributing at least 5% of payroll to a portable, multi-employer pension fund and operating a profit-sharing plan for all full time employees; and
  5. limit management compensation to 50 times the lowest-paid full-time worker.
Source: Press Release, “Creating Jobs in America” Jun 21, 2004

Voted YES on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore.

Amendment to repeal the tax subsidy for certain domestic companies which move manufacturing operations and American jobs offshore.
Reference: Tax Subsidy for Domestic Companies Amendment; Bill S AMDT 210 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-63 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted NO on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions.

Amends Federal bankruptcy law to revamp guidelines governing dismissal or conversion of a Chapter 7 liquidation (complete relief in bankruptcy) to one under either Chapter 11 (Reorganization) or Chapter 13 (Adjustment of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income). Voting YES would:
Reference: Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005; Bill S 256 ; vote number 2005-44 on Mar 10, 2005

Prevent money laundering by disclosing corporate owners.

Obama co-sponsored preventing money laundering by disclosing corporate owners

A bill to ensure that persons who form corporations in the United States disclose the beneficial owners of those corporations, in order to prevent wrongdoers from exploiting United States corporations for criminal gain, to assist law enforcement in detecting, preventing, and punishing terrorism, money laundering, and other misconduct involving United States corporations, and for other purposes.

Source: S.2956 2008-S2956 on May 1, 2008

Other candidates on Corporations: Barack Obama on other issues:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
HHS:Tom Daschle
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOC:Judd Gregg
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DOC:Bill Richardson
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
Treas.:Tim Geithner

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.George W. Bush
V.P.Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.Bill Clinton
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Jul 23, 2011