Hillary Clinton

You'll Never Guess Which Presidential Candidate Is Running on Tax Simplification and Deregulation?

This candidate promises to "take a hard look at licensing requirements from state to state" and simplify small-business taxes.


Phil W Shirley/Flickr

Guess which presidential candidate, while campaigning in New Hampshire last week, said this?

"I want to be the small business president. (Small businesses) represent American ingenuity and hard work. But we're slipping. A recent global study showed that where we used to be one or two in the world in creating small businesses, we're now 46. It should not take longer to start a business in the United States than it takes to start one in France!"

The candidate continued, "I want to do everything I can to help make it easier for people to start businesses, cut that red tape … and really take a hard look at licensing requirements from state to state. There ought to be a sensible way to harmonize those, so that it's not so difficult in some states to start a businesses and much easier in the state next door to start the very same business."

After calling for less regulation of business formation and licensing, this presidential candidate went on to call for tax simplification. "You know, the businesses with one to five employees spend an average of 150 hours and $1,100 per employee to do their federal taxes. There's got to be a way to simplify all of that," this presidential candidate said.

Was it Jeb Bush? Donald Trump? Ben Carson? Ted Cruz? Chris Christie? Carly Fiorina? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Bobby Jindal?

Nope. The presidential candidate campaigning on a message of deregulation and tax simplification was none other than the former senator from New York, secretary of state, and first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. If you can't believe it, go watch the video. The fun starts about 15 minutes in.

If Clinton is already making these sorts of centrist, free-market oriented appeals during a Democratic primary and caucus contest dominated by left-leaning activists, imagine how she'll pivot to the center in a general election campaign. She wouldn't be the first Clinton to take the middle path to the White House. Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 in part by promising a middle class tax cut and the end of "welfare as we know it." Clinton flew back to Arkansas mid-campaign to affirm his support for the execution, by lethal injection, of a brain-damaged black death-row inmate named Ricky Ray Rector.

Not that anyone favoring deregulation or tax simplification should get hopes up too high for a Hillary Clinton presidency. She opposes a repeal of ObamaCare, and her proposal to increase capital gains taxes would add complexity to an already complex tax code.

One of the challenges for voters in assessing a Clinton candidacy is that it is hard to know when, or whether, to believe her. Sometimes she gives mixed signals. On October 25, campaigning in Iowa, she said she's "proposed tough actions to end the abuses by the big banks …We are going to stop Wall Street hurting main street." This, from a candidate who, with her husband, was paid a total of $875,000 for four speeches to Goldman Sachs in 2013.

At the same New Hampshire event where Clinton spoke of deregulation and tax simplification, she also reached out rhetorically across the partisan divide. "I'm looking for us to find common ground," Clinton said. "We're all on the same team. At the end of the election, we're not Republicans or Democrats, or whatever else we might call ourselves, we're Americans." This, from the same woman who in a recent Democratic presidential debate listed "Republicans" along with "Iranians" as enemies she was proud to have.

Back in 1992 Bill Clinton used to say that with him and Hillary in the White House, Americans would get two for the price of one. That understates it. With Bill Clinton alone you got the one who ran on a middle-class tax cut and the one who abandoned it after the election; the one who ran on welfare reform and the one who vetoed it twice before signing it. With Hillary Clinton you get the one who supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and the one who opposed it; the one who opposed gay marriage and the one who supports it; the one who is proud to have Republicans as enemies and the one who says "we're all on the same team." You get the Hillary Clinton who favors deregulation and tax simplification and the one who favors more regulation and additional tax complexity. It's more like "four for the price of two." Maybe the next televised presidential debate could be between the four of them, or just between Hillary and herself.

Of the various possible Clintons who might wind up in the White House, the deregulating, tax-simplifying one is one for which I am rooting. Keep an eye out for her on the campaign trail.

NEXT: Lawrence Lessig Leaves the Democratic Race

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  1. No, it is never hard to know whether to believe a Clinton.

    You are probably unsure about tugging on Superman’s cape and spitting into the wind too.

    1. ^^^^^ THIS. I also suspect a lack of clarity regarding the wisdom of running with scissors and sticking metal objects into electrical outlets.

    2. Don’t mess around with slim?

  2. What would be the benefit of making it easier to start or operate a business ?

    We all know that she thinks they don’t create jobs. The Government ob Fairy is responsible for all job creation..


  3. This article is simply fishing for party invites.

  4. Watch Reason fall all over itself to endorse Hillary in ’16 as it did Obama in ’08.

    1. Yep. This is the foundational work of the sort that future pro Hillary stories will approvingly link back towards.

      Treating them as if they were not total bullshit.

