Rick Santorum on Corporations

Republican Jr Senator (PA); 2012 presidential frontrunner


No bailouts: I'm a capitalist, not a corporatist

Q: Back in 2008, you opposed the use of federal bailout funds for automakers as proposed then by the Bush administration. The automakers survived. In retrospect, do you still think that was the right position?

SANTORUM: Absolutely. I'm a capitalist, not a corporatist. I'm not someone who believes we should be bailing out corporations whether their auto industries, or banks. The auto industry would have survived through a bankruptcy process, instead of Washington picking a winner and a loser. And, in this case, the losers are the bondholders, and the winners were the unions. That's fine. They did it, the unions survived. We have not survived in continuing to grow manufacturing jobs. We have a president, and an economy right now, that is choking our ability to be able to compete.

Source: 2015 Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier GOP debate , Nov 10, 2015

Make America #1 in manufacturing, to being back jobs

We've lost two million jobs under this administration in manufacturing--15,000 manufacturers have left this country. Why? Because of bad tax policy, bad regulatory policy and, yes, bad trade policy. We need to have a president that's going to pledge, as I have to make America the number-one manufacturer so working men and women can have good paying jobs again in America.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Pro-worker Republican; only 10% of Americans own businesses

Rick Santorum described his remarks at the Iowa Freedom Summit as not a stump speech but "a serious talk to serious people" in which the winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses called on Republicans to re-imagine their party as the party of the working class. "We need to be the party of the worker," Santorum said. "What percentage of American workers own their own business? Less than 10. So when we go out, as we have for years, and we talk about entrepreneurs and businesses, we're talking to 10 percent of the public. And then we wonder why we don't win!"

Santorum received huge applause for decrying the Common Core and touting his last go-around in Iowa. But when he called on his party to become "pro-worker," response ranged from reluctant applause to silence.

Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

People at the bottom get only a trickle from trickle-down

Republican economic policy could be expressed in one word--growth. "A rising tide lifts all boats," as we like to say--by helping those at the top--the people who start businesses and create jobs--we help those at the bottom.

After 30 years of this policy, does it really work? The short answer is "Yes, but." The "yes" part is pretty clear. Investors can earn more profit ("the rising ride" part), businesses will grow, & there will be more jobs at higher wages ("lifting all boats").

But the income gap is widening, and [non-college grads] are working part-time or in jobs that provide little prospect for advancement. The tide is rising, but many boats have holes of various sizes--for example, a lack of skills or experience, an unstable family, or no high school degree.

Democrats are fond of saying that all the Republican talk about a "rising tide" really amounts to "trickle-down economics." We have to admit that for the people at the bottom, that's what if feels like these days--just a trickle.

Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 51-3 , Apr 28, 2014

Congressional attention curbed outrageous corporate abuses

When I was in Congress, we went after the cozy relationships in the boardrooms of public corporations that resulted in rich rewards for the mediocre and even failed executive teams. Executives were often rewarded when they produced short-term shareholder gains at the expense of the long-term health of the enterprise.

The regulations weren't perfect-they were burdensome, costly, and in many areas ineffective-but the attention curbed some of the outrageous abuses when directors were publicly reminded that their duty is to shareholders.

Nevertheless, the culture of many companies still encourages a short-term outlook and disproportionate rewards for executives at the expense of shareholders and workers. Business leaders are more richly rewarded in America than in almost any other country, and it's hard to believe that THAT many of them are THAT good,

Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 60-1 , Apr 28, 2014

Reduce corporate tax to flat rate of 20%

Our single largest disadvantage is our corporate tax rate, the highest in the industrialized world. It's so high that even President Obama has considered trimming it. So let's reduce the corporate tax to a flat rate of 20 percent with no fancy deductions, no loopholes--just 20 percent net income tax. But REDUCING taxes isn't enough; to create a boom in manufacturing jobs in the United States, we should ELIMINATE the corporate tax for manufacturers. That will attract investment capital to American manufacturing plants, and capital creates jobs. If we could do only one thing to make our manufacturers more competitive, eliminating the corporate tax would be it.
Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p.151-2 , Apr 28, 2014

Small business pays more tax because big guys have loopholes

Q: In your jobs program you propose to eliminate the corporate income tax for manufacturers, but not for other businesses. Isn't that picking winners and losers?

