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Ron Paul on Corporations

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President


Auto bailout was bad because all bailouts are bad

Q: Gov. Rick Snyder (R, MI) says, "The bailout actually was something that really worked." Is that Republican governor wrong?

PAUL: First, I don't like the idea that you have good bailouts and bad bailouts. If bailouts are bad, they're bad, and we shouldn't be doing it. But this argument about maybe one that works, you know, the bailing out of GM worked, that's sort of like if a criminal goes out and robs a bank, and he's successful, therefore you endorse what he did, because he's successful. The government is supposed to protect contracts. They're not supposed to regulate contracts and they're not supposed to undermine contracts. And that's what we've been doing. A lot of people will accuse me of advocating a free market, that there's no regulations. Actually, the regulations are tougher, because you have to go through bankruptcy. And it isn't like General Motors would be destroyed. There were good parts of General Motors. But politicians can't figure this out.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

Inflated currency benefits some industry's CEO salaries

The seekers of bailouts condemn their opponents as stubborn and selfish ideologues. Of course, when those wanting the taxpayers' bailouts were making profits, they were quite content to support the principle that the profits were theirs to keep as part of free-market philosophy.

It's not a question of being an ideologue. The ideologue label is used to make the morally principled ideology look confrontational and uncaring. This then makes it seem like the immoral philosophy, based on government force, is morally superior. It's always couched in terms of caring for the underdog & not as a bailout of those who have unfairly been benefiting from an economic system artificially stimulated by an inflated currency that benefited certain industries' CEO salaries and workers' wages and benefits.

Very simply, there can't be a more immoral system of money than one based on a banking monopoly that can counterfeit money in secret. The moral argument against the Fed should be enough to dispense with it posthaste.

Source: End the Fed, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.155-156 , Sep 29, 2010

Auto company nationalization is fascism

The failure of the economy and the loss of the moral foundation have now set the stage for nationalization. Do the auto executives come to Washington to demand freedom? Do they demand a sound currency that would rectify the international trade imbalances?

No, they come to Washington to demand that innocent Americans bail them out & protect a system that deserves no protection. They beg to be taken over, nationalized, to obey a car czar and sacrifice every bit of self-respect that they might retain.

There's a lot of blame to go around for bringing us to this point: the Fed, the Congress, the courts. But the most abhorrent is the failure of the giants of industry to defend free markets. They are willing to be junior partners with government. Fascism is not on their mind.

I call it "nationalism without a whimper," and the corporate business community is begging for it. The nationalization of industry, while retaining private ownership in name only, is just another word for fascism.

Source: End the Fed, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.160-161 , Sep 29, 2010

Obama is a corporatist, not a socialist

Lately many have characterized this administration as socialist. I differ with this characterization. This is not to say Obama believes in free-markets by any means. But a closer, honest examination of his policies reveals that, much like the previous administration, he is very much a corporatist. This in many ways can be more insidious and worse than being an outright socialist.

For example, large insurance and pharmaceutical companies were enthusiastic supporters of many provisions of ObamaCare because they knew in the end their bottom lines would be enriched.

Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are in fact controlled by the government. In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design polices that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers.

Source: Ron Paul on LewRockwell.com, "Socialism vs. Corporatism" , Apr 27, 2010

Typical lobbyists champion corporatism over free markets

If one asked the average American to describe how big business affects policy battles occurring in Washington, DC, he would probably say that the business community funds armies of well-heeled lobbyists who regularly descend on the Capitol to thwart the "progressive" agenda. This is, after all, the popular perception of the political position of the business community. It is also mistaken.

In reality, the typical corporate lobbyist opposes free markets and champions CORPORATISM--an economic system where the government intervenes in the economy for the benefit of certain politically connected business interests. These lobbyists often claim their client's cause is an exception to their staunch free-market principles. My staff refers to these lobbyists as "libertarians, buts" because they often begin their pitch to us with, "I'm a libertarian, but in this case government intervention is necessary because."

