Politics

Clinton Aide: Not The ‘Right Time For A Middle Class Tax Cut’

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

A top Hillary Clinton campaign adviser suggested it’s not the “right time for a middle class tax cut,” contradicting the former secretary of state’s public position on cutting taxes for middle income Americans.

“Just to put cards on the table ahead of the call, I don’t think this is the right time for a middle class tax cut,” Neera Tanden wrote in a February 2016 email to Clinton campaign staffers.

“I think liberals will see it as craven 90s centrism driven out of fear and liberals seem to be driving the narrative these days. May be more useful in the general,” wrote Tanden, the president of the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP).

CAP was founded in 2003 by Democratic lobbyist John Podesta. Podesta served in former President Bill Clinton’s White House, and now serves as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair. Numerous emails between Podesta and Tanden have been published online by WikiLeaks from Podesta’s hacked Gmail account.

Tanden was reacting to ideas from campaign staffers on what Clinton’s plans were for financial taxes, including a “Watt Street Risk fee.”

Former White House economic adviser Gene Sperling suggested such a “fee” so Clinton didn’t look like she was just copying Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for a financial transaction tax.

Sperling wrote that “we may look like we are just copying Bernie — so would have to add it to the calculation.”

“But either way, I think it is may be to our upside to consider details to what is clearly our proposal — Wall Street Risk fee,” said Sperling, who’s now advising the Clinton campaign.

“I would do an [financial transaction tax] but not for social security,” Tanden wrote. “Bc that is exactly his plan. And we are winning seniors. Given we have issues w low income should we consider the Hanauer Rolfe idea?”

Clinton, however, has said she would cut taxes for the middle class through doubling the Child Tax Credit to $2,000 for families with young kids.

“Hard-working, middle-class families are struggling with rising costs for child care, health care, caregiving and college,” Clinton said in a statement. “This new tax credit will make their lives a little bit easier and help restore fairness to our economy.”

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