Ron Paul: Corporations Are NOT People


Mitt Romney: And there are various ways of doing that. One is we could raise taxes on people. That’s not the way…

Audience: Corporations! Corporations!

Mitt Romney: Corporations are people, my friend. We could raise taxes on… Of course they are. Everything a corporation earns also goes to people.

Audience: Hahaha

Mitt Romney: So… where do you think it goes?

Audience: Pockets.

Mitt Romney: Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets. Okay… human beings, my friend.

Interviewer: Real quick question for you… What did you make of Mitt Romney’s statement that corporations are people yesterday?

Ron Paul: Well obviously, they are not. People are individuals, they’re not groups and they’re not companies. Individuals have rights, they’re not collective. You can’t duck that. So individuals should be responsible for corporations, and they shouldn’t be a new creature so-to-speak. Rights and obligations should be always back to the individual.

  • Stephie49601

    lol, Romney sounds like he’s selling you something. What a joke.
    Corps are all for themselves Romney. Corps will do anything to get money. Even sell and make something that’s 10x bad for you…like cigs

  • cchank1

    As far as i’m concern, a Corporation is a gigantic building.

  • cdimmm

    a corporation is a dead person so Mutt is half right. Shame on you doctor Paul for not elaborating.

  • kitt998

    i do love ron paul, but i disagree with him here and agree with mitt – ‘corporations’ aka companies distribute ALL of their earnings to their employees, shareholders, suppliers, the government, and also any litigation claimants – all these groups are groups of people.

    so if you tax comapnies, you indirectly tax people, because companies will decrease their pay, tax contributions, and dividends.



      “‘corporations’ aka companies distribute ALL of their earnings to their employees, shareholders, suppliers, the government, and also any litigation claimants – all these groups are groups of people.”

      You forgot where most of those earnings go, to the very top like CEOs that outsource American jobs for cheaper labor in order to line their pockets.

      • John

        That’s just not true.

        Most of a company’s costs go towards paying workers, and most of that pay is not concentrated into the pockets of CEOs.

        As an example: Intel made about 43 billion dollars in 2010, but the CEO was compensated only 15 million dollars. That’s just .03% of the company’s total revenue.

        How many people – in the entire world – do you think are qualified to be the CEO of Intel? How many people are qualified to be the quarterback of the New England Patriots? There’s a reason why some people earn so much money. They’re talented and rare.

        Why do you think companies outsource? It’s not to “line their pockets”, it’s because they can make cheaper products that more people will buy. Your myopic understanding of economics is bordering on the absurd. If just ONE hat company (for example) outsourced and could sell their products for half as much, would the others survive if they didn’t do the same? Would you buy hats if they were twice as expensive? Not everyone has the luxury to spend twice as much on such things.

        The fact that the third world gets to produce our trivial nic-nacs amuses me, I’m glad that our economy is moving away from such pursuits. We need less people working in factories and more people innovating in scientific fields. Already, a majority of the research that goes on in American universities is by foreign-born people here on H1-B Visas. Do you want to return our country to a land of factories while Europe and Asia attract all the talent and intelligence?

        I’m beginning to get the impression that you’re a socialist and not a free market libertarian like Dr. Paul…

        • WE THE PEOPLE

          And just how much more does an average CEO make then the workers?
          Like to take a guess?525 times more.
          Is anyone worth that much more? Hell no!
          The “talented and rare” theory is a load of BS.
          Like the “talented and rare” breed that runs a company into the ground than when he/she gets fired receives a “golden parachute” for their poerformance.
          It is a great gig though if you can get it. Even failure is rewarded.

          “We need less people working in factories and more people innovating in scientific fields.”-John.

          And this myopic globalist attitude is precisely why our economy is the crapper! You evidently haven’t heard of the American middle class!
          And the cheap goods are great…..if you have a job and can afford them.
          Am I the only citizen that would be willing to pay more for goods MADE IN AMERICA? I don’t thinks so!!!!
          I call it patriotism to support your fellow working Americans!

          There’s that typical buzz word “socialist”.
          I’m thinking you are one of those corporate conservatives. And that’s a lot closer to the mark than you’re wild guess!

          • John

            Why does it matter how much CEOs make? Their compensation is determined by a contract between free people. Who are you to interfere? The “golden parachute” is part of that contract. By the way, a large part of their compensation is in stock options, which, if they don’t do a very good job, could lose potentially huge amounts of value. The same cannot be said for the “average worker”.

