Friday, July 17, 2015

Hillary News & Views 7.17: Profit Sharing, Town Hall Heckling, and Call Me Hillary

Good Morning!  Today's edition of Hillary News & Views kicks off with the big economic proposal announced yesterday: tax incentives for employee profit sharing.

One of many specific economic proposals being revealed in the coming weeks, the Wall Street Journal reports on the details of the plan:
The profit-sharing plan would give companies a 15% tax credit on profit-sharing distributions given broadly to firm employees. Small firms would be eligible for a larger credit, while the overall credit would be capped, to prevent very large firms from claiming “excessive” amounts, the campaign said. 
Distributions up to 10% of a worker’s salary would be eligible for the credit.
A company could receive the credit for two years. The credit would help firms offset the costs of setting up a profit-sharing plan, the campaign said. But aides said all firms offering profit-sharing would be eligible, not just those that start new plans.
The credit would phase out for higher-income workers.
“I really think our corporations are missing a big bet,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Because credible studies prove that profit-sharing with your employees is good for the employees, good for the businesses, good for the economy. I want to incentivize more companies to do just that.”
Business Insider reports that there are limits on the incentive to prevent larger companies from exploiting it, and previewed the other economic proposals coming soon from the Clinton campaign:
The tax benefit available to any single firm in a given year would be capped to "prevent an excessive credit for very large corporations," the campaign said, emphasizing Clinton's focus on supporting small business.
Roughly 40 percent of U.S. workers participate in profit-sharing plans and it has a meaningful impact on their wealth, according to economic research cited by Clinton's campaign.
"When companies share profits, not only do workers benefit, but the companies themselves see higher productivity," said Alan Blinder, a Princeton University economics professor who is advising Clinton's campaign.
The profit-sharing proposal is the first piece of Clinton's economic agenda outlined in a Monday speech. She said that over the course of the summer she would explain how she would raise the hourly minimum wage, support collective bargaining, fight employer wage theft, encourage long-term investing and regulate Wall Street.
Clinton's first big Town Hall event was the site of the policy proposal reveal, but a lot of other ground was covered as well.

One of the biggest news stories coming out of the event was Clinton getting heckled over climate change. Several different news outlets have bits and pieces of Clinton's remarks.

It all started, according to Huffington Post, when Clinton indicated she would phase out fracking on public lands instead of halting it immediately:
Clinton said she would not stop the extraction right away, but would try to make the transition as quickly as possible.
From Politico:
“The answer is not until we’ve got the alternatives in place. That may not be a satisfactory answer to you but I think I have to take the responsible answer. I am 100 percent in favor of accelerating the development of solar wind, energy efficiency, everything we can do. And I would hope we can get to the point that you made which is looking at the public land and phasing out the extraction of fossil fuels,” Clinton said. “But I will say this. We still have to run the economy, we still have to turn on the lights, we still have to make sure businesses operate.” 
She got the crowd back on her side when she made a larger point about how “climate change is an existential threat” and mocked Republican candidates who say they’re not sure about climate change because they’re not scientists.
“Well, why don’t you start listening to the scientists?” Clinton bellowed, as the crowd cheered.
From the Concord Monitor:
Elaine Colligan, one of about a dozen activists present from 350 Action, a climate advocacy group, asked whether Clinton would support a ban on fossil fuel extraction on public lands – to which she responded, “not until we’ve got the alternatives in place.” Clinton went on to add that she favors the development of other alternative fuel sources but was concerned about the impact of a ban without an adequate backup plan.
Later on, Giselle Hart, also with 350 Action, said she was disappointed by Clinton’s earlier response and asked whether campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry were influencing her stance.
“No,” Clinton responded. “No, it’s not.”
“I know what the right answer, in terms of getting votes, would have been,” Clinton continued. “The right answer would have been, ‘You bet I will ban extraction on public lands.’ And then somebody says, ‘Well, how are you going to do that?’ ‘Well, I will advocate for it.’ ‘And how are you going to get it done?’ ‘I will keep advocating for it.’
From Boston Herald:
After Clinton responded, a handful of activists unfurled a giant banner that read “BAN EXTRACTION ON PUBLIC LAND” and began chanting the slogan, interrupting Clinton and taking over the event briefly.
Clinton then tried to address the group.
“You know what, I’m going to tell you what I believe,” Clinton told the protesters to applause from the rest of the crowd. “Some people may like it some people may not like it. … I respect your passion and energy.”
MSNBC has an extended version of the above quote, and notes that Clinton intervened when the heckler was about to be ejected from the event, a detail absent from most coverage of the incident:
Clinton took the interruption in stride and told security guards to stand down as they moved to eject one woman. The two young men with the banner were moved to the back of the room, but allowed to stay.   
“I am going to tell you what I believe,” she said to applause. “There are candidates that will tell you whatever you want to hear.”
Perhaps sensing that the activists were more interested in being heard than listening, Clinton's suggestion to them, according to CNN:
Once, the chanting ceased, Clinton continued to voice her support of climate change legislation.

