If we had let GM go bankrupt, we'd be buying Chinese cars
ROMNEY: China can be our partner. But that doesn't mean they can just roll all over us and steal our jobs on an unfair basis.
OBAMA: Well, Governor Romney's right. You are familiar with jobs being shipped overseas, because you invested in companies
that were shipping jobs overseas. And, you know, that's your right. I mean, that's how our free market works. But I've made a different bet on American workers. You know, if we had taken your advice, Governor Romney, about our auto industry, we'd be
buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China. If we take your advice with respect to how we change our tax codes so that companies that are in profits overseas don't pay U.S. taxes compared to companies here that are paying taxes,
now, that's estimated to create 800,000 jobs. The problem is they won't be here; they'll be in places like China. Now, with respect to what we've done with China already, US exports have doubled, since I came into office, to China.
Lower tax rate to 25% and incentivize investment at home
When it comes to our tax code, Gov. Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high, so I want to lower it, particularly for manufacturing, taking it down to 25%. But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for
companies that are shipping jobs overseas.
How do we deal with our tax code? And how do we make sure that we are reducing spending in a responsible way, but also, how do we have enough revenue to make those investments?
And this is where there's a difference, because Governor Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut--on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts--that's another trillion dollars--and $2 trillion in additional military spending that
the military hasn't asked for. That's $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign.
OBAMA: When it comes to corporate taxes, Governor Romney has said he wants to, in a revenue neutral way, close loopholes, deductions--he hasn't identified which ones they are--but that thereby bring down the corporate rate. Well, I want to do the same
thing, but I've actually identified how we can do that. And part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. Right now, you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. I think most Americans
would say that doesn't make sense.
ROMNEY: Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant.
The idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case. What we do have right now is a setting where I'd like to bring money from overseas back to this country.
End tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas
After a decade of decline, this country created half a million manufacturing jobs. And now you have a choice: we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new
workers and create new jobs here. We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. You can choose that future
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech
, Sep 6, 2012
You can't build a business on your own; we're in it together
If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, "well, it must be because I was just so smart." There are a lot of smart people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you
some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads & bridges. If you've got a business--you didn't build that.
Somebody else made that happen.
When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. That's how we funded the GI Bill. That's how we created the middle class. That's how we invented the
Internet. That's how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that's the reason I'm running for President--because I still believe in that idea. You're not on your own, we're in this together.
Source: White House Press Release: Speech transcript from Roanoke VA
, Jul 13, 2012
End deduction for outsourcing jobs; tax outsourcing instead
Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let's change it.
you're a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn't get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies that decide to bring jobs home.
No American company should be able to avoid paying its
fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.
If you're an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. And if you want to relocate in a community
that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help.
My message is simple. It's time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.
In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama made his intentions crystal clear: "I believe that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." So we knew where this was heading all along, because it's not government's job to spread your money
around. You spread it around yourself when you decide how you want to spend it, invest it, or donate it. Obama supports taxes because he believes government should decide more and you should decide less.
The Obamas telegraphed their anti-wealth message. As President Obama confessed, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money," as if it's
his or the government's place to decide how hard you work and how much wealth and opportunity you create."
Michelle Obama: Work for community, not corporate America
Based on their words and policies, Michelle and Barack Obama apparently believe that capitalism and entrepreneurship are bad. The way they see it, raising taxes is a way to punish people for having the audacity to work hard and get rich.
As First Lady Michelle Obama put it in a speech in Ohio to a woman's group: "Don't go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse.
Make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry." Teachers and nurses are great, but to tell people that being in business is somehow illegitimate
and not part of the "helping industry" is a horrible message to send to people. Especially young people interested in business and entrepreneurship.
$4,000 tax credit for companies who hire unemployed workers
The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs
for the long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give
companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.
Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new
workers or raise workers' wages. Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job. We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work.
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.
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: 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.
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
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.
Special interests dominate day-to-day legislative activity
According to candidate Obama, "The reason we're not getting things done is not because we don't have good plans. The reason is because it's not our agenda that's being moved forward in Washington--it's the agenda of the oil companies, the insurance
companies, the drug companies, the special interests who dominate on a day-to-day basis in terms of legislative activity.
But this anti-corporate rhetoric is precisely the opposite of the reality. In truth, Pres. Obama's policy prescriptions spell
profits for the biggest and most well-connected businesses. Just as Pres. George W. Bush, with his bailouts, spending sprees, and new entitlements, abandoned the free market, Obama's vision of bigger government is also the dream of corporate lobbyists.
OpEd: Wall Street wealth comes from increasing gov't role
Obama's actions in the finance sector are all geared toward increasing government and helping those on Wall Street who are most politically connected. But I wouldn't argue this is cronyism. I don't think he's enriching Goldman because Goldman financed
his campaign. Obama's enriching of Goldman is simply a consequence of Obama increasing government's role in Wall Street. Obama believes in Big Government, and Big Government is good for Wall Street's biggest players.