            That figure is slanted anyway, you should use median compensation, not average. For example, at my company, if the CEO’s compensation was 525 times the size of the average worker, we wouldn’t have any money. Most companies aren’t that big, so the big guys really skew the statistics. The mathematics are quite simple, actually..

            The American middle class benefits immensely from globalization. Virtually all of our goods cost less. In fact, many Americans wouldn’t even be able to afford American goods. It makes no sense whatsoever, sorry.

            I always pay premiums for American goods if there’s a choice, I hate buying things from China, but I only do this (and only can do this) because I can afford it… because I work as a software programmer. The problem is that obviously the free market has decided that cheap goods are better than American goods. Just because you don’t like that doesn’t mean you get to force everyone to agree with your viewpoint through legislation.

            So it seems to me that you’re telling me the following things:
            1. American CEOs earn too much, and the government should interfere with private contracts
            2. American consumers should be forced to buy expensive American products

            Only a socialist could say such things, sorry. I have no sympathy for failed corporations and they shouldn’t get a single dime from taxpayers – including the American manufacturing sector. If manufacturing in America is unaffordable, it shouldn’t be done here. An industrial/manufacturing economy is like working at McDonald’s for a teenager – it’s supposed to be a temporary first step, not a career. When a first world country can escape the pollution and hard labor inherent to that type of activity, it’s supposed to be benefiting from an educated, skilled labor force that produces high tech, high concept products.

            I’d suggest looking up some books by Milton Friedman. He makes these concepts incredibly clear. He also has a video series that is also really good. It will help you to learn and understand what free markets are, how they benefit us, and what Dr. Paul’s philosophy is. Right now, you’re basically on the exact opposite end from him, you really do hold socialist philosophies. I’d actually suggest voting for a democrat if these are really your views. I’m not joking or trying to make fun of you.

          • Truth Is Self-Evident

            This was an argument about corporate personhood, the legal fiction never codified by the Congress, just established by judicial activism in 1886 (Santa Clara v. Union Pacific Railroad), where the Supreme Court interpreted without a finding that a corporation is a SINGLE PERSON in the eyes of the law. Not a group of executives and employees, but a single person, ergo legal status as such. This is wrong, I agree with Ron Paul.

          • John

            No, this was not an argument about legal personhood, watch the original video.

            It’s about the effects of raising taxes on corporations. Romney’s entire point is that it is PEOPLE that pay taxes, not buildings or patents or equipment. Thus, for all intents and purposes when it comes to corporate taxation, corporations ARE people. The guy whining in the video about taxing corporations thinks that you can take money from companies without affecting anyone, but he’s clearly and obviously wrong. He may also think that its the owners that end up paying the tax, but it’s very difficult to tell if that’s true and in all likelihood the tax burden is shared between the owners, workers, and consumers. Keep in mind that “workers” may also include people that WOULD be hired if that tax money wasn’t being taken away, so in some sense the burden is felt by the unemployed as well.

            Whether it’s the owners, workers, or customers, someone is always paying the tax.

          • WE THE PEOPLE

            There’s that conservative buzzword “socialist” again. Isn’t that a wee bit worn out already?
            It does matter what CEOs make. Ever hear of class stratification? And I’ll pass on reading anything Friedman.
            You definitely have no clue about manufacturing jobs. It’s not a “temporary first step” whatever the hell that is supposed to be. That b.s. isn’t real world where I come from. It sounds like corporate conservatism to me. Anybody arrogant enough to equate industrial/manufacturing jobs with a job at McDonalds hasn’t worked for a living. Not really anyway.
            Being a software programmer you better hope that somebody in India doesn’t get your job because they will work for less. But then again, I have a hunch that your tune would change then wouldn’t it? You could always tell yourself that your job was a “temporary first step.”

            Lets address some of your points…
            “1. American CEOs earn too much, and the government should interfere with private contracts.”
            You got half of it right. CEOs do indeed make too much.Absolutely. Nobody is worth what they get and especially those that fail. Government doesn’t necessarily have to step in and regulate that. But something needs to be done.
            “2. American consumers should be forced to buy expensive American products.” Now that’s a reach! Or an overactive imagination. It’s about CHOICE. I will pay more for American goods. I don’t see anything wrong with a tariff like Reagan used to protect Harley-Davidson in 1983. Portect and foster American made goods.

