Weekly Address: Playing by the Same Rules
WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President highlighted two specific steps the Administration took this week to make sure everyone plays by the same rules. First, in order to help more Americans retire with the security they have earned, the Department of Labor finalized a rule that will ensure retirement advisers compete based on the quality of advice they give rather than acting in their own financial interests. In addition, the Treasury Department took action this week to crack down on corporations that take advantage of inversions, a loophole that allows some businesses to avoid paying their fair share in taxes here at home. These actions underscore the President's belief that we should continue to build an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
The White House
April 9, 2016
Hi everybody. Over the past seven years, we haven’t just been recovering from crisis, we’ve been rebuilding our economy on a new foundation for growth – growth that benefits everybody, not just folks at the top. Our businesses have created jobs for 73 straight months – 14.4 million new jobs in all. We’ve covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance. We’ve helped more Americans afford college, and invested in industries that create good jobs that pay well, like clean energy. And wages are finally rising again.
But there will always be more work to do. And this week, my Administration took two big steps that will help make sure your hard work is rewarded, and that everybody plays by the same rules.
First, we’re helping more Americans retire with security and dignity. Right now, if you go to a retirement advisor for investment advice, some of them don’t have to act in your best interest. Instead of telling you the best way to save your hard-earned money, these advisors can get backdoor payments from big companies for steering you toward investments that cost more and earn you less. As a result, when you retire, you might be missing out on tens of thousands of dollars – because your advisor got paid more to give you bad advice.
If that seems wrong, that’s because it is. That’s why the Department of Labor just finalized a rule to crack down on these kinds of conflicts of interest. And a lot of Wall Street special interests aren’t very happy about it. But across the country, this new rule will boost working folks’ retirement savings by billions of dollars a year. And it will level the playing field for the many good advisors who do work in their clients’ best interest.
Second, the Treasury Department took action to crack down on big corporations that change their address overseas after acquiring smaller companies, in order to reduce their tax bill here at home. It’s a loophole called “corporate inversion.“ And it means that American companies can take advantage of America’s technology, America’s infrastructure, America’s workers – but then, when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes, suddenly claim they’re not American companies after all. That’s why, this week, the Treasury Department made it more difficult for companies to exploit this loophole and stick the rest of us with the tab.
Together, these steps build on the work we’ve already done to make our tax code fairer and consumer protections stronger. Because I believe that rather than double down on policies that allow a few at the top to play by their own rules, we should build an economy where everybody has a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.
That’s what this country is all about. That’s what we’ve been working toward these past seven years. And that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for as long as I’m your President.
Thanks everybody. Have a great weekend.