Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton's Plan to Pay for Everything: New, Unspecified Taxes

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Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign rolled out new policy proposal today: a $6,000 tax credit for home caregivers, designed to offset the cost families incur when caring for elderly relatives. Clinton also said she would like to boost Social Security benefits for some family caregivers who leave their jobs.

The campaign estimates that the price tag for the new benefit will run about $10 billion over the course of a decade. But as The Washington Examiner notes, Clinton hasn't detailed exactly how she'll pay for it, saying only that it would be paid for with tax hikes of some kind.

This isn't the first time that Clinton has proposed billions in new spending without providing all the details. There's also Clinton's higher-ed plan, which she's pitched as a way to make college more affordable (but which might have the opposite effect). Her campaign estimates that it would cost about $350 billion over a decade. The plan will be "fully paid for," she promises, "by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers." So she'd raise the tax bills on the wealthy, but, once again, she doesn't say how she'd do so. Clinton has also said that, somehow, her mandatory family leave plan should be paid for the by the wealthy, though it's not clear what the mechanism would be.

It's not that there's no possible way to raise the revenue to pay for these programs. But paying for all of them together becomes much harder, especially given that Clinton has boxed herself in to some extent by promising not to raise taxes on households earning less than $250,000, and in fact has called for tax cuts for the broad middle class.

That promise itself shows how difficult the politics of revenue-raising are right now: Clinton has ruled almost every household in the country off-limits.

Sure, there are still some pay-fors floating around in Washington, but the fact that they haven't been used yet (the Affordable Care Act, for one, used up a lot of them) suggests that we're beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel. There just aren't that many obvious untapped revenue sources left, and the interest groups who are likely to be targeted have already mobilized heavily against them. 

Clinton's political calculation here is obvious: Promising to provide broad new benefits that few people have to pay for is always popular in politics. But it suggests how difficult it will be to settle on workable, politically plausible revenue raisers or other offsets to pay for new programs. It's easy for candidates to propose new programs and spending, and much harder to find ways to pay for them. 

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  1. This isn’t the first time that Clinton has proposed billions in new spending without detailing exactly how she’

    So her plan is about as complete as this sentence?

    1. What difference, at this point, does

    2. Isn’t the plan always to spend the money that we don’t and never will have, on whatever empty promises gets them beejes from the voters?

  2. Clinton has also said that, somehow, her mandatory family leave plan should be paid for the by the wealthy, though it’s not clear what the mechanism would be.

    Quit being such a cynic, Suderman. The vision is there, the details will follow once in office.

    1. The polling numbers will dictate the details. It will be an evolutionary process.

  3. This isn’t the first time that Clinton has proposed billions in new spending without detailing exactly how she’

    Indeed it is not.

    If the Republicans weren’t the stupid party, they would just put up Principal Skinner. Someone to respond to every Democratic proposal with, “It’ll cost you.”

  4. …saying only that it would be paid for with tax hikes of some kind.

    On everyone, however relief will come for some in the form of tax credits to those donating significantly to a certain foundation.

  5. God ALMIGHTY, this is like a parody of a satire of a farce of a politician. What the fuck is wrong with us that this woman stands a chance in hell of being FUCKING PRESIDENT?!?!
    “Yes, I intend to spend more and give away a TON more free shit for you, the hardworking people of America!! We’ll pay for it with taxes on those greedy onepercentfatcats and corporations (who, by the way, I sued all the way to the SCOTUS for daring to criticize me).”

    “Ta ta, I’m off on my private jet. I’m worth billions, you know….”

    Seriously, how is this possible…?

    1. People’s brains pretty much shut off after they hear “free stuff”. Of the percentage who continue on to ask “and how will this be paid for?”, 90% of them shut off their brains after hearing “some rich fat cat will pay for it.” Because, you know, there are an infinite number of those and they have an infinite amount of money, according to the leftist politics of aggrievement.

  6. It’s not that there’s no possible way to raise the revenue to pay for these programs.

    Can Hillary propose a program so big she couldn’t pay for it?

  7. The plan will be “fully paid for,” she promises, “by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.”

    Ah, tax expenditures. Like the refundable child tax credit, right?

    1. Like the refundable child tax credit, right?

      Do high-income taxpayers get the child tax credit?

      1. It starts phasing out at $110K for couples and $75K for singles. (google is cool)

        1. google is cool

          Yes it is, so is duckduckgo.

          1. I’m more of an AltaVista guy.

          2. Google is meh, and as a bonus, is creepy as shit.

            duckduckgo is nearly as good, results-wise (and it’s come along very quickly) and is not creepy at all.

            1. They use DUCKS, man! The Avian flu will devour us all!

      2. That’s the joke. High earners don’t need any refundable credits, which are the actual “tax expenditures.”

  8. I assume the missing alt text to that photo is “would,” because she looks pretty good in that one.

    1. If you “did”, you’d be haunted by this.

      1. My abilities are not that laughable.

  9. especially given that Clinton has boxed herself in to some extent by promising not to raise taxes on households earning less than $250,000

    Easy peasy. Just increase the federal cigarette tax again. I mean, when Obama did it, that didn’t count as raising taxes on households earning less than $200k, did it?

