Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has long been a controversial figure in the United States. She has been an almost constant target of the Republican Party and Conservative leadership. The obsession with destroying Clinton has resulted in many conspiracy theories and unproven charges against her. The ire has also started to come from the Democratic Party particularly as she seeks the presidency.
Questions have always been raised about her connections to Wall Street and big corporations. Some of those connections come from her time as senator from New York. Others are due to the high-profile nature of the Clinton family. Hillary Clinton’s ties to big money have come into sharp focus as she goes up against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders has a long and clear record of wanting to eliminate big money from politics and to hold corporations accountable. He specifically wants to reform the tax code in the United States to ensure that corporations are unable to use loopholes or offshore entities to avoid paying taxes in America.
Sanders took the time to sort through recent records to find the top ten corporations that did not pay any federal income taxes. He specifically looked at multinational corporations. Sanders found that the ten largest multinational corporations that did not pay any federal income taxes from 2008 to 2012 were also some of the top donors to either the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign or the charity that her husband set up after leaving office.
Companies like Verizon, General Electric and Boeing all made tens of billions of dollars over four years. They also paid no federal income taxes. Other companies like Bank of America, Pfizer and FedEx actually got millions of dollars in tax refunds over that time. Other corporations on the list are Merck, Citigroup, Honeywell and Corning. The numbers do help to reinforce the idea that Hillary Clinton serves only corporate interests and not the people. Her Liberal or Progressive credentials have been questioned because of this connection.
It is important to point out that no evidence has ever been presented showing that Hillary Clinton performed political favors as senator or State Department head in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation or her campaigns. Most of the charges against her have been largely anecdotal. Clinton herself has even explained away some of the charges that seemed suspicious. Bernie Sanders is in a good position to make these claims against Clinton although he has not really made any accusations himself. He is relying on the long reputation of Clinton to help voters make the connection between her and corporate tax dodgers.
Sanders is hoping that his strong message will help to drive his campaign forward. Recent results in the Iowa caucuses where the two Democratic candidates basically tied show that his message is resonating with voters. Clinton supporters, however, are often already aware of these connections to corporations and her responses to the charges. It remains to be seen whether this information will sway anyone planning to vote for her. Despite the differences between Sanders and Clinton, Democrats do need to keep in mind that either candidate is a far better option than what the Republican Party is offering.
Fervent Bernie supporters are threatening to not vote for Clinton if she is nominated. Some fervent Hillary supporters believe she is the only option for winning the presidency. The reality is that both candidates are good and excel when it comes to policy ideas as opposed to people like Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. Democratic leaders hope that the schism that currently exists between Sanders and Clinton supporters will not harm the chances the party has when the general election finally arrives regardless of the nominee.