            And if you can’t figure out that the argument is indeed about “corporate personhood” you haven’t been listening to Ron Paul at all.

          • John

            No, it doesn’t matter what CEOs make because it’s none of your damn business what they make. What they make was decided through free, private contracts. It is NONE of your business.

            Let me give you an example of why what you’re saying is so absurd.

            Let’s say that I work as a programmer, but that my passion is making good sandwiches. Everyone loves my sandwiches. One summer, I take a pretty big risk and take a loan out (and dip into my savings) to purchase the equipment necessary to start a sandwich stand at a local fair. Let’s just say that it costs me about $3 to make a sandwich and I sell them for $5. I make $2 profit for each one. In the first year, I make about $10,000. Not enough to live on, but enough to encourage me to continue doing this.

            The next year, I open my stand in a few more fairs. I make $20,000. The year after that, a few more. Maybe one year I make about $40,000 in addition to my paycheck, and decide to take an even bigger plunge, an even bigger risk.

            I take another large loan, and dip into all the money I’ve made doing this, and buy some property and open a permanent sandwich shop. In my first year, I serve enough sandwiches to make $70,000, more than I earned working for someone else. After a few years, I take another risk, another plunge, and open a second location. I hire a couple people to work there and now I’m making $120,000/year.

            After a few years, I open more and more locations, and have my first $1,000,000 year.

            Now my question to you is this: What is the difference between the VERY FIRST $2 I ever earned, and the next $999,998? Each transaction was done without coercive force. Each transaction was mutually beneficial. I hired people and created jobs. I provided a product that people enjoyed.

            What makes that first $2 I earned any different from the 10,000th $2 I earned? How about the 500,000th $2 I earned? What’s the difference?

            There is no difference. To state that over some X amount of sandwiches sold I am no longer entitled to the fruits of my labor is absurd. You’re a statist, plain and simple. You are advocating using jackbooted thugs to come into my business, point guns in my face, and hand over the cash. This in no way represents the philosophy of Ron Paul, or anyone else except hard-core communists/fascists.

            In reality, your argument is actually even more absurd than this example, because the CEO is not actually the owner of the company. What you’re ACTUALLY telling me is that there is a limit on how much I can offer a CEO to work for me. How does that make ANY sense? If I’m competing with a shoe company for a CEO’s work, and we’re both limited to offering him $200,000/year, all that means is that we’re going to offer him some other perks that are possibly worth much more than that. Maybe stock options, maybe some other compensation, who knows. Maybe I offer him $200,000/year to work for the first quarter of the year, and have 3 other CEOs that rotate in, and I pay each of THEM $200,000/year. This way I have a CEO year round but I still adhere to your ridiculous laws.

            You are advocating using government power to interfere with peoples’ private lives. You’re a fascist.

            You go on to say: “Now that’s a reach! Or an overactive imagination. It’s about CHOICE. I will pay more for American goods. I don’t see anything wrong with a tariff like Reagan used to protect Harley-Davidson in 1983. Portect and foster American made goods.”
            I couldn’t help but chuckle at this series of contradictory statements. You want choice, but you want some choices to be punished based on national borders. What kind of choice is that? As a consumer, it takes AWAY choices – if Suzuki makes a bike that maybe isn’t as good as Harley but is within my price range, maybe I’d want to buy that. Is there something wrong with that? Harley makes an iconic bike that people will pay a premium for anyway. Maybe they won’t make as much money but who cares? You have to stop looking at things in terms of who is making what money, and look at things in terms of who is receiving the products that they want. In fact, in this case, YOU ARE SIDING WITH STATISTS _AGAIN_. Again, you are using government power to interfere with the private lives and choices of the citizens. You are using government power to enrich a private corporation. This is called “rent seeking” and enriches some people without enriching the society in which they live. Once again, you are advocating corporatism and state power, which is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Ron Paul stands for.

            I don’t mind competing against Indians. It encourages personal development and keeps me interested in furthering my own skills. I think I bring more to the table and offer more bang for the buck than cheap Indian labor. Obviously my employers agree.