      1. Never mind that Hillary’s notion of improving things is for the Federal government to impose standardization from on high.

        Free markets and free people my ass.

        1. Yeah, I couldn’t wrap my head around Ira’s conflation of “harmonization” with “deregulation”.
          Hillary doesn’t think licensing schemes are bad, she just thinks they ought to apply to the entire country.

          Unless he’s referring to her vague mention of “red tape”, which I find about as believable as anything else she says.

          1. Also, I look forward to the day where our Top Woman determines the truly optimal size of a business to impose on the country.

    2. as it did Obama in ’08.

      To be fair, John McCain ’08 was the alternative.

      1. There were alternatives aside from McCain and Obama. Electorally hopeless alternatives, but still.

        1. What? Bob Barr wasn’t a good alternative? Haha

      2. yes, and Palin was a good alternative

      3. McCain wouldn’t have done a better job? A fucking trained monkey would have done a better job. And McCain would have given us two better supreme court appointees also.

        1. To be fair it’s safe to say McCain would have had a few million more civilian casualty notches in his bed post than Obummer by now. And if you think Mr. Indefinite Detention would have picked more constitutional SCOTUS judges then you’re smoking the good stuff. At least some of Obummer’s rhetoric was good in ’08, before we found out how big of a fucking liar he is.

    3. mfckr,

      No, really? Reason went for “O?” Man, oh man. I know this site is not some kind of pure logic machine, but even I, a relatively average educated retiree-still working in ’08, but not blazing any trails-even I saw “O” as a guy clearly running in direct contrast to how he ran for US Senate shortly before, and against many of his positions when for years he was in the Illinois legislature. Not to mention the basic default contrast between two big Gov parties, but one with at least some small Gov types trying to fight for business and individual freedom. Amazing. Did the editors ever print a “mea culpa?”

  5. I didn’t see anything about fairer. Taxing everything with a heartbeat at 100% will end loopholes and be very, very simple.

    Fair? Not so much.

    1. If EVERYONE is taxed at 80% then it is more fair! Remember, this is a brand of people who would rather see everyone is poverty than “unfair” disparity.

      1. It’s not really accurate to say that Hillary wants to see everyone in poverty.

        She and her supporters will live quite well, I’m sure.

  6. This is what I know about Hillary Clinton:

    1. She is driven solely and entirely by political ambition. The only principle to which she subscribes is the acquisition of political power. This makes it easy for her (as with her husband) to flip from one policy stance to another.

    2. She holds the electorate in the deepest contempt.

    3. Like other notable Progressive icons, she simultaneously promotes the idea of government involving itself in the lives of everyone (else) while believing herself above and outside the law.

    4. She will continue to ride on her husband’s reputation because she herself has accomplished nothing of note.

    5. Our current president was elected because he’s black and patronizing, and a large segment of the voting population finds that appealing. These same voters will gleefully vote for Hillary because she’s a woman and says “common sense” a lot.

  7. Yeah, I’m sure she meant every word of it. Don’t forget to cup the balls, Ira.

    1. Hillary is the Lucy holding the football while the progs are the Charlie Browns of this world.

      1. Hillary is the Lucy holding the football while the progs are the Charlie Browns of this world.


        1. progs citizens

          Damn squirrels.

  8. Good, but what influence does the president have on most of those things?

  9. FINALLY – I predicted to Reason move to support Hillary earlier in the election season….it’s so refreshing to have POSITIVE news rather than same-old Republican-bashing (yawn).

    1. It’s at least sadistically interesting to observe writers for an ostensibly Libertarian publication undertaking contorted mental gymnastics necessary to root for Hillary. The cognitive dissonance in the writers’ tones (Ira & Nick so far, possibly others I’ve missed) has been palpable.

      1. I think it’s time for an overhaul of your bullshit detector.
        Stoll is in no way backing HC. And I’ve seen nothing from Nick which suggests he is.

        1. Nick is absolutely going to back whomever the Democratic nominee is.

          Libertarians like him talk a good game, but really deep down just want to be invited to the kool kidz klub. They don’t realize that no matter how much they talk about pot legalization and open borders, the starfuckers on the left won’t ever not hate them.

          1. Your fantasy, I’ll stay out of it

          2. KKKKOOOOOZZZZZMMMMMOOOZZZ!!!1!!!!!!11!!! /DERP

  10. “…the deregulating, tax-simplifying one is one for which I am rooting….”

    I’d go for that one, too, but I think you get the criminal as sort of a bundle.

