Clinton Vows to Raise Taxes — A Promise She’ll Keep

 Few Americans believe that their taxes are too low, especially when the amounts they pay in addition to federal and state income taxes are included. For example, payroll taxes are deducted from earnings. There are federal taxes on gasoline, cell phone bills, hotel rooms, airline tickets and a bevy of other goods and services. Sales taxes and property taxes place an additional burden on consumers. Furthermore, there are numerous fees that are little more than thinly disguised taxes, such as disposal fees, tolls and building permits. Although the issue of taxation can be unpopular with voters, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly vowed to increase taxes and will likely keep her promise. However, the question remains as to for whom she plans to raise taxes.

Clinton Admits Plan to Increase Income Taxes for Middle Class

At a campaign appearance in August 2016, Clinton exclaimed that “we are going to raise taxes on the middle class.” According to, Clinton was in the middle of a speech about the need for a fairer tax code for the middle class when she blurted out the statement regarding raising taxes on this group. Her words have triggered debates over whether she misspoke, intending to state that she would raise taxes on the rich or cut taxes for the middle class.

Some people believe that Clinton meant exactly what she said, despite a promise she made in November 2015 that her tax plan would not increase taxes for families that earned less than $250,000. The Americans for Tax Reform point to Clinton’s answers during a forum in January 2016. She was asked whether she would exercise a presidential veto if a plan to increase payroll taxes for those earning more than $113,700 reached her desk; she responded that she would not. When asked whether her promise of no tax increases for those earning less than $250, 000 was a “rock-solid” promise, she stated that it was her “goal,” but she stopped short of calling it a promise.

Clinton Continues to Focus on Wealthy as Targets for Tax Increases

Clinton’s statements regarding her views on taxes can be traced back many years. When she was competing with Barack Obama to be the Democratic candidate in the 2008 race, she stated that she wanted to allow the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year to expire. She promised that there would be no tax increases for the middle class, but in 2007, she also stated that the amount of income subject to payroll taxes should not be limited.

According to CNN, if elected as the nation’s next president, Clinton would seek to tax those having an adjusted gross income exceeding $1 million at a minimum of 30 percent. She would also ask that certain exclusions and deductions be limited to 28 percent of income, which would essentially affect everyone who is in a tax bracket of 28 percent or more.

Clinton’s Plans for Estate Taxes and Capital Gains

Federal estate taxes are the taxes that heirs pay on property, funds, business interests, securities or other assets they inherit. According to the Internal Revenue Service, for 2016, estates valued at more than $5.45 million are subject to estate taxes that can be as much as 40 percent of the estate’s value. When the estate value was set at $1 million, many family farms and small businesses were lost when the heirs could not pay estate taxes of as much as 55 percent. Clinton was a senator when the change to $5 million and a top tax rate of 35 percent was proposed, and she voted against the change. Her views have changed little in the intervening years. In 2016, she came out in favor of lowering the estate exemption to $3.5 million and increasing the top tax rate for estates to 45 percent.

Clinton has also been quite vocal about capital gains taxes, but her positions have altered throughout her career. When she was representing the state of New York as a senator, she voted in favor of extending the tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. As a presidential candidate in 2016, however, she has stated that she would not raise the tax rate from the current 20 percent, but she would require that investments be held for at least six years instead of the current one-year requirement.

Clinton Will Likely Keep Her Promises

While campaigning, Clinton has made numerous promises and set many goals, and many of them are going to be expensive. She wants young people to be able to be debt-free when they graduate from college, have the federal government fully fund any educational initiatives it mandates, increase support for green energy, ask the government to invest $250 billion in public transit and commit $1 billion per year to help states combat opioid addiction. Clinton is going to have to find funding for her projects, and that means that taxes will be going up. The only unanswered questions are “how much?” and “for whom?”

The 2016 presidential race is shaping up to be one of the most interesting in decades. If you would like to learn more about the candidates, you can find more articles at Personal Money Store.

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