John Kerry on Corporations

Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President


Industry-sponsored chem safety research leaves US behind

A profound shift in the chemical-management paradigm has been adopted by the European Union (EU), where chemical producers are now required to provide authorities and the public with toxicity data on all high-volume chemicals. It is simply common sense: Before you release something into the environment, you must tell us about its health and environmental effects. Japan has banned the use of some phthalates in toys, and soon, certain phthalates will be permanently banned from use in all toys in Europe.

We also need to question whether industry-sponsored research will provide the sort of independent information required.

Source: This Moment On Earth, by John & Teresa Kerry, p. 42-4 , Jan 1, 2007

Precautionary Principle: producers must prove harmlessness

The precautionary principle--which is being adopted in many places outside of the US, including the European Union--is based on this very simple and logical idea: The burden should be on the manufacturer to prove that the chemicals they sell do not have harmful effects, rather than on the consumer to prove that they do. It is certainly the wisest, cheapest, and best approach to the toxic dilemma. Manufacturers should not sell products to us until we have proof that they will not harm us. Period. As the world's leading industrial nation, the US must embrace this practice.

Convincing elected officials of the harmful effects of toxic substances can be difficult in part because the manufacturers are working hard to convince them otherwise.

We must not allow our bodies to be used as part of an uncontrolled experiment without our knowledge and without our consent. And we do not need to quietly accept the presence of industrial and synthetic chemicals as a necessary condition of living in today's world.

Source: This Moment On Earth, by John & Teresa Kerry, p. 48-9 , Jan 1, 2007

96% of small businesses not affected by my tax plan

BUSH: Kerry says he’s only going to tax the rich. Do you realize, 900,000 small businesses will be taxed under his plan because most small businesses are Subchapter S corps or limited partnerships, and they pay tax at the individual income tax level. And so when you’re running up the taxes like that, you’re taxing job creators, and that’s not how you keep jobs here.

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.

Source: [X-ref Bush] Second Bush-Kerry debate, St. Louis, MO , Oct 8, 2004

Kerry owned a small business: they’re engine of economy

A New ‘Era of Opportunity’ for Small Business: Small businesses are the engine of the American economy but they have been suffering under George W. Bush. Over the past two years, the number of small business closures has been greater than the number of small business openings. As the former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, John Kerry has been a national leader in promoting small businesses growth. Kerry owned his own small business, a cookie and muffin shop - Kilvert and Forbes - that he opened in 1976 with a friend in Boston’s Quincy Market giving him first hand experience of the obstacles faced by small business owners. As President, John Kerry will bring the lessons of owning and working in a small business and his leadership fighting to support small businesses in the Senate to the White House.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, JohnKerry.com, “Issues” , Mar 21, 2004

Close the loopholes that reward corps taking jobs overseas

Q: How will you get all of those manufacturing jobs back?

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.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC , Jan 29, 2004

Regulate on side of citizens, not on side of corporations

A critical precondition for reviving the economy and sustaining the revival is the restoration of public confidence in the fairness, integrity, and transparency of our economic system and its accountability to investors, consumers, and workers with a stake in our private enterprises. That means, first and foremost, a federal regulatory system unmistakably on the side of the citizens it represents rather than the corporations it regulates. We also need a president whose approach to corporate abuses is more like Teddy Roosevelt’s and less like William McKinley’s. Above all, we need a president who looks out for the well-being of all Americans, fostering broad-based prosperity instead of promoting the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

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.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 78-80 , Oct 1, 2003

Offshore tax havens cause higher middle class taxes

Offshore tax havens and tax shelters let corporations and executives evade an estimated $20 to $40 billion each year-taxes that must be made up by other taxpayers or by government borrowing.

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.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 81 , Oct 1, 2003

Democratize the process of corporate boards

Q: Should there be more legal oversight of the stock exchange or of the way corporate boards are put together?

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.

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

End “Get Mine and Get Out” ethic at White House

I believe that Americans deserve a government that has as much faith in the ideals of America as Americans do. And they deserve leaders for whom citizenship and responsibility are principles, not punchlines. Yet for these people in this administration, those words too often have become little more than a backdrop for their political events, background music for their march to replace shared sacrifice with selfishness. With Bush in the White House we have seen a “Get Mine and Get Out” ethic that glories the creed of greed. Polluters are given a free pass, powerful corporations enjoy sweetheart deals at the expense of everyday Americans. Lobbyists come in on a daily basis and write laws favoring the companies that pay their lavish bills. Insiders ride a revolving door between the White House and major industries. And failed CEOs get golden parachutes while their employees get pink slips. And for the first time in this nation’s history the most privileged among us got a tax cut while we were at war.
Source: Speech at 2003 Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC , Jun 5, 2003

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

Voted NO on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy.

Vote to pass a bill that would require debtors able to repay $10,000 or 25 percent of their debts over five years to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization and repayment) rather than Chapter 7 (full discharge of debt).
Reference: Bill HR 333 ; vote number 2001-236 on Jul 17, 2001

Increase SBA loan subsidies for small businesses.

Kerry co-sponsored the Small Business Investment Company Amendments Act

This bill became Public Law No: 107-100.
Source: Bill sponsored by 2 Senators 01-S1196 on Jul 18, 2001

Expand microloans to small businesses.

Kerry introduced the Microloan Program Improvement Act

    Amends provisions of the Small Business Act concerning the Microloan program (a program of start-up loans to small businesses) to:
  1. remove the requirement that such loans be short-term;
  2. allow up to 35 (currently 25) percent of grant funds made to intermediaries to be used to provide technical assistance to small businesses that are prospective borrowers under the program; and
  3. authorize the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to use up to $1 million of the annual appropriations for technical assistance grants to subcontract with one or more national trade associations of eligible intermediaries or other knowledgeable entities to provide peer-to-peer capacity building and training to lenders and organizations seeking to become lenders under the program.
Source: Bill sponsored by 19 Senators 01-S174 on Jan 24, 2001

Rated 0% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Kerry scores 0% 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

Rated 80% by UFCW, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record.

Kerry scores 80% 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 Senate scorecard is based on these key votes:
  1. American Jobs Act (+)
  2. Balanced Budget Amendment (-)
  3. Rejecting Cut, Cap, and Balance (+)
  4. Repeal Health Care Law (-)
  5. Sen. Am. 14 Wicker Am. to S 223, excluding unionization at TSA (-)
  6. Sen. Am. 740 McCain Am. to HR 2112, defunding TAA (-)
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act (TAA) (+)
Source: UFCW website 12-UFCW-S on May 2, 2012

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Page last updated: Aug 31, 2021