Joe Biden on Corporations

Former Vice President; previously Democratic Senator (DE)


Capitalism without competition is exploitation

Lowering your costs also means demanding more competition. I'm a capitalist, but capitalism without competition isn't capitalism. It's exploitation--and it drives up prices. When corporations don't have to compete, their profits go up, your prices go up, and small businesses and family farmers and ranchers go under.T onight, I'm announcing a crackdown on these companies overcharging American businesses and consumers.
Source: 2022 State of the Union address , Mar 1, 2022

Some corporations make billions & don't pay a penny in taxes

Q: You propose more than $4 trillion over a decade in new taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 a year. President Trump says that that kind of an increase in taxes is going to hurt the economy as it's just coming out of a recession.

BIDEN: Just take a look at what is the analysis done by Wall Street firms, points out that my economic plan would create 7 million more jobs than his in four years. It would create an additional $1 trillion in economic growth, because it would be about buying American. The federal government spends $600 billion a year on everything from ships, to steel, to buildings and the like. I'm going to eliminate a significant number of the taxes. I'm going to make the corporate tax 28%. It shouldn't be 21%. You have 91 companies [in] the Fortune 500, who don't pay a single penny in tax making billions of dollars.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace , Sep 29, 2020

Bailout package should reward individuals, not corporations

What I would do is make it clear to the world and make it clear to the United States that we are going to have to have a major, major, major bailout package that we do not reward corporations, we reward individuals who in fact are really put to the test here.

We've eaten a lot of our seed corn here. The ability for us to use levers that were available before have been used up by this godawful tax cut of $1.9 trillion. We're going to have to not only deal with the immediate crisis, economic crisis, which is the most critical now to let people know their mortgages are going to be paid, their rents are going to be paid, they're going to have childcare, they're going to make sure that all their medical bills are cared for. We have to go beyond that.

Source: 11th Democratic primary debate (Biden-Sanders one-on-one) , Mar 15, 2020

Hold CEOs and companies accountable

Q: What would you do with these companies that are responsible for the destruction of our planet?

BIDEN: What would I do with them? I would make sure they stop. If you demonstrate that they, in fact, have done things already that are bad and they've been lying, they should be able to be sued, they should be able to be held personally accountable.

Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada , Feb 19, 2020

Double the capital gains tax

Take a look at the tax code right now. We have to start rewarding work, not just wealth. I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate of 39.5%. I would double it, because guess what? Why in God's name should someone who's clipping coupons in the stock market pay a lower tax rate than someone like a schoolteacher and a firefighter. We need to make it clear that we are going to raise taxes on the wealthy. We're going to reduce tax burdens on those who are not.
Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Wall Street didn't build America; the middle class did

Q: Recently, as you were speaking about problem of income inequality in this country, you said we shouldn't "demonize the rich." You said, "Nobody has to be punished. No one's standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change." What did you mean by that?

BIDEN: What I meant by that is, look, [that] Donald Trump thinks Wall Street built America. Ordinary, middle-class Americans built America. Too many people who are at the middle class and poor have had the bottom fall out under this proposal. We have to make sure the middle class have insurance that they can afford; where there's continuing education and they're able to pay for it; that they're able to breathe air that is clean. Look, Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation. We do have enormous income inequality. And the one thing I agree on is we can make massive cuts in the $1.6 trillion in tax loopholes out there, and I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump's tax cut for the wealthy.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

1972 Senate race: Opposed capital gains tax cut

As Team Biden neared the finish line, they were running out of money. And they needed to keep their radio ads on the air. If they lost the ads, they'd lose the election. But with ten days to go until election day, the coffers were empty.

So, Val [Biden's sister campaign manager] arranged a meeting with some fat-cat investment counselors. They were ready to give. In a private meeting, they asked Biden what he thought about lowering the capital gains rate. "I knew the answer I thought they wanted to hear," Biden remembered. "All I had to say was that I'd consider it. And I couldn't say it--I just couldn't lie to their faces." He told them he wasn't for changing capital gains.

The meeting ended. On the way home, Brother Jimmy told him. "Joe, I sure in hell hope you feel that strongly about capital gains because you just lost the election." Biden didn't look back. Instead, he took out a second mortgage on his home. The ads stayed up.

Source: The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser, p. 42-43 , Oct 24, 2017

Quit corporate law firm rather than help big business

Biden graduated from Syracuse Law School in 1968, finishing #76 in a class of 85. Then something flipped. After the less-than-stellar showing at Syracuse, Biden seemed eager to begin "real life"--to do the things that matter. The next few years would be a blur. Biden joined a corporate law firm, quit the firm (after realizing he'd rather help people than big business), launching his own law firm, and served as a public defender where he began a lifelong quest of "fighting for the little guy."
Source: The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser, p. 35 , Oct 24, 2017

We bet on Detroit automakers in 2009, and we won!

