In his State of the Union address tomorrow night, President Obama will unveil a new tax plan targeting some of Hillary Clinton’s closest friends and political donors (i.e., super-wealthy individuals and Wall Street banks like Citigroup).
A central component of Obama’s proposal is to raise the capital gains tax on top earners from 20 percent to 28 percent. It will be interesting to find out where Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stands on this issue, given that it was her husband, Bill Clinton, who signed legislation cutting the top capital gains rate from 28 percent to 20 percent during his second term as president.
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In fact, Hillary clashed with Obama on this very issue during the 2008 Democratic primary. During an ABC News debate (transcript here), Charlie Gibson asked each candidate about their position on capital gains taxes. Some may already be familiar with Obama’s answer during this segment. He told Gibson he would support raising the capital gains tax "for purposes of fairness," regardless of whether doing so would actually increase tax revenue.
But Hillary’s answer is also noteworthy in the context of what Obama has just proposed.
"I wouldn’t raise [the capital gains tax] above 20 percent, if I raised it at all," Clinton said. "I would not raise it above what it was during the Clinton administration."
When Gibson followed up to find out if Hillary would ever consider raising capital gains taxes, she responded with evasive fluff. "I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody," she said. "We are going to have to look and see where we are."
Obama's tax plan not likely to do Hillary any favors. Puts her in a tough spot politically: http://t.co/IMgZJf7m00
— Noam Scheiber (@noamscheiber) January 18, 2015