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Hilary Clinton To Roll Back Tax Perks For Corporations And The Wealthy

by Leroy Baker,, New York

31 May 2007

Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton, one of the many candidates to have put themselves forward as potentially the next Democratic president of the United States, has proposed that tax breaks should be cut for large corporations and that President Bush's tax cuts rolled back for the wealthy, to restore income equality in America.

In a speech at the Manchester School of Technology in New Hampshire, she called for a return to shared prosperity and tax fairness, while expanding access to quality education and healthcare for all Americans.

"I believe that one of the most crucial jobs of the next President is to define a new vision of economic fairness and prosperity for the 21st century -- a vision for how we ensure greater opportunity for our next generation," Clinton said. "I consider myself a thoroughly optimistic and modern progressive. I believe we can grow our economy in the face of global competition -- and in a way that benefits all Americans. I believe we can curb the excesses of the marketplace -- and provide more opportunities for more Americans to succeed."

Clinton outlined her 'Nine Point Plan' which includes leveling the playing field and reducing special breaks for big corporations, eliminating incentives for American companies to ship jobs and profits overseas, reforming the governance of corporations and the financial sector, and restoring fiscal responsibility to government by rolling back income tax cuts.

"When the president's irresponsible tax breaks for high-income Americans expire, we will return to the income tax rates for upper- income Americans that we had in the 1990s, rates that were consistent with a balanced budget and economic growth," she said. "For middle-class Americans, who haven't seen their paychecks increase, let's keep the middle-class tax cuts and reform the alternative minimum tax in order to give middle-class Americans the tax relief they deserve to have."

"And let's take a hard look at corporate tax reform. It's simply not fair that as corporate profits have skyrocketed, the percentage of taxes paid by corporations have fallen," Clinton went on to add. "It's time we restored the balance and required corporations to pay their fair share. Under the law, after all, they are citizens of the United States, with many of the responsibilities, I would argue, that goes with citizenship."

If elected President in November 2008, Clinton would also scale back oil and gas subsidies and change parts of the tax code which reward companies for offshoring jobs by enabling them to defer paying American taxes for as long as they hold the money abroad, a policy she said puts companies that create jobs in America at a competitive disadvantage.

"Let's once and for all get rid of the incentives for American companies to ship jobs and profits overseas. It is one thing for the marketplace to encourage overseas investment. It's another for our own tax code to do so," she said, adding: "We actually put companies that want to create jobs here on our shores at a disadvantage to those who ship jobs to tax havens."

Clinton also wants to toughen further rules of corporate governance and provide for greater scrutiny of CEO pay. "The way I see it, allowing CEOs to escape with golden parachutes while their companies abandon workers' pensions does not honor our values. We need to open up CEO compensation to public scrutiny and public challenge and ensure that boards of directors are independent when determining CEO pay. And we need to update our regulations to confront the emerging problems in our sub-prime and private equity markets."

Clinton went on to accuse the Bush administration of taking the US "back to the era of the robber barons" with his economic policies.

"Year after year the president has handed out massive tax breaks to oil companies, no-bid contracts to Halliburton, tax incentives to corporations shipping jobs overseas, tax cut after tax cut to multimillionaires, while ignoring the needs and aspirations of tens of millions of working families. And how has he paid for all of this largess? By running up record deficits. He has simply charged it to our national credit card and left our children and grandchildren to pay the bill," she said.

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