            Finally, no, it is NOT about corporate personhood. Again, I encourage you to actually view the video in question. The guy in the crowd shouts to tax the corporations, and Romney replies that “corporations are people my friend”. He was not replying to a statement about free speech or anything else, he was replying to a statement about corporate taxation. Earlier in this thread I linked two articles about the subject. The entire point of those articles is this: “corporate taxes” are a boondoggle, and are a clever trick of the government to hide taxes where you won’t notice them. Most people only notice their income taxes, they don’t notice the affect of taxes on the price of the things they buy. If the money companies are paying towards “corporate taxes” was instead kept in the company, where would it go? Would it go towards dividends for shareholders perhaps? Maybe it would go towards hiring more people? Maybe it would go towards lowering prices? Maybe it would go towards buying more capital equipment, increasing the productive capacity (and thus the wages) of the workers? In each and every case you can conceive of, ultimately the money would be going towards A PERSON. Thus, to take that money away, it is A PERSON you are depriving it of.

            In fact, shareholders are actually double-taxed. They are taxed once on the profits the corporation makes, and AGAIN on the profits that THEY make (capital gains).

            This REDUCES the incentive to invest in American companies. This is just one example of why corporate taxation doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

            This is the same reason why the way social security is taxed is completely unethical. You pay a portion, and your employer pays a portion – but there is ZERO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in that distinction! Ask yourself – why doesn’t the company, instead of paying $3000 towards my social security, just pay ME that $3000 and then I am forced to pay that towards social security? The reason is simple – it’s a tax which is hidden from you to make it seem like you’re not paying it, when you actually are.

          • WE THE PEOPLE

            As far as being a “fascist”, I don’t have the party affiliation to qualify for that label. We just survived eight years of fascism. Fascism is ” a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”

            We don’t have the dictator anymore. His two terms were up in ’08.

            Of course it matters what a CEO makes. Somebody pays for that high compensation and it isn’t necessarily the shareholder. You have to maximize profits for the shareholder. So it’s passed on to the consumer. Class stratification only benefits the wealthy or in some cases, the aristocracy.

            On the issue of Harley and the protective tariff of 1983, the choice is mine as a consumer. If I want to buy the Suzuki or Kawasaki etc.. at a higher price because of a tariff that’s my choice as a consumer.And no it absolutely does not take away any choice. That’s a phantom argument stereotypical of corporate conservatives.

            The problem boils down to corporate power in government. The media in general is owned by corporations as well as a large number of Senators and Congresspeople. It’s fact. Power has shifted from “We the people” to “we the corporations.”
            I suggest you read one of David Cay Johnston’s books.

          • John

            Yes, the CEO is paid through a private contract. Again, it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how much he makes. If the product is too expensive because of the CEO’s pay, don’t buy it. If the product is too expensive because of corporate taxation, you have no choice. Your only choice is to buy foreign.

            You say that “class stratification only benefits the wealthy”… well, in some sense that’s not entirely true, but in another sense – OF COURSE IT DOES. No one is defending CEO pay because people earning minimum wage somehow benefit.

            The argument is that, again, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how much SOMEONE ELSE is being paid.

            The sense in which it DOES help you is that if a company can offer a good wage and attract the talents of a skilled CEO, that company will prosper, the workers will stay employed and more may be hired, and consumers will benefit from the continued existence of great products and low prices. If CEOs are capped to some value in the US they’ll look for jobs elsewhere. You won’t run out of CEOs, you just won’t be able to attract the best CEOs in the world, which is a huge advantage that American companies have.

            In another sense, it does help you because it incentivizes hard work. CEOs aren’t generally idiotic slouches that happened upon the job by accident. Look at the qualifications of Alan Mulally for example. He graduated as an engineer, and has spent his entire life in the engineering field. He brought revolutionary innovation to Boeing and worked his way up the corporate ladder over the course of ~36 years. And you think you should be able to use government thugs to go around forcing people at gunpoint to not pay him too much?

            Additionally, the group which comprises “the wealthy” changes ALL THE TIME. It’s called income mobility and the US is pretty good at it (not the best, but good). What that means is that people who are poor today can be in the wealthiest quintile within their lifetime. In fact, the majority of people who are considered to be in the poorest quintile today will not be in that same quintile later in life. They escape it by earning promotions, going to school, building a resume and changing jobs, and on and on.

            “On the issue of Harley and the protective tariff of 1983, the choice is mine as a consumer. If I want to buy the Suzuki or Kawasaki etc.. at a higher price because of a tariff that’s my choice as a consumer.And no it absolutely does not take away any choice. That’s a phantom argument stereotypical of corporate conservatives. ”
            I don’t understand how you’re not understanding this. Please, I implore you, use your reason and think about what you’re saying.

