The CEO of Bank of America is the newest business leader to speak out against discriminatory voting laws in states like Georgia and Texas, calling for an investigation by a federal bipartisan commission.
“The right to vote should be distributed in the broadest sense and anything that goes against that shouldn’t be tolerated,” said CEO Brian Moynihan in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Friday.
The remarks come just two days after more than a hundred CEOs from major corporations took out a full-page ad in The New York Times defending everyone’s right to vote and criticizing “any unjust legislation” that restricts that right.
States have the freedom to set their own voting rules, but Moynihan believes companies should speak out when they see something they believe is unfair.
Coca-Cola (KO) and Delta (DAL), both located in Atlanta, have both opposed Georgia’s current restrictive rules. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), has also expressed his concerns about racism against Black Americans as well as social and economic inequality. “The American dream is fraying, and income inequality is like the fault line,” Dimon told CNN’s David Axelrod earlier this week.
Moynihan said he agreed with Dimon and that his bank intends to invest even more in local minority businesses and services to help people improve their work skills.
Moynihan also discussed the economy with Harlow, as well as President Joe Biden’s plan to increase corporate taxes. He expressed optimism about a recovery, citing Bank of America economists’ predictions of a 7% rise in GDP this year and another 5% increase in 2022.
“It’s a lot faster than the last few years,” he said, adding that the decline in the number of people filing weekly unemployment claims as well as the unemployment rate was promising.
When asked if he supports Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% (from 21%) to help pay for the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package, Moynihan was hesitant.
“We have to see what they come up with,” he said.
Some business leaders, including Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos and Lyft (LYFT) CEO John Zimmer, have expressed support for a tax hike.
Despite his belief that America needs a “well-focused infrastructure plan” to remain competitive with the rest of the world, Moynihan told Harlow that the scale of the spending package must be considered in order to maintain the country’s credit rating.
And, like many other business leaders, Moynihan said that Covid-19 is his greatest worry about the US economy, and that the country needs to “get through the health-care crisis” and increase vaccinations.