Michele Bachmann on Corporations
Republican Representative (MN-6)
But in our business we will never apologize for being pro-life and pro-marriage, and we want everyone to know that we approach all our work from a Christian perspective. We are respectful and honoring of every person entering our clinic. We make no secret of the fact that we endorse biblical values and integrate biblical principles into our counseling.
In the final settlement, the White House decreed that Chrysler bond-holders, those holding secured debt--that is, those with the first legal claim on Chrysler assets--would receive only 33 cents on the dollar, while United Auto Workers retirees, holding unsecured debt, would receive 50 cents on the dollar.
In other words, the politically connected UAW muscled its way to the front of the payout line, barging ahead of the less well-connected bond-holders. Bankruptcy, of course, is always a wrenching and painful procedure, but that's never an argument for breaking the rules of law.
The estimate of the total cost of all the auto bailouts--covering General Motors as well as Chrysler--has since risen to $14.3 billion. Again, that's our tax money they're playing with. The rule of law was steamrolled.
BACHMANN: Well, I think one thing that we know is that taxes lead to jobs leaving the country. All you need to know is that we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. And if you go back to 1981, and you look around the world, we had a lot of high corporate tax countries. It was 47% on average on a lot of countries across the world. But if you look today in the US, we have an effective rate if you average in state taxes, with federal taxes, of about 40%. But the world took a clue, because capital is mobile, and capital went to places where corporate tax rates went to 25% and falling. We're still stuck in a 1986 era of about a 40% tax rate. We have to lower the tax rate because it's a cost of doing business, but we have to do so much more than that. Our biggest problem right now is our regulatory burden.
A: He kept saying, "Hurry, hurry." How many times did he say, "Pass the plan"? I hope Congress doesn't pass this plan!
Q: What don't you like?
A: I think what's very unfortunate in all of this and what the coming days will show is that the people who are the job creators--I'm one of them, a job creator in our own small business--this is--this doesn't tell a job creator that we'll see certainty. This doesn't tell a creator that the return on their investment is bound to be safe. Obama's speech will impress no one who has an ability to be able to bring the economy back because the real problem in all this is that Washington, D.C., will never solve the economy! It's Main Street that solves it. Washington just messes it up and gets in the way.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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].
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