"I certainly would have public lands on the list of things we have to address, there's no doubt about that,"
Clinton said. "My biggest problem is trying to figure out how we do what we need to do absent a congress who will support what we need to do."
"I would urge you to run for office and have your voices heard," Clinton said to the hecklers.
Clinton campaign events are bound to get more interesting and newsworthy as she has entered the next phase of her campaign, according to Bloomberg Politics:
After months of limited questioning from screened panelists or a handful of reporters on a pre-written list, she just started calling on people.
She called on 36 people in all over the course of the day, including nine members of the media. [S]he fielded questions on the Iran deal, climate change, student debt, the criminal justice system and federally funded space exploration.
Again, bits and pieces from the town hall exchanges are all over the place, as each journalist decides what is most newsworthy.  Here are some interesting quotes from Clinton, along with the news source that quoted her:
From the Washington Times, on the failure of trickle down economics:
“Everybody running on the other side has a different economic philosophy,” she said. “They really still believe that if you cut taxes on the wealthy, if you lift regulations on corporations, that somehow economic activity will trickle down to all the rest of us. Well, we tried that. We tried it and it hasn’t worked.”
“Now, you know that old saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” said Mrs. Clinton.
From Bloomberg Politics, telemarketing:
One woman launched into an extended plea for help stopping the flood of telemarketer calls to her without changing her number and Clinton took it in stride.
“I have to tell you that’s the first time I’ve been asked that. And I don’t know the answer but I will try to find out if there is an answer,” she said, before promising that a campaign staffer would reach out to the woman and try to help.
From Politico, on mapping meteorites and NASA rejecting her childhood dream:
“I think we’re just at the beginning of trying to understand what is a black hole? Why is it there? What is in it? What does it mean for us? We should, on a security basis, be mapping the meteorites and the meteors and all the other things that people — asteroids — that people worry about,” she added.
Responding to the man who asked the question about the future of space exploration and government funding for it, Clinton told him that he was “talking to someone who wanted to be an astronaut."
“When I was a little girl, I guess I was a teenager by then … 14, I think, and the space program was getting started, and I wanted to be an astronaut, and I wrote to NASA,” she recounted.
“And I said, ‘What do I have to do to be prepared to be an astronaut?’ And they wrote back and said, ‘Thank you very much, but we’re not taking girls,’” she remembered.
“That, thankfully changed with Sally Ride and a lot of the other great women astronauts,” she said.
And finally, again from Bloomberg Politics:
“How do I address you? As ambassador or secretary or just Hillary?" one man asked her in Dover. 
"Hillary is fine with me,” she said.
For more on Clinton, check out The Hillary 2016 Platform Series:

Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform
Part 2: Immigration Reform
Part 3: Voting Rights

1 comment:

  1. Great! I don't have cable TV or the newspaper and I really appreciate summaries like this. I love the tax incentives for profit-sharing idea; I've never heard of that before. I've worked for small businesses, and they've all been affected by the tax breaks for buying equipment. Their tax accountants push them to buy equipment they don't need, and it ends up taking up needed work areas with non-productive machines. At the same time they can go years without paying employees more. I was making a good wage at one company, but it stayed the same for 7 years.