Moral Low Ground


Sarah Palin, Rand Paul Rush to Defend Mitt Romney’s “Corporations are People” Remark

Yesterday, Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney raised eyebrows and ire when he publicly declared that “corporations are people” to an audience in Iowa. Here’s a short video of that, in case you missed it:

There was a time in this country when such dubious proclamations would have likely sinked a candidate’s presidential bid. Well, today former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, two darlings of the reactionary right, have rushed to defend Romney’s ludicrous assertion.

“I think we’re all corporations,” Paul said when asked what he thought of Romney’s statement. “To say we’re going to punish corporations like they’re someone else; all of us are corporations.” When a reporter pointed out that corporations can’t be sent to jail, Paul added: “I think those arguments can be made, but… a lot of times people want to vilify corporations, saying they’re someone else, that they’re these other rich people. They’re us. They’re the middle class.”

As deluded as Paul’s comments seem, Sarah Palin’s remarks were downright false, as is so often the case with Sarah Palin. ThinkProgress caught up with Palin’s bus tour as it rolled into Iowa and asked the could-be presidential contender if she agreed with Romney’s comments.

“The people pay the taxes,” she attempted to explain. “It’s not an entity — the corporation itself — that pays the taxes. It’s the people who pay the taxes. So Mitt Romney was right.”

And Sarah Palin was wrong. Again. Corporations do pay taxes. Some more than others and some, like Citigroup, Chevron, Valero, General Electric, Bank of America and ExxonMobil either paid zero in federal income tax or actually received refundssome of them in the billions– from the government.

Of course, the unspoken truth is that American political candidates– especially Republicans– had better defend corporations, being that it is largely corporate cash that can make or break their electoral hopes. Never mind that corporations cannot vote, cannot be sent to prison and do not have hearts and brains (not unlike some conservatives, it seems). They do have plenty of the most important thing in political life– cold, hard cash– and that, coupled with sympathetic Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United, make them just as human as you and I in the eyes of conservatives like Romney, Palin and Paul. Perhaps even more so.

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  1. AdamAugust 14, 2011 at 9:08 amReply

    How disturbing are Palin’s remarks? Does she really not know?

    I think we all understand what Romney meant. It was a fair sentiment if badly spoken. This is all a false argument anyway: progressives should agree that corporations may either benefit or harm people, or both. We should disagree that anything not in a corporation’s immediate interest (taxes and regulations) is somehow also bad for our whole society.

    • Brett WilkinsAugust 14, 2011 at 10:05 amReplyAuthor

      President Palin= run for the hills. President Romney= We’ll survive. Maybe we’ll even be better off than we are under the current Bush III regime.

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