Friday, August 12, 2016

Clinton's Economic Plan: Tax the Rich (a Little More) and Help the Lower and Middle Classes

Income inequality is bad for society, but it means there's money at the top to spend. Hillary says spend it.

She's become rich. Like Warren Buffett, she wants to be taxed.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have now laid out the essentials of their economic plans, and the differences are as stark as they were predictable. Trump wants to double down on tax cuts for the rich, and Clinton wants to tax the rich and pass the money over to programs that build infrastructure and enhance education.

Let's look at Clinton's:
Mrs. Clinton says her first priority is to create jobs, primarily through public investments in infrastructure, like roads, bridges, school renovations, affordable housing, water systems, electrical grids, broadband internet and renewable energy.
To help pay for the plan, initially $275 billion over five years, she has proposed several tax increases on high earners, including the “Buffett rule” for a minimum tax of 30 percent on those who make more than $1 million, a 4 percent surcharge on incomes over $5 million and a limit on deductions. Mr. Trump has also said he would rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. But the multitrillion-dollar income tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy in his plan would preclude such investments. And his plan to repeal the estate tax, Mrs. Clinton rightly pointed out, would not help a vast majority of Americans and deplete the Treasury of hundreds of billion of dollars of revenue.
Creating greater “fairness” in the economy is another priority for Mrs. Clinton — one to be achieved largely through tax policy changes. To help curb the decades-long trend of rising corporate profits and falling wages, she called for a new business tax credit to reward companies that have profit-sharing plans. Mr. Trump has said little about inequality and has no such proposal.
On helping low-income workers, she wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour; Mr. Trump would raise it to $10 an hour, a position he adopted only recently and after saying that pay was already too high.
The choice is stark when it comes to child care: Clinton's plan would help more at the bottom, while Trump's would clearly help the affluent and barely touch the working poor.

Clinton's programs are largely paid for. Trump's are clearly not.

All the hoopla that surrounds a campaign -- especially given Trump's obsession with the outlandish statement -- can obscure what the real priorities are. It's the policy, stupid, and when it comes to policy, the meat and potatoes are in the economic plans. Read them, study them, and then make up your minds.

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