  11. Yeah, this is the same Hillary Clinton that swore she came under fire in Bosnia. I have never been an “anybody but…” voter, and I still am not that type of voter because I am hoping someone emerges to challenge the progressive agenda in a reasonable manner while not ignoring aspects that they are correct about. However, if that doesn’t happen and Clinton becomes the frontrunner, any one but Clinton!!!! The woman is the most despicable and unethical presence ever to grace the capital. I’m not one for hyperbole,that being said, I have never been more frightened at the prospect of any individual becoming President than I am with Clinton.

    1. I agree with you on her personality. But she may be as prone to blow with the wind to the middle as her husband, especially if Congress remains Republican. And while she sometimes pretends to dislike businesses to ingratiate herself with liberals, she understands the value of capitalism. So I am much less frightened of her than of Sanders.

  12. Individual liberty is a concept that this woman scoffs at.

    Unfortunately, unless people organize against her to educate in a masiive campaign using reason,evidence, and the ideals that formed our country (namely the enlightenment values and individual liberty, along with the supremacy of the states) – supremacy of the states under the guidelines of the Bill of Rights and Constitution that is – you should know know what that means, I am afraid that she will win for the simple fact that she is a woman and the first woman capable of getting enough votes.

    Like it or not, and I voted for him (regrettably), that is the wave that Obama rode right into the White House. Too many people were far too concerned with the first black President and not concerned enough with what is best for America and our place in the world. Of course, that is denied left and right but the simple fact is in candid converstaion with numerous people – it was a major motivator. I’m afraid politics and positions and what is right or wrong will take a back seat in this election as well – THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT!!!!

    Get out there and educate people, please.

    1. “…Too many people were far too concerned with the first black President and not concerned enough with what is best for America and our place in the world. Of course, that is denied left and right but the simple fact is in candid converstaion with numerous people – it was a major motivator. I’m afraid politics and positions and what is right or wrong will take a back seat in this election as well – THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT!!!!
      Get out there and educate people, please.”

      You’re presuming you can reason with the sorts of people you cite and then mention that you, too, got sucked in. Why do you presume others are going to be more reasonable than you?
      The people to whom you refer don’t care about liberties, nor do they care that she’s a criminal who should be in jail.

    2. She doesn’t even have to run on identity politics to win. And I think that factor was overrated in Obama’s victories.

      The voting majority of ‘Murica just wants socialism and is entranced by the allure of free shit. All she has to do is promise to doubledown on all of already failed Obama’s policies (which she’s already been doing), and it’ll likely be an easy win.

  13. Clinton’s not going to “regulate” anything. Wall Street (vastly white, admittedly) had a brief falling out with Obama, but they love Clinton. The woman got paid hundreds of thousands to speak at their events, and her foundation probably raked in tons of money from wealthy bankers.

    Obama WAS an outsider, in a way. Clinton is the definition of an insider. She’s meeting with BLM and talking tough on gender equal pay, but she’s not going to bite the hand that feeds her.

    This is a person who literally believes she’s uniquely qualified to be president because of her gender. Not even

    1. If Congress remains Republican, HC will have ready excuses as to why her hands are tied and she can’t do anything. At this point, I’m still ambivalent as to who gets elected President. This would also give Reason an excuse to support her. Divided government. I’m sure they’ll jump on it.

  14. Any time you hear something you like from Slick Hilly, just remember that she’s a sociopath and a pathological liar. She has long since shown that you can’t trust anything she says. Any conservative ideas she might genuinely have would disappear, if only because no one in her party supports such ideas any longer.

  15. Ugh. Here we go with the libertarian rationalization for supporting Hillary (or Bernie, if he manages to pull it off).

    Once again proving that for all the high-minded talk of individual liberty and small government and so on, all they’re really interested in is being the contrarian at the dinner party.

    So we can now look forward to another year of bashing republicans over the small stuff even though they’re far closer to libertarians on most issues — and WAY more likely to yield good supreme court nominees, while praising Hillary/Bernie for every word they say to the right of Chairman Mao, as though they’ve secretly undergone a libertarian revelation and have just been hiding it really well through most of their careers.

    Just admit it guys, you want to be cool, and Republican candidates aren’t cool because some of them talk about God and probably don’t have many rock stars at their fundraisers. Yuck. Write a few more articles on pot legalization while you’re at it. Gotta keep those priorities up, you know.

    1. I think this is pretty accurate. The editors have gone pretty cake-soft. I don’t want to hear about god either, because it is stupid, but the entire point of politics is results. The rest is all bullshit.

  16. As I said before,your fantasy, I’ll stay out of it . None of the candidates on either side care about personal freedom.

    Trying to measure the level of idiocy vis a vis candidates is idiotic. They are all fucking idiots. And you are an idiot if you think team red cares about liberty.