Source: Obamanomics, by Tim Carney; foreword by Ron Paul, p. ix-x , Nov 30, 2009

The Fed acts as everyday corporate welfare

The everyday operations of the Fed act as corporate welfare. But because banks and the biggest businesses receive this money first, they get to spend it before the market has reacted to the inflation. The end effect is that Wall Street's dollars are worth more than Main Street's dollars.

The Fed was the key driver behind the housing bubble, which was the key instigator of the 2008meltdown. But it operates largely in secret. Congressman Ron Paul has proposed a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and he has also called for killing the Fed. Friends of the free market should have no love for his disruptive, unaccountable entity.

Source: Obamanomics, by Timothy P. Carney, p.238 , Nov 30, 2009

Big business demand for easy money causes inflation

If we expect to reverse the destruction of our economy, we must try to understand the motives of those who promote inflation.

Many big business people, bankers, union leaders, politicians, and professors all grew to love inflation, as they saw in it a chance to pursue their goals. Sometimes these were purely materialistic; at other times they embodied the lust for power. In both cases they were immoral.

Some say business profits are the cause of inflation. But profits--in a voluntary market--are only an indication of efficiency and service to consumers. Legitimate profits have nothing to do with inflation. But big business’ demand for “easy money” certainly has been a significant reason for monetary expansion. $600 billion in federally guaranteed loans, all of which are for the benefit of business, is the most significant contributing factor to our inflation. Since 1970, 80% of the inflation may have been for “stimulation” of the economy to aid big business and big banking.

Source: Gold, Peace, and Prosperity, by Ron Paul, p. 33-34 , Dec 31, 1981

Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation.

Congressional Summary:

Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act: Amends the Securities Exchange Act to require that any proxy for an annual shareholders meeting provide for a separate shareholder vote to approve executive compensation for named executive officers. The shareholder vote shall not be:

  1. binding on the corporation
  2. construed as overruling a board decision, or as creating or implying any additional fiduciary duty by the board; or
  3. construed as restricting or limiting shareholder ability to place executive compensation proposals within proxy materials.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D, MA-4): The amount of wages is irrelevant to the SEC. What this bill explicitly aims at is the practice whereby people are given bonuses that pay off if the gamble pays off, but don't lose you anything if it doesn't. That is, there is a wide consensus that this incentivizes excessive risk.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. SPENCER BACHUS (R, AL-6): True, the first 6 pages of the bill give the owners, the shareholders, a non-binding vote on the pay of top executives. But then come the next 8 pages, the switch, which gives the regulators the power to decide appropriate compensation for not only just top executives but for all employees of all financial institutions above $1 billion in assets and all without regard for the shareholders' prior approval. So under the guise of empowering shareholders, it is, in fact, the government that is empowered. And, finally, on page 15, the bill designates those same government entities which regulated AIG, Countrywide, and collectively failed to prevent the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. This bill continues the Democrat majority's tendency to go to the default solution for every problem: create a government bureaucracy to make decisions better left to private citizens and private corporations.

Reference: Say-On-Pay Bill; Bill H.R.3269 ; vote number 2009-H686 on Jul 31, 2009

Voted NO on more funding for nanotechnology R&D and commercialization.

Congressional Summary:Extends funding for research and development topics, nanotechnology, project commercialization, prioritization of applications, and federal administration and oversight.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ (D, NY-12): We need jobs that cannot be shipped overseas and will not evaporate in the next cycle of boom and bust. But those jobs aren't going to appear out of thin air. They need to be created. By expanding existing industries and unlocking new ones, H.R. 2965 will generate the jobs we need. Job creation is the primary goal of R&D. But in order to generate new positions, we have to first develop new industries. Commercialization is critical to that process.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): I must oppose this bill because I have serious concerns about allowing SBIR awards to go to an unlimited number of businesses owned or controlled by venture capital (VC) firms. The SBIR program, responsible for over 60,000 patents, has always focused on innovation from truly small businesses for whom commercial capital market funding is typically not an option. However, with the change made in this bill, the SBIR program would be wide open to applicants that already are well-capitalized due to VC participation, crowding out the small businesses that have been the focus of the highly successful SBIR program.

While I support VC participation in the SBIR program, enabling an unlimited amount of large VC majority-owned firms to qualify for SBIR funding calls into question whether this program, intended for genuinely small businesses, is, in fact, still focused on these firms.