Federal financial regulation is, for the most part, about boosting "investor confidence." And, even before the bailouts, Washington was funneling money to Wall Street with the combination of high tax rates and IRAs or 401(k)s -"give your money to
Morgan Stanley or lose 25% of it." Obama has proposed to make investment in 401(k)s automatic.
So, Wall Street wasn't buying off Obama with those millions in contributions. They were investing in Obamanomics--and that investment is paying off.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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:
If you can borrow from the government, you should be subject to government oversight and supervisions.
Capital requirements should
be strengthened, particularly for complex financial instruments like some of the mortgage securities that led to our current crisis.
We need to streamline a framework for overlapping & competing regulatory agencies.
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.
We must remain vigilant
and crack down on trading activity that crosses the line to market manipulation.
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.
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.
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
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: 2004 Senate campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com
, Jun 25, 2004
Barack Obama on Corporate Bailout
Letting Detroit go bankrupt the Romney way wouldn't work
ROMNEY: The president said that I said we should take Detroit bankrupt. And that's right. My plan was to have the company go through bankruptcy like 7-Eleven did and Macy's and Continental Airlines and come out stronger.
I know [Obama] keeps saying, "you want to take Detroit bankrupt." Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did.
OBAMA: What Governor Romney said just isn't true. He wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open. And we would have lost a million jobs.
Don't take my word for it, take the executives at GM and Chrysler, some of whom are Republicans, may even support Governor Romney. But they'll tell you his prescription wasn't going to work.
ROMNEY: Well, I would repeal and replace it. We're not going to get rid of all regulation.
OBAMA: The reason we have been in such an enormous economic crisis was prompted by reckless behavior.
Does anybody think that there was too much oversight and regulation of Wall Street? Because if you do, then Gov. Romney is your candidate. But that's not what I believe. You had loan officers that were giving loans and mortgages that really shouldn't
have been given, because the folks didn't qualify. But you also had banks making money hand over fist, churning out products that the bankers themselves didn't even understand, in order to make big profits, but knowing that it made the entire system
vulnerable. So what did we do? We stepped in and had the toughest reforms on Wall Street since the 1930s. In the meantime, by the way, we also made sure that all the help that we provided those banks was paid back every single dime, with interest.
We bailed out auto industry, but today they're back
On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to
settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the US than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in US plants and
factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.
We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back. What's happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. We can't
bring back every job that's left our shores. But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. We have a huge opportunity to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it.
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.
Better to force auto bankruptcy than force out of business
The president asked his advisors if they were all on board with the recommendation of a big Chrysler bailout, followed by a likely bankruptcy. Each said yes.
Rahm impressed the gathering with his detailed knowledge of which congressional districts in
Michigan had which auto plants. "You're always explaining that things are bad, but it's not like the Great Depression," he told the president. "Well, in some of the counties..."
"I know what you're going to say," Obama interjected. "In some of these
counties it WILL be like the Great Depression." Obama said, "I've decided. I'm prepared to support Chrysler if we can get the Fiat alliance done." He would give Chrysler thirty days and GM sixty days to reorganize with the help of
the task force or face a cutoff of TARP money. He could live with the government's forcing a bankruptcy, but not putting Chrysler out of business altogether.
Bank bonuses while receiving TARP were irresponsible
From the beginning Wall Street compensation was a big headache. The same firms that had driven the country into a ditch were still lavishing billions in bonuses on their employees, with the excuse that this was necessary for retention of valued
executives. The American public wasn't buying it, especially from those banks receiving taxpayer money through TARP. Obama wasn't either. Nine days after entering office, he blasted the 2008 bonuses as "the height of irresponsibility."
Source: The Promise: Obama Year One, by Jonathan Alter, p.309-310
, May 18, 2010
OpEd: Establish power to seize companies "too big to fail"
Envision the country Barack Obama is creating--the future we have in store if we let him continue to control Congress:
Inflation will soar--not as a lamentable side effect of our government's policies, but because the government
WANTS it, since that's the only way it can pay off its debt.
Unemployment will stay permanently high--just as it does in Europe--because the government is hogging all the funds needed to create jobs in order to pay for its deficit.
the dollar will ebb so badly that it will no longer be the global currency.
The government will get the power to seize and reinvent any company it deems insolvent yet "too big to fail."
The top US tax rate--combined with most states' rates--will
reach more than half the income of the productive, entrepreneurial class--shriveling incentive and narcotizing ambition.
American will lose its remaining manufacturing jobs to Asian nations that don't impose carbon taxes on their industries.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Declare a debtor eligible only for Chapter 13, as anyone financially capable of paying back their creditors at a rate that still allows them to earn above their state's median income
Place domestic support obligations such as child support and alimony amongst the first priority claim category of non-dischargeable debts on a debtor filing for bankruptcy
Require debtors to pay for and attend credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy
Cap home equity protection at $125,000 if the debtor purchased a house within 40 months of filing for bankruptcy.
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.