Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton: From Promises to Policies

* Below are some of the promises Hillary Clinton made, followed by a few policy suggestions by the New York Times editorial board:

Hillary Clinton: “I will rewrite the tax code so it rewards hard work and investments here at home, not quick trades or stashing profits overseas.”

New York Times:

With countless financial transactions occurring daily, some lasting a nanosecond, even a minuscule per-trade tax would restrain speculation. Closing the tax loophole that lets multinational corporations indefinitely defer taxes on foreign-held profits would deter the most common form of corporate tax avoidance and encourage timely investment of available funds.

Hillary Clinton: “We will unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing tax relief, cutting red tape and making it easier to get a small-business loan."

New York Times:

Tax cuts, regulatory relief and better loan terms are perennial issues for small businesses, championed by all candidates and all administrations. To truly give small businesses a shot at success, however, big business needs reforming. In recent decades, changes in antitrust and contract law have allowed ever bigger corporations to dominate major industries, making it harder for new entrants to compete. It also makes smaller suppliers of goods and services more reliant on a handful of big customers who are increasingly able to dictate prices. A president who champions small business must support a regulatory approach that strongly values competition and poses reasonably high hurdles to mergers.

[Maybe it should be stipulated that "small businesses" don't include hedge funds, etc.]

Hillary Clinton: “We will restore America to the cutting edge of innovation, science and research by increasing both public and private investments.”

New York Times:

Scientific research that leads to commercial breakthroughs is vital to the long-term wealth of the nation. But more public spending on science should include ways to ensure that the public shares in profits that result from federally financed research. Mrs. Clinton could either support corporate tax increases in tandem with greater research spending or promote nontax ways to give the public a fair share. One possibility would be to require recipients of federal grants to pay a portion of subsequent profits to the government. Another would be to establish a federally backed innovation fund that gives the government an equity stake in companies that use the fund.

Hillary Clinton: “I will give new incentives to companies that give their employees a fair share of the profits their hard work earns.”

New York Times:

As a way to raise workers’ pay, profit-sharing is too narrow. As part of her pledge to strengthen families, Mrs. Clinton also called for a higher minimum wage, paid sick days, paid family leave and fair scheduling, which would boost pay and increase job security. She needs to specify how high the new minimum should be, presumably higher than the proposal in Congress for $12 an hour by 2020 that has been eclipsed by higher local increases. Her plan will not be complete without explicit support for union organizing. Research indicates that the demise in collective bargaining is the largest factor suppressing wage growth for middle-wage workers in recent decades, because union pay scales used to set the standard for union as well as nonunion employees. Mrs. Clinton’s plan should include support for new laws and procedures to make it easier to organize and increased penalties for corporations that violate laws intended to protect organizing efforts.

[Maybe Clinton should also provide more details about reforming the tax code, reforming campaign finance laws, her position on trade agreements, and her opinion on expanding and strengthening Social Security.]

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