We should do everything in our power to strengthen small businesses that generate 70% of new jobs in our country. H.R 2965 does not do enough to ensure that small businesses are the focus of the SBIR program, and therefore I cannot support the bill.

Reference: Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act; Bill S.1233&H.R.2965 ; vote number 2009-H486 on Jul 8, 2009

Voted NO on allowing stockholder voting on executive compensation.

To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide shareholders with an advisory vote on executive compensation [and as part of that process, fully disclosing executive compensation].

Proponents support voting YES because:

We should not deprive the public, the stockholders, from being able to do anything meaningful once they find out about scandalous levels of executive compensation or board compensation. Everyone talks about the corporate board as the remedy. But the board is often a part of the problem, being paid huge amounts of money for showing up once or twice a year at meetings.

Give the stockholders a meaningful remedy. Once you get the mandatory disclosure put in place by previous legislation, we are saying the stockholders should be allowed to have a referendum on that and not have a runaround by the board.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This vote is based on mischaracterization--it is an unnecessary amendment. The opportunity for these kinds of votes already exists within the structure of corporate governance right now. A good company from Georgia, AFLAC, went ahead and already has these nonbinding shareholder votes. But there is a difference between having individuals in the private sector, shareholders and individuals outside of the mandating of government to have it occur and have government come in with its heavy hand and say, this is exactly what you need to do because we know best. Our constituents know better how to act and how to relate to corporations than Washington.

Reference: Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act; Bill H R 1257 ; vote number 2007-244 on Apr 20, 2007

Voted YES on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140B in new breaks.

Vote to pass a bill that would repeal an export tax break for U.S. manufacturers ruled an illegal trade subsidy by the World Trade Organization, while providing for about $140 billion in new corporate tax cuts. Revenue raising offsets would decrease the cost of the bill to $34.4 billion over 11 years. It would consist of a buyout for tobacco farmers that could not go over $9.6 billion. It also would allow the IRS to hire private collection agencies to get back money from taxpayers, and require individuals who claim a tax deduction for a charitable donation of a vehicle to obtain an independent appraisal of the car.
Reference: American Jobs Creation Act; Bill HR 4520 ; vote number 2004-259 on Jun 17, 2004

Voted YES on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it easier for courts to change debtors from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows most debts to be dismissed, to Chapter 13, which requires a repayment plan.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Gekas, R-PA; Bill HR 333 ; vote number 2001-25 on Mar 1, 2001

Rated 46% by the US COC, indicating a mixed business voting record.

Paul scores 46% by US Chamber of Commerce on business policy

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.

Mission Statement:

"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.
Source: COC website 03n-COC on Dec 31, 2003

Repeal ObamaCare reporting requirements for small business.

Paul co-sponsored Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act

A BILL To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations. Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the amendments made thereby, are hereby repealed; and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be applied as if such section, and amendments, had never been enacted. [This is the first attempt at dismantling ObamaCare by pieces, as opposed to H.R. 2 which dismantles ObamaCare in whole. The proposed section of the ObamaCare law to be repealed appears below. --OnTheIssues editor].

Source: HR144&HR4 11-HR004 on Jan 12, 2011

Rated 0% by UFCW, indicating a pro-management voting record.

Paul scores 0% by UFCW on labor-management issues

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.

    The UFCW House scorecard is based on these key votes:
  1. (+) Extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  2. (+) H. Am. 877 Bishop Am. to HR 3094, penalties for lawsuits against unionization
  3. (+) H. Am. 880 Jackson-Lee Am. to HR 3094, preventing delays in union votes
  4. (-) Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, freezing public salaries
  5. (-) Regulation from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, for less corporate regulation
  6. (-) Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act
  7. (-) Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, letting CEOs fire union organizers
Source: UFCW website 12-UFCW-H on May 2, 2012

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Corporations: Ron Paul on other issues:
TX Gubernatorial:
Annise Parker
Julian Castro
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Retiring to run for other office:

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Running for Mayor:
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IL-16:Donald Manzullo(R)
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Page last updated: Jun 12, 2012