    1. “Your taxes won’t go up by a single dime.”

      Correct. They’ll go up by *many* dimes.

      1. Read. My. Lipstick.

  10. The plan will be “fully paid for,” she promises, “by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.”

    Her word is bond.

  11. “The campaign estimates that the price tag for the new benefit will run about $10 billion over the course of a decade.”

    So the true number is, what, 5X the claim? 10?

  12. The new Thatcher

    1. Meh

      Thatcher was idea-driven and ready to take on popular opinion. She intended to pursue policies that were unpopular early on. She raised interest rates in order to cool down the economy. In keeping with her free enterprise ideology she lowered income taxes. The tax rate for the most wealthy was cut from 83 percent of earnings to 60 percent, and the common rate was reduced from 33 percent to 30 percent. The historian Earl A. Reitan writes that she believed that this would “benefit the economy by encouraging entrepreneurship and investment.” note50

      Thatcher’s approach to taxes was carefully targeted rather than one big abstraction. She increased the sales tax commonly known as the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 8 percent to 15 percent, and this provided needed revenue aimed at balancing the budget. She raised taxes on gasoline and the amount that people paid to the National Health Service (NHS).

      She also cut spending for government programs except for police, defense and the NHS. Subsidies to nationalized industries were reduced, which increased unemployment, and money for housing, local governments and education was reduced.

      http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch37-thatcher.htm

      1. So your meter is in the shop?

        1. Seattle. He’s probably high.

  13. I’m a caregiver to this 239 year-old (who will, in all likelihood, outlive me). Do I get a credit?

  14. So, it’s “we’ll give you a ton of free shit and charge those rich people for it”, again. Hell, I’ll hand it to those scumbags, they managed to skew American politics so that most people vote on the assumption that “those rich people will pay for it”. Of course the math doesn’t work. There aren’t enough rich people. And they aren’t that rich. On top of that, they’ve gotten very good at finding ways not to pay taxes. And we’ll just borrow.

    1. Apropos of nothing, Hillary has one weakness Bill didn’t, Hillary doesn’t seem to connect with young people the way Bill Did.

      1. What’s stopping her? Women can buy cigars too.

  15. To be sure that everything is properly paid for, the government will just start holding all of the money. Once all necessary programs are fully funded, the rest will be distributed evenly among the people.

  16. Obama really must be the light bringer. He’s made it politically acceptable to propose new taxes as long as you say it’s on the wealthy/rich/1%. This despite the fact that its been proven to be a lie.

  17. OT: More Derp from the “Clock Boy.”

    http://www.wfaa.com/story/news…../76255674/

    The lawsuit claims that Ahmed was singled out “because of his race, national origin, and religion.”

    1. Stupid, but not as dumb as the pants-wetting cops that arrested and cuffed him after they determined there was no bomb or bomb threat. If they had just had a sit-down with the boy, principal, and parents, and explained that in a post-Colombine, post-Newton world, schools react differently than they would have 20 years ago, there wouldn’t be a problem. Instead, officer friendly needed to get his authority boner on and now we’ve got White House visits, MIT scholarships, job offers from Facebook and a lawsuit.

    2. “Well, if his race is Idiot, if his national origin is Moronistan, and his religion is the Church of Dumbfuck, then yeah, that’s why we picked on him. Because he’s a Moron, an Idiot, and he’s practicing his Dumbfuckery all over my school. Ya got me.”

  18. This is just Hillary looking out for Hillary.

    Chelsea told her that there is no way in hell she’s gonna be stuck taking care of her, and if she loses this election, she’s going straight to the old-folks-home.

    1. Paid for by whom? She’s broke, right?

  19. Just when it looks totally dead the Libertarian Moment gasps and shows new signs of life.

  20. She and Bill already monetized U.S. foreign policy once – they can do it again, for us this time!

  21. Tax credits has to be the most flaccid, limped dick example of a policy initiative. Oh, Tax Credits, that is so….underwhelming.

  22. Politician promises benefits and is vague on how to fund it. In other news, water is wet.

  23. It’s not that there’s no possible way to raise the revenue to pay for these programs.

    This is true. You know, if our budget was currently balanced. But we’re at almost a trillion dollar,annual deficit. A trillion fucking dollars.

    Maybe it’s time for a so-called libertarian publication to start asking when are candidates going to address the insanely high deficit and the out-of-control debt. Because otherwise we can expect these idiotic programs and their equally idiotic solutions (which I will wager ultimately comes down to her proposing a modest tax of $1 per year for every million dollars someone earns…because after all, can’t people spare $1 of their million to give home hpcaregivers a chance?).

