Hillary Clinton’s proposals for new and expanded government programs would cost at least $1.1 trillion over 10 years as she looks to pump billions of additional dollars into reducing college costs, increasing treatment for drug addiction and helping employers pay for mandatory family and sick leave.
In many cases, Clinton’s presidential campaign does not lay out specifically how she would pay for the new programs and expanded spending, calculated by McClatchy after an examination of her 17 proposals to date.
Political observers say Clinton’s failure to fully explain how she would pay for the spending is unlikely to harm her in the Democratic primary. But it could open her to criticism in the general election.
“The day of reckoning is coming for Clinton to disclose how she will pay for her enormous tab,” says the Republican National Committee. “There is simply no way she will be able to do so without taxing the middle class.”
Certainly I think there is going to be a ‘how are you going to do that’ moment. Kurt Meyer, Democratic chairman of a trio of rural counties in north-central Iowa, on Clinton’s proposals
Clinton says she wants to impose new taxes on wealthy Americans, not the middle class, while offering a range of tax cuts that would increase take-home pay for middle-class families.
She has proposed limiting tax deductions for the wealthy; requiring a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on those making more than a $1 million a year; ending a practice that enables some wealthy financiers to reduce their income tax bills; closing oil and gas loopholes; and overhauling business taxes.
But most of her tax proposals already have been rejected repeatedly in recent years, in part because Republicans want to engage in a broader corporate tax overhaul and at least some Democrats do not want to anger Wall Street backers.
The Clinton campaign has not announced its estimate of how much she would raise with her tax increases. But the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates they could raise at least $1 trillion.
Research director Loren Adler said his group attempted to calculate her tax increases to determine whether Clinton is being accurate when she says she could pay for her spending proposals. “We think it’s pretty close,” he said.