Hillary Clinton hasn’t always agreed with President Obama on taxes. In 2008, she thought his proposal to hike capital gains taxes "for purposes of fairness," something the president will bring up again in tonight’s State of the Union address, was a bad idea.
Generally speaking, the tax hike proposals Obama plans to announce put Hillary is a tough position because they target some of her closest friends and Wall Street donors. However, she has long agreed with Obama that the United States should have a hefty estate tax in place to ensure the country doesn’t become "dominated by inherited wealth."
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But Hillary and her husband Bill are less fond of actually paying the taxes they want everyone else to pay. As Bloomberg reported last year, the Clintons take advantage of "one-percenter" loophole in the tax code to avoid paying their fair share in estate taxes:
To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.
The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.
Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.
This is just another example of one of Hillary’s greatest strengths, which is her natural ability to connect with the concerns of average American voters. On Wednesday, for example, she plans to give (paid) speeches in Canada at an event sponsored by bank accused of helping Enron commit fraud.