ELDER PATRIOT – Admittedly, Hillary Clinton had to walk a tightrope between the need to praise the results of President Obama’s eight years of unprecedented government growth and her constituents’ insatiable demand for even more government handouts. Only an economic illiterate could believe that she made a credible case.
To their credit, the Democratic National Committee was able to hire enough economic illiterates to fill the Wells Fargo Center for Mrs. Clinton’s acceptance speech last night.
It’s one thing to find economic dummies in Philadelphia, a city whose students have endured 60 consecutive years of indoctrination under Democratic leadership of their schools, but it’ll be entirely more difficult convincing America’s workers that Mrs. Clinton offered any cogent ideas worth compounding the debt that our children will inherit.
Mrs. Clinton is counting on the American people to believe that a government that will spend $6.7 trillion this year and will collect taxes estimated to be $3.34 trillion, can also afford to add free college tuition, and expand social security and government healthcare (the costs of which has already bankrupted its largest exchange.)
Mrs. Clinton may get a bump in the polls coming out of this election. If she does it will be short-lived as voters realize neither they nor their employers have anything left to give to fund her plans.
To pay for all of this Mrs. Clinton has proposed a laundry list of tax increases that will only drive the job opportunities and buying power of all Americans down further while encouraging even more defections to foreign countries by corporations. Mrs. Clinton’s proposed taxes hikes are outlined by John Kartch and Alexander Hendrie in their article “Full List of Hillary’s Planned Tax Hikes” that appears on the Americans for Tax Reform website:
Income Tax Increase – $350 Billion: Clinton has proposed a $350 billion income tax hike in the form of a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions.
Business Tax Increase — $275 Billion: Clinton has called for a tax hike of at least $275 billion through undefined business tax reform, as described in a Clinton campaign document.
“Fairness” Tax Increase — $400 Billion: According to her published plan, Clinton has called for a tax increase of “between $400 and $500 billion” by “restoring basic fairness to our tax code.” These proposals include a “fair share surcharge,” the taxing of carried interest capital gains as ordinary income, and a hike in the Death Tax.
But there are even more Clinton tax hike proposals not included in the tally above. Her campaign has failed to release specific details for many of her proposals. The true Clinton net tax hike figure is likely much higher than $1 trillion. For instance:
Capital Gains Tax Increase — Clinton has proposed an increase in the capital gains tax to counter the “tyranny of today’s earnings report.” Her plan calls for a byzantine capital gains tax regime with six rates. Her campaign has not put a dollar amount on this tax increase.
Tax on Stock Trading — Clinton has proposed a new tax on stock trading. Costs associated with this new tax will be borne by millions of American families that hold 401(k)s, IRAs and other savings accounts. The tax increase would only further burden markets by discouraging trading and investment. Again, no dollar figure for this tax hike has been released by the Clinton campaign.
“Exit Tax” – Rather than reduce the extremely high, uncompetitive corporate tax rate, Clinton has proposed a series of measures aimed at inversions including an “exit tax” on income earned overseas. The term “exit tax” is used by the campaign itself. Her campaign document describing this proposal says it will raise $80 billion in tax revenue, but claims some of the $80 billion will be plowed into tax relief. How much? The campaign doesn’t say.
This proposal completely fails to address the underlying causes behind inversions: The U.S. 39% corporate tax rate (35% federal rate plus an average state rate of 4%) and our “worldwide” system of taxation, which imposes tax on all American earnings worldwide. The average corporate rate in the developed world is 25%. Thirty-one of thirty-four developed countries have cut their corporate tax rate since 2000. The U.S. has not. Hillary’s plan moves in the wrong direction.
Hillary’s incoherent message doesn’t stop there. Many of her proposals will burden the economy in other ways:
Her demand for an increase in the minimum wage will further burden American employers while making the cheaper labor markets overseas even more attractive to business.
Her demand for equal pay for equal work is counter to free market principles that force employers to compensate each employee according to the contributions they bring to their employer. This is the manner with which individual performance is rewarded. Legislating blanket equal pay will become a political football as any employer who has ever been sued by the EEOC can attest to, even those who have won, as I have on two occasions and over two different issues. Even in winning the process costs thousands of dollars.
She actually resorted to this unintelligible screed: “I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return.” Mrs. Clinton refuses to acknowledge that corporations’ primary mission is to make profits for their investors. When they fail in that mission investors move their money to competing investments, even if the alternative investment is overseas.
She followed with this bit of insipidness, “It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.” This is the thinking that led Ronald Reagan to say: “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” Sadly, Mrs. Clinton made no mention of the $20 trillion in debt that this thinking has led to and that the next president will inherit.
“I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good paying clean energy jobs.” The green energy initiative has largely failed due to the high cost of delivery to a broad spectrum of homes and businesses. Paying ten times more for “clean energy” than for energy generated from our abundant supply of fossil fuels will strangle American families and American industry.
Mrs. Clinton then expressed favoring immigrants over American workers and their families, “I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together — and it’s the right thing to do.” No Mrs. Clinton, it’s the wrong thing to do. American participation in our labor force is the lowest it’s been since the mess that Jimmy Carter left to Ronald Reagan, and economic dislocation is the number one cause of family strife. Any president’s primary responsibility is to protect his own citizens first, not the people of other countries.
Mrs. Clinton’s speech was an incoherent siren’s song intended to solidify her base’s adoration of her but even they will have to admit that this quote from last night, “If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us,” is appalling to them.
It was Mrs. Clinton who voted for the Wall Street bailout and who remained silent as they spread hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to their corporate chieftains in year-end bonuses.
It is Mrs. Clinton and her husband who have regularly been paid at least $250,000 to give half-hour speeches to corporations, five times the median income of American workers.