            I said to you that tariffs are wrong because it prevents the consumer from choosing a cheaper alternative to the Harley. Say a Suzuki is $20,000 and a Harley is $30,000.

            You are saying that tariffs are right because it gives consumers the option to choose a more expensive alternative to the Harley. In this case let’s say that the tariff causes the $20,000 Suzuki to cost $40,000 and a Harley is still $30,000.

            In my world, someone that can’t afford a Harley can possibly get a Suzuki instead.
            In YOUR world, someone that can’t afford a Harley can’t get a motorcycle at all! You’re REDUCING choices available to consumers. How can you not see this?

            Additionally, by artificially raising the price of the Suzuki, you allow Harley to distort the prices of their bikes. They can raise the price of their bike and still out-compete Suzuki, which is being unfairly punished. The price of both bikes do not accurately reflect market forces, which makes them both more expensive.

            There is no one in the world that is going to choose the more expensive option if that option isn’t more expensive for any practical reason. Imagine selling red plastic cups, and putting a 1000% tariff on imported versions. You’re saying that it’s a “choice” to decide to only pay $5 for a stack of 20 of them, instead of $5,000???

            Tariffs do not add information to the price of something, that is the entire problem.

  • TheMunqq


  • mangoswiss

    This is a semantic side show.

    In the UK, corporations are generally referred to as companies and in this instance I think we Brits have got the better term. ‘Company’ sounds just like what it is… a ‘company’ of people.

    Anyway, Go Ron Paul! I will cry if you don’t elect him this time.

  • brucebannerization

    He Who Must Not Be Named, 2012

  • I like to refer to supreme court ruling
    These rulings are always quite long but below is the major gist, never been overturned etc. I personally think our problem today is the Govt attempts to treat all individuals like corporations. We only seem to have rights when it is convenient. Another good reason to elect Ron Paul president and he will reestablish the Bill of Rights…but I digress….back to the case at hand.

    HALE V. HENKEL, 201 U. S. 43 (1906)
    …..There is a clear distinction between an individual and a corporation, and the latter, being a creature of the State, has not the constitutional right to refuse to submit its books and papers for an examination at the suit of the State; and an officer of a corporation which is charged with criminal violation of a statute cannot plead the criminality of the corporation as a refusal to produce its books.

  • BenBurstanky

    look at the guy that asked the question hahaha

  • JohnVacchi

    as much as I feel sympathy for Dr. Paul you Americans have to realize that he won’t win the election…simply because there are too many groups that just wouldn’t like that much to see this that much..

  • vegasmyopia

    Legally, Mitt Romney is correct; I’m sorry to say.
    (Dartmouth College v. Woodward, decided in 1819. In the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations were recognized as persons for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.)


      You are incorrect like anyone that cites Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.
      What you fail to realize is the subject matter of that case. It was about a property line and taxes related to said property.
      What everyone has been citing is not a legal ruling,finding,or decision but the headnote written by railroad lawyer J.C.Bancroft Davis.
      So there is no legal ruling or basis for the idiocy that corporations have the same rights as individuals.

  • xCaptainAmericaxx

    Romney: Corporations are people
    Paul: You’re wrong again, sucker!

  • mattnashisgay

    I’m not surprised Mitt Romney would say that. He probably gets a lot more money from corporations than actual people.

  • horror11

    in a world of lies and corruption, no one will ever get high enough to throw out all the profiteers and ppl who corrupt the system.
    its impossible with a election to beat the criminals when they themselves count the votes, even if, how could paul pass a single law without the zionist controlled congress wich will never allow paul to do what he wants to do to end the fed and end the wars and end the aid to israel?
    dont waste ur time, start thinking about the only way to regain control

  • tjmac7

    corporations are people, they arent human beings, the sooner people wake up to the jargon and legalese that has been used to tie them up the sooner they will be able to untie each other.

  • tjmac7

    corporations are people, they arent human beings, the sooner people wake up to the jargon and legalese that has been used to tie them up the sooner they will be able to untie each other.

  • altgeldrarities

    If Mitt Romney was a corporation, I would short his stock on Wall Street. Imagine his mother’s labor pain if she had given birth to a corporation.

  • IcyScythe

    romney looks like he’s gonna pop a blood vessel

  • IcyScythe

    romney looks like he’s gonna pop a blood vessel

  • Msbea345

    okay..that’s it…get RonPaul in office.