    1. Right, none of the candidates care about personal freedom. Everyone’s an idiot. Nobody cares are much as YOU do, so fuck it all, amirite? I mean, life is one big zero-sum, all or nothing proposition. If a candidate isn’t absolutely 100% down for your agenda, then whatevs, no sense in even participating. I mean, there’s no reason to vote for the guy who’s like maybe 60% there, especially when the alternative is hardcore socialism. Same diff; either way you don’t get exactly what you want, and that’s what really matters, you know?

      Just fuck it. It’s all about being a martyr to your ideology, this way when it all burns down, at least you have the satisfaction of saying ‘I told you so’. Cool man. Way cool.

  17. She’s lying, you idiot.

  18. Ira Stoll, how does it feel to be a Useful Idiot?

  19. Sometimes she gives mixed signals.

    Understatement of the millennium.

    1. Lying liars lie. This is kind of her slogan, I figure.

  20. Halfway through her 4th term, this will happen:

    Supreme Leader Clinton: I will take only one more question. We must not be late for the crowning of Her Majesty Chelsea. You know how American Pope Huma hates to be kept waiting…

    Journalist: Supreme Leader Clinton, you once said, dozens of years ago, that you were in favor of deregulation and tax simplification? Has this worked out the way you expected it to?

    SLC: That is a great question. Really a great one. But I want to ask you, and all the people of the country, at this point, what difference does it make?

  21. How is “harmonizing” licensing reducing government? That means federalizing licensing requirements. They will only be more onerous, not less. The fact that some states have less is a good thing. This is just another step towards federalizing everything until it is a pure imperial state.

    Putting aside what everyone else is right about, she’s a complete liar and utterly full of shit. She is such a vapid human as should be disqualified from having even one ounce of power. She’d feed Chelsea to the woodchipper if it meant a week in the Oval Office for her.

    I find it amusing that Reason is moving to the Hillary camp because of Donald Trump.

    1. This is exactly what she’s proposing – top down national control of state licensing requirements for just about every profession that has it, and a lot that don’t. No one should believe HiLIARy’s rhetoric for one second. She’s a big government authoritarian. Always has been. Always will be.

  22. Come on, people! Actually read the article before you think it is in support of Hillary. Don’t be morons.

  23. Well, of course Hillary Clinton is for tax simplification and red tape cutting. Those polled really well in the focus group this week.

  24. Hard to believe anything Hillary says – but isn’t small business regulation mostly a responsibility of state and local government? I don’t think president Hillary will be able to do much about stupid state and local regulations.

  25. Live Free[er]?

    Dear Reason reader,

    One of the most freedom- damaging beliefs you can have is the belief in the necessity, and the effectiveness, of political involvement – to supposedly “improve” your own life and the lives of others .

    Fact: as an individual you will _never_ enjoy a freer life for yourself until you completely see through/ reject the “drug”, “religion” [ or whatever else you want to call it] known as “political activism” or “involvement”, in its entirety.
    I can help with that.

    Regards, onebornfree.
    Personal Freedom Consulting:

  26. She still is opposed to big business. So, when she attempts to control big business, she’ll create more problems for small ones. Of course, that will happen unexpectedly.

  27. The idea that changing taxation on capital gains put an onerous amount of complexity on a business is silly. The computer handles that. So people are always complaining about regulations. What should be changed specifically ?
    What are these regulations that are do unnecess and put unnecessary extra costs? Building codes take a beating, but houses weren’t required to have roofs attached to houses in Florida until regulation required houses to be able to withstand hurricanes. Gee, shouldn’t the market have taken care of that? Just an example. There are rigorous building rehulations in NYC as so many could be affected by one building collapsing or burning. Should we leave building standards up to the magic hand of the free market? No inspections. Just trust the builder did the right thing.

  28. Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump would be a toss up for me. Both, imo, would be remarkably bad candidates, but I feel like Hillary would actually give more than lip service to the free market than Trump.

    Hillary Clinton vs. anyone else? Fuggettaboutit.

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  30. Regulating interstate commerce is one thing, but how a State regulates its business is a power that resides solely within the state. I appreciate the candidates pro-business mouthings, but ultimately she has no power to enforce any such mandate. If she is going to simplify regulation, a true test of her commitment would lie in describing how she would simplify agency regulations under her direct control. Let’s hear that Mrs. Clinton. What have you got to say there?

  31. I haven’t read Reason.com in a few months…is it no longer Libertarian? Any suggestions for other sites that align more with economic as well as social Libertarianism? I get the feeling we are being put on here at Reason.com.

  32. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  33. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

    ———- http://www.4cyberworks.com

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