Jill Stein on Corporations

Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor


80 billionaires own as much as the lower 50% of world

While working people struggle, over 90% of income gains have gone to the top 1%, corporate profits have tripled, and the richest 0.1% now owns more than the lower 90% of us combined. A mere 20 billionaires now own as much as the entire lower half of the US population. Globally, only 80 billionaires own as much as the entire lower half of the world's population, 3.5 billion people.

This unconscionable state of affairs cannot simply be blamed on greedy Republicans. The President himself has been leading the charge, with bipartisan Congressional help, to slash food and medicine for the vulnerable, cut critical social programs by nearly a trillion dollars in 2011 alone, and repeatedly threaten Medicare and Social Security. Meanwhile, Democrats oversaw a $16 trillion bailout for big banks and $5 trillion in tax favors for the wealthy. They made the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent just as they were about to expire, and locked in low capital gains and inheritance taxes.

Source: Green Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech , Jan 12, 2016

Privatization is an enormous step backwards

OnTheIssues: I know that you oppose privatization generally, but are there any federal functions that are better done by privately?

Stein: I'm not aware of any--and I am aware of lots of miserable examples of privatization--everything from prisons to the military, public transportation, judicial services, social services--privatization is an enormous step backwards. On healthcare we would save $400 billion a year if we switched to single payer--to a fully non-privatized health insurance system--with health delivery the same, but payment via public insurance. Another great example is municipal energy systems--public systems costs less, are more responsive, do faster work, and consumers can direct their energy choices. We could then make good choices for consumers and for the planet. On every front public systems are outdoing private companies.

Source: Phone interview on 2016 presidential race by OnTheIssues.org , Jul 6, 2015

Break up "too-big-to-fail" banks

A Just Economy: Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up "too-big-to-fail" banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, jill2016.com, "Plan" , Jun 25, 2015

Hillary is the Wal-Mart candidate

Q: Your main differences with Hillary Clinton?

STEIN: With Hillary, across the board, Hillary is the Wal-Mart candidate. Though she may change her tune a little bit, you know, she's been a member of the Wal-Mart board. On jobs, on trade, on healthcare, on banks, on foreign policy, it's hard to find where we are similar.

Source: Democracy Now interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 22, 2015

Transaction tax of .03% on every Wall Street transaction

Q: You've stated that you would apply a tiny tax to every Wall Street transaction of .03%. Would you tax capital gains as an ordinary income tax and overturn the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005?

STEIN: We think that fairness is the name of the game which is what we do not have in our tax system. There is no reason why the very wealthy should be paying half as much on their earnings as low income working people. Lets just call capital gains what it is and tax it accordingly

Source: iSideWith.com interview of Jill Stein , Nov 1, 2012

Enormous bipartisan collaboration on deregulation

Q: What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush?

ROMNEY: President Bush and I are different people, and these are different times. And that's why my five-point plan is so different than what he would have done.

STEIN: The lines get very blurred when you try to distinguish between even the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama on so many key areas, not to mention that the distinctions are very hard to find between Mitt Romney and George Bush. There's been enormous bipartisan collaboration on deregulation, on tax breaks for the very wealthy, and on the explosion of dirty energy as supposedly the route to a new economy. So, we've gotten ourselves into great crises under both parties. And in many ways, Barack Obama expanded the bad policies of George Bush, with Wall Street bailouts that went ballistic, the continued offshoring of our jobs, the skyrocketing of student debt and home foreclosures, the expansion of the war, the attack on our civil liberties. The list goes on.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 16, 2012

Romney & Obama are both pro-1% big corporation

Q. What do you think of Mitt Romney?

A. He responds to his electorate. When he's running in Salt Lake, he's anti-abortion. When he's running in Massachusetts, he's pro-abortion. He responds to his electorate, broadly, except that he remains basically pro-business in a very narrow sense of the word--that is a pro-one-percent big, corporate multinational business. You know what, that's not so different from the way Larry Summers and Tim Geithner are running the country under Barack Obama. When our governorship changed from Mitt Romney and it went directly to Deval Patrick, who is another poster child for progressive Democrats, no difference. Nothing detectable. Nothing changed in Massachusetts whatsoever.

Source: Michael Shear, New York Times, "5 Questions" , Feb 14, 2012

Corporate elite richer than ever, but pay less tax than ever

While the economy does not work for the vast majority, it does work for a few; at least for now. The owners of the big corporations are enjoying historic profits, with a record $2 trillion in cash reserves at home and $1.4 trillion overseas. Though the corporate elite are richer than ever, they are contributing less than ever to the tax base that keeps the infrastructure going that their profits rely on--schools, transportation, clean air and water, safe food, the legal system, the police, and the military. In fact, 30 major corporations paid no corporate income tax at all over the last three years, despite making $160 billion in profits. And the big banks--whose fraud and greed crashed the economy to start with--are bigger than ever, with the six biggest banks now controlling capital equivalent* to 60% of all economic activity in this country.
Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech , Jan 25, 2012

Record profits-with politicians' help--caused the recession

To be clear: the greed for record profits is what got us into this mess in the first place. Of course it wasn't greed alone. It was the capture of both political parties by Wall Street and other powerful corporations that buy influence with campaign contributions and lobbyists. Using this routine currency of American policy making, Democrats and Republicans alike dismantled protections against waste, fraud and abuse by Wall Street. This bipartisan cooperation enabled greed to crash the economy. That not only killed jobs, it also depressed tax revenues--which has been one of the biggest drivers of the federal deficit. That deficit has also been made worse by unconscionable spending choices: notably the 4 trillion dollars spent on illegal wars and bailouts for Wall Street. And now, the political establishment are making matters far worse, doing the opposite of what we need, by inflicting needless, harsh austerity policies on the country.
Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech , Jan 25, 2012

Make all corporate tax subsidies transparent

We will honor that oldest of American rights, the right to fair taxation that's distributed in proportion to ability to pay. And we will make any corporate tax subsidies transparent by putting these subsidies in public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks in complicated tax codes.

In honoring these rights we will create the basis for a new economy--an economy that is stable and not vulnerable to speculation--an economy that is prosperous and that pays for itself through the creation of real wealth that is distributed throughout America--an economy that is no longer dragged down by big corporations preying on the elderly, the poor, the disabled, the unemployed, and the young, but which instead supports small business, individual liberty, and local, thriving communities.

Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech , Jan 25, 2012

1776 Revolution threw off corporate rule; it's creeping back

Q: You said, "We need to be selective about what we worship in the past" regarding America's founding principles. What do you mean?

A: We don't need to be arming state militias, for example. We are not counting African-Americans as 3/5 of a human being like at America's founding. And we don't tell women to stay in the kitchen and not be seen or heard or represented democratically. There are some things we have improved upon, but there are some rights that we declared--freedom not only from aristocracy but also from corporate rule. Here in New England at the time of America's founding, we had the British East India Company's aristocracy. We threw off rule by the 1% then--that has now crept back into our system. In that sense we're going back to founding principles, by moving toward a democratic revival in this country.

Source: 2011 AmericansElect interview questionnaire with Jill Stein , Dec 21, 2011

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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2016