    1. Taxes, spending, economics . . . none of that gets clicks like Trump dumps and policy proposals that would make perfect sense in an alternate universe, but are bugfuck nuts in this one.

      1. And that’s the rub. The presumptive nominee of one of the two major parties isn’t floating a billion dollar a year program…she’s floating a program that will add an additional billion dollars a year to a nearly trillion dollar a year deficit. That should be reported on as absolutely insane for its stupidity.

        Buuuuut noooooooooo! It’s better to report on the “racist” GOPers saying they don’t want taxpayer-funded (and deficit-increasing!) refugee programs bringing people across oceans to our shores and allowing them to participate in a cradle-to-grave welfare program.

        1. I don’t get it either. Not at all reasonable. Weird.

      2. I actually saw Christie on TV the other day talking about how the real cost savings needs to come from entitlements. He must be getting desperate.

        1. I think he’s been making that case for a while. It’s just that his position on individual liberty is so loathsome that we can’t get past it to talk about his spending.

          Also, I think he wants s to expand military spending by cutting entitlements. So he wants all the money coming in and doesn’t care about cutting deficits. He just wants to spend less on welfare and more on stingrays, stop-frisk policing and roving goon squads.

    2. THOSE TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS STARTED UNDER BOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!

      /shreektard

      1. That’s a fair statement, depending on the accounting technique you use. But Bush was a big spending dumbshit. Is that the bar we should hold Team Blue to?

  24. Maybe somebody needs to ask her “Mrs Clinton (we do not maintain titles after elected and appointed officials leave office), do you believe America was prosperous during your husband’s presidency? And if so, would you support going back to those per capita spending levels for entitlement programs and to freeze any other programs out that came along after his election? Especially if doing so would create a surplus that would allow us to retire all national debt within 8 years? And if you don’t think we can do that, aren’t you telling the American people that they’re no longer as capable of running their own lives that they were a scant 15 years ago?”

    1. Mrs Clinton (we do not maintain titles after elected and appointed officials leave office)

      I wish.

      This is a pet peeve of mine. It grinds my gears no end. Nobody calls a retired private sector worker by his former title, but we do for these bloated government wallahs.

      They are job titles, not patents of nobility.

      And, yes, Reason writers do it, too. Most recently, they were referring to Gary Johnson as “Governor” Johnson. Stop it. Just, stop it.

      1. I try to point it out on here as often as possible. I do so on HuffPo from time to time only to be called a sexist because,I didn’t refer to her as “Secretary”.

        1. And yet referring to any woman as “secretary” is also sexist.

  25. You know, it may be time to rethink how we tax retirement plans.

    1. The Fedgov could seize all investment assets and distribute vouchers that people could use to purchase their Depends and bingo tickets.

  26. Of course, all the Republican candidates (with the exception of Rand Paul, who dinged them for it) do the reverse– promise big tax cuts, with vague unspecified spending cuts that are supposed to hit “the other guy,” never anyone whose vote they currently want.

  27. Liberals are very good at proposing excellent, socially responsible programs that would benefit large segments of the population. So far so good. Unfortunately they are not very good at math (or budgeting). Hundreds of Billions of dollars couldn’t possibly come from the tiny sliver of American taxpayers who make above $250,000 a year. The bill for these programs might be more than that group earns in total!

    The only way to pay for significantly higher social programs (or even higher spending on “evil things” like defense) is to broaden the base of contributors. 300,000 people at $1,000,000 each is the same as 300,000,000 people at $1,000 each. It may be true that many low earners would be hard pressed to pay an additional $1,000 but it is also probably true that many of the other group would find it impossible to pay an additional $1,000,000 (on top of the extremely high taxes most already pay).

    The solution is to have intelligent people in charge of policy. That seems the least likely result we could hope for. 🙁

    1. excellent, socially responsible programs that would benefit large segments of the population

      Empress Clinton, standing proudly in her chariot, showering her adoring masses with fluttering cash, free college tuition, wars around the globe, and tax credits for living the way she wants you to.

      “FREE STUFF!! FREE STUFF!!” the crowd thunders with approval.

  28. It’s one thing to say that expenditures should be paid for. A lot of people agree with that. But people will never VOTE for that, because even for the people who say that, 99% don’t actually give a shit about the numbers, just the broad principles.

    That means that for every cut you propose, you basically have 100 million vaguely interested people on your side against 100 million vaguely antagonistic people, except the “against” side has an extra group of a thousand rich and/or connected people who will GOUGE YOUR GODDAMN EYES OUT IF YOU TOUCH MY CARVEOUT. And then if you try to raise taxes, it’s exactly the same except the angry eye-gougers switch teams. We need some angry eye-gougers for deficit reduction, but it’s such a long-run, distributed problem that it’s never going to hit any given person hard enough in the wallet.

  29. Our language has been twisted, torn, and inverted.

    limiting certain tax expenditures

    So, not taking money from someone is the same as spending money.

  30. A healthy republic requires both voters and representatives to be unselfish. We are a long way from that.

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