It's a January morning in Detroit, and Joe Biden, whose carefree reputation belies an obsession with preparation, is laboring over the speech he will deliver at the nearby auto show. The show is a high point of the year for Detroit, a city that can't even afford to maintain its streetlights.

When the vice president finally speaks, offering up a 20-minute performance that is a classic Biden hodgepodge, he ends up with a ramble that includes a victory lap for the 2009 auto bailout he championed ("We and the American people placed a bet on all of you sitting in front of me. We won!"), an homage to American muscle cars ("I love that Cadillac ATS!") and a bit of campaign rhetoric, ready-made to outflank Clinton in the industrial heartland ("This is going to be the American century in manufacturing!").

Source: Politico Mag profile, "Joe Biden in Winter" , Mar 1, 2014

Same rules for Wall Street as for Main Street

BIDEN: Governor Romney said 47% of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with, my neighbors. They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are "not paying any taxes." I've had it up to here with this notion that 47%--it's about time they take some responsibility here. And instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we're going to level the playing field. We're going to give you a fair shot again. We are going to not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by having a different set of rules for Wall Street and Main Street, making sure that we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the superwealthy.
Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

Auto bailout saved a million American jobs

Barack saved more than 1 million American jobs. In our first days in office, GM and Chrysler were on the verge of liquidation.

We listened to Senators, Congressmen, advisors--we shouldn't step in, the risks were too high, the outcome too uncertain. But the President didn't see it their way. He understood something they didn't: this wasn't just about cars. It was about the Americans who built those cars.

In those meetings, I often thought about my dad. My dad was an automobile man. He would have been one of those guys selling American cars to the American people. I thought about what this crisis would have meant for the mechanics, the secretaries, the sales people who he managed. And I know for certain, that if my dad were here today, he would be fighting for this President, who fought to save all those jobs, his job, and the jobs of all the people he cared about. He would respect Barack Obama for having the guts to stand up for the automobile industry, when others walked away.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech , Sep 6, 2012

We bet on the auto industry; 400,000 new jobs means we won

The President and I made a simple bet. We bet on you [the auto industry]. We bet on American ingenuity. We bet on you and we won: Chrysler, fastest growing car company in America, General Motors has seen the largest profits in its history; 400,000 auto jobs lost before we took office; 200,000 new jobs since the rescue plan was in place. That's 200,000 people who had their dignity returned to them, reinstated, and a paycheck they can raise their family on.

Remember what the headlines were saying when you woke up a couple of years ago. "It's bankruptcy time for GM." Another headline--"Crunch time looms for Chrysler." A million good jobs were at stake on the assembly line, at the parts factories, at the automobile dealerships, right down to the diners outside each of those facilities. We knew that resurrecting the industry wasn't going to be popular. We weren't going to give up on a million jobs and on the iconic industry America invented without a real fight.

Source: Automotive Industry speech in Toledo Ohio , Mar 15, 2012

We’ve yielded to corporate America on trade

Q: Given the WTO guidelines, could you actually restrict trade with China?

A: With the WTO guidelines, we could stop these [unsafe] products coming in now. This president doesn’t act. We have much more leverage on China than they have on us. The idea that a country with 800 million people in poverty has greater leverage over us is preposterous. We’ve yielded to corporate America. We’ve yielded to this president’s notion of what constitutes trade, and we’ve refused to enforce the laws that exist.

Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate , Dec 13, 2007

OpEd: beholden to corporations because so many based in DE

Like all mainstream candidates, Biden is beholden to corporate interests who support his campaigns or dominate his state; in Biden’s case, he cast a noteworthy vote in favor of the controversial 2005 bankruptcy bill, which was a boon to credit card lenders, many of which are based in Delaware due to lax state regulations. Biden’s biggest single bloc of support is trial lawyers, who like his strong position against tort reform.
Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.180 , Nov 11, 2007

Take burden off corporations so jobs stay in US

Q: A lot of Americans are concerned with outsourcing of US jobs. What’s your solution?

CLINTON: Well, outsourcing is a problem. We have to end the tax breaks that still exist in the tax code for outsourcing jobs.

BIDEN: Eliminating the tax breaks is not going to keep jobs here in America. We’ve got to make it more attractive to have jobs here in America and for corporations to be here. You’ve got to take the burden off the corporations with a health care system that’s universal, so we’re not at a competitive disadvantage. You’ve got to have a better education system to provide for the highest-tech jobs that we educate our folks for, so we’re not importing 400,000 computer engineers to work in Silicon Valley. And you’ve got to deal with the innovation and infrastructure needs in this country--tunnels, bridges, etc.--which we haven’t done to make us more competitive.

Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University , Jun 28, 2007

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 YES 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 YES 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

Rated 32% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Biden scores 32% 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

Other candidates on Corporations: Joe Biden on other issues:
2020 Presidential Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)

2020 GOP and Independent primary candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

2020 Democratic Veepstakes Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Gov.Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
Sen.Catherine Masto (D-NV)
Gov.Gina Raimondo (D-RI)
Amb.Susan Rice (D-ME)
Sen.Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Mar 05, 2022