SANTORUM: No, it's not. What we do is cut corporate taxes for everybody. We cut it from 35% to 17.5%, make it basically a net profits tax. So part of what we are trying to do is to have a government system that can compete with who our competitor is. The competitor at the local drugstore is not China. The competitor is other people. And as long as that is level and everybody's paying, the big corporations and the little ones--and that's why we have a flat 17.5%--so we keep the little guys paying the same rate as the big guys who right now, with this very complex code, a lot of folks in there trying to reduce rates by using the tax code to shrink their tax liability. So we've leveled the playing field for the guys here in this country and we've created a competitive environment for the manufacturer.

Source: Fox News debate on MLK Day in Myrtle Beach, SC , Jan 16, 2012

Companies run into a stiff headwind called government

Q: What about job creation?

SANTORUM: I come from southwestern Pennsylvania, the heart of the steel country, the heart of manufacturing. And it's been devastated because we are uncompetitive. Thirty years ago we were devastated because business and labor didn't understand global competitiveness and they made a lot of mistakes. They weren't prepared for it and we lost a lot of jobs. That's not what's happening now. Our productivity gains, our labor force, they're doing their job, they're being competitive. But they're running into a stiff headwind called government. And it's government taxation, 35% corporate tax which is high--the highest in the world. It's a tax that doesn't easily offset when we try to export.

Q: Everyone on this stage is for lowering the corporate tax.

SANTORUM: No one wants to zero it out for manufacturers and processors, which is what I do because we are at 20% cost differential with our nine top trading partners on average.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Cut all corporate tax rates to zero

What we need is a pro-growth plan that can pass the Congress with Democratic support and be able to rally the American people. What the American people want is a policy that's going to get people the opportunity to rise in society, to fill that great middle of America, and that is manufacturing jobs.

That's why my plan takes the corporate tax, which is 35%, cuts it to zero, and says, if you manufacture in America, you aren't going to pay any taxes. We want you to come back here.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Cut the corporate tax to zero, to create jobs

I've put forward a plan because I think it's the best plan that actually can pass the Senate. And what I focused on was a sector of the economy that can get Democratic votes.

We cut the corporate tax from 35% to zero, because we want to build the great middle of America again, get those jobs that were shipped overseas by companies that were looking too make a profit because they couldn't any longer do it here, and bring those jobs back to America.

We cut that corporate rate to zero. We pass repatriation to get those resources that are overseas, $1.2 trillion, and we bring them back here.

We'll create jobs, and I'll get Democratic votes to pass it. We'll bring things together, because those industrial state Democrats--and I know, because I'm from an industrial state--they will vote for this bill. You want to get something going, elect someone who knows how to get things done.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

Cut corporate tax rate to zero & jobs will come back

Q: [to Pawlenty]: You say your economic plan with tax cuts and spending caps would grow the economy by an average rate of 5% a year for 10 years. With the last two quarters averaging less than 1% growth--is your proposal just pie in the sky?

PAWLENTY: Well, the US needs a growth target, and it needs to be an aggressive and bold growth target.

Q: Gov. Pawlenty says America can quickly grow 5% a year. Is he right?

SANTORUM: America has unbounded potential. And I think putting a limit on that potential, we've grown at faster rates than that. When I grew up, 21% worked in manufacturing. It is now 9%. If you want to know where the middle of America went, it went to China, it went to Malaysia, it went to Indonesia We need to bring it back. I put together a four-point plan to do it. The big thing I proposed is to take the corporate rate which makes us uncompetitive, particularly in exporting goods, take the corporate rate and cut it to zero for manufacturers.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Voted NO 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 100% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record.

Santorum scores 100% 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

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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016