Former Bill Clinton Treasury Official On Hillary Tax Hike Plan: ‘I Don’t See The Logic’

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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NEW YORK, NY — Amid scrutiny that she allegedly mishandled classified government information, former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is facing barbs for her tax hike plan on capital gains.

Clinton is expected to bring out her blueprint at a speech at New York University Friday afternoon and skeptics pounced, including a former Bill Clinton Treasury Department official.

The campaign did not say how much in taxes the proposal would raise, The Wall Street Journal reports. However, a Clinton campaign official told the WSJ the primary goal is to “change behavior, not increase revenue.”

Investments held for less than one year would continue to be taxed at regular income-tax rates. These can max out at 39.6% or more for top earners and those who hold investments for about two or three years—the current capital-gains tax rate of 23.8% for high-income earners would be hiked.

“My general impression is deep skepticism,” Leonard Burman, director of the non-partisan think tank the Tax Policy Center and a former senior tax economist in President Bill Clinton’s Treasury Department, said of the plan to Reuters.

Burman explained, “Frankly, I don’t see the logic in trying to encourage people to hold assets for longer than they want to. There were already strong incentives for individuals to hold onto assets, and the dividends they can produce, for a long time.” He also noted that, “large amounts of assets are held by entities, including non-profits, foreigners and retirement funds, not subject to the individual capital gains tax.”

According to the WSJ, the Clinton rate, although not in finale stages, would be higher than 28%, which is what President Barack Obama proposed earlier this year for top earners.