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US Democratic Party Issues Election Manifesto

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

26 July 2016

The Democratic Party platform for the 2016 presidential election includes provisions to ensure that "the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations must pay their fair share of taxes."

The platform, which would not be binding on a future Democrat president, would "claw back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and crack down on inversions and other methods companies use to dodge their tax responsibilities."

It is intended to "end deferrals so that American corporations pay US taxes immediately on foreign profits and can no longer escape paying their fair share of taxes by stashing profits abroad. We will then use the revenue raised from fixing the corporate tax code to reinvest in rebuilding America and ensuring economic growth that will lead to millions of good-paying jobs."

On environmental policies, the platform includes measures "eliminating special tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies, as well as defending and extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy."

With regard to the individual income tax code, Democrats would "ensure those at the top contribute to our country's future by establishing a multimillionaire surtax to ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share, … [but] offering tax relief to hard working, middle-class families."

In addition, the Party would "immediately close egregious loopholes [such as carried interest] enjoyed by hedge fund managers, restore fair taxation on multimillion dollar estates [strengthen the estate tax], and ensure millionaires can no longer pay a lower rate than their secretaries [introduce a 'Buffett tax']. At a time of near-record corporate profits, slow wage growth, and rising costs, we need to offer tax relief to middle-class families – not those at the top."

The earned income tax credit would be expanded to low-wage workers not raising children, including extending it to those from the age of 21, and the child tax credit would be expanded "by making more of it refundable, or indexed to inflation to stem the erosion of the credit."

While the platform supports President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which the Republicans want to repeal, there is a commitment to abolish the "Cadillac" tax – the postponed excise tax on high-cost health insurance – as long as there can be found "revenue to offset it."

Other policies would "make sure Social Security's guaranteed benefits continue for generations to come by asking those at the top to pay more, and will achieve this goal by taxing some of the income of people above USD250,000," while the platform also supports some type of financial transactions tax "to curb speculation and high-frequency trading" on Wall Street.

Finally, with regard to trade policy, it is stated that, "over the past three decades, America has signed too many trade deals that have not lived up to the hype, … [and] failed to protect workers' rights, labor standards, the environment, and public health. We should review agreements negotiated years ago to update them to reflect these principles."

"Any future trade agreements must make sure our trading partners cannot undercut American workers by taking shortcuts on labor policy or the environment," the platform adds. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not rejected, but it is stressed that the treaty must be subject to the application of those standards.

TAGS: environment | tax | tax incentives | energy | public health | capital markets | insurance | trade treaty | corporation tax | oil and gas | tax credits | excise duty | agreements | health care | United States | tax breaks | trade | individual income tax | Tax | Financial Transactions Tax (FTT)

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