Hillary Clinton vows to re-write the U.S. tax code

Despite an April 12 video announcement declaring her intent to seek the Democratic nomination for the White House, Hillary Clinton appeared at New York’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park to officially declare her 2016 candidacy for the Oval Office on Saturday.

In her 45-minute speech, Clinton concentrated on what will be the centerpiece of her campaign: Same-sex marriage, equal pay for women and for all Americans, affordable college tuition and free child-care.  It was, however, the issue of income inequality, which appeared to be the climax of her campaign manifesto.

While addressing the income gap among Americans, Clinton slammed the GOP and depicted Republicans as protectors of an elite class of income earners who gain shelter from a tilted tax code.  Clinton vowed to re-write the U.S. tax code, but offered no specifics.

“The top-25 hedge fund managers make more than all kindergarten teachers combined,” she said. “And they’re paying lower taxes.”  She continued:  “These Republicans trip over themselves promising lower taxes for the wealthy and fewer rules for the biggest corporations without regard for how that will make income inequality even worse.”

According to a 2013 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, the top 1% of individual income earners pay a whopping 106% of all taxes; and the bottom 40% of income earners pay -9%, yes, negative, percent of income taxes.  Refundable tax credits and government transfers in the form of welfare benefits account for -9% in the zero-sum tax system the United States utilizes.

Hillary’s critics responded to her speech, declaring it pusillanimous, kowtowing claptrap and both ignorant of basic economics and applying the unsavory tactic of class hate.  In contrast, Hillary’s supporters claim her colorful words, at long last, addressed the prospect of confronting visible abuse of power among the privileged class.

If elected, Hillary may find some support from the wealthy, some of whom do not traditionally form part of her base.  If the CBO report is accurate, and few can doubt its authenticity, the 1% may want an invigorating tax code re-write to ease the tax burden with which they are saddled.

[cnn.com] [reuters.com] [taxfoundaion.org] [economics21.org]