Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.13: Standing with Obama, More Endorsements, and "Inevitability"

Today's Hillary News & Views starts with coverage of Clinton’s reaction to President Obama's State of the Union Address.

The Washington Times reports:
“I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished under President Obama’s leadership — if we win this election, you and I are going to build on his progress together,” the Clinton campaign fundraising email reads. “But there’s no guarantee we get that chance. The polls are tightening in Iowa and New Hampshire. If we don’t have the resources to win those key early states and then the nomination, the next State of the Union could be delivered by Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.”
“America is better because of @POTUS’ leadership. Proud to call him my friend. Let’s build on his progress,” Mrs. Clinton tweeted, following it a few minutes later by saying, “Progress isn’t inevitable. We have a choice between pushing forward — or undoing all the work we’ve done.”
She also specifically praised the Affordable Care Act and said Americans cannot “put their health care into the hands of Republicans.”
Clinton has also released a new ad supporting the President on his gun control actions.
Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign released a new ad tied to the State of the Union Tuesday night, praising President Barack Obama’s gun policies on Tuesday night as the president began his address.
The 30-second ad, which will run digitally during Obama’s speech and on national cable in Iowa and New Hampshire starting on Wednesday, features Clinton talking straight to the camera.
“An average of 90 people are killed by guns in this country every day. It has to stop,” Clinton says in the ad. “President Obama wants to make universal background checks the law of the land and he wants to make sure gun manufacturers can finally be held accountable when their guns are used to kill our children. It’s time to pick a side. Either we side with the gun lobby or we join the president and stand up to them. I’m with him."
Some more big endorsements for Clinton yesterday.

Business Insider reports:
Hillary Clinton has secured an endorsement from the nation's first black attorney general.
The Clinton campaign announced Eric Holder's support in a statement to the Associated Press.
Holder, who served as President Barack Obama's top law enforcement appointee for more than five years, said Clinton "is the candidate that we need in the White House" to continue "the progress of President Obama."
The former attorney general will campaign for Clinton in an upcoming swing to South Carolina, accompanying her to a state Democratic Party dinner Saturday and a Sunday debate sponsored by NBC News and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Holder's statement cited a list of policy areas that Clinton has highlighted in her battle against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, including several that resonate strongly among black voters.
Holder said Clinton "has bold plans to address police brutality, fight for common sense reforms to our gun laws." He did not name Sanders, instead focusing on Republicans he said would "tear down our progress on civil rights, health care and curbing gun violence."
The Huffington Post reports:
Another major labor union endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday, further solidifying the Democratic front-runner's support from organized labor.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery and retail, described Clinton as "the best qualified and positioned candidate to win in 2016." UFCW said it came to its endorsement decision after a series of meetings between union officials and internal polls of its members.
With less than three weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, Clinton has already locked up endorsements from unions representing a solid majority of the nation's unionized workers. The biggest public sector unions have also thrown their weight behind the candidate -- including the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- along with the Service Employees International Union. UFCW says it is the largest private sector union in the country.  
Clinton released a statement in response to the UFCW endorsement:
“I am honored to earn the endorsement of the United Food and Commercial Workers and their more than 1.3 million members.
“American workers built the greatest middle class in history by fighting for higher wages, safer working conditions, retirement security and the right to bargain collectively.  The UFCW has been there every step of the way.  They’ve fought to raise the minimum wage and reform our broken immigration system. They’ve stood strong to protect the rights and safety of workers across the country. And they’ve advocated for policies that would help working families get ahead, like paid sick days, fair scheduling and more full-time shifts.
“As president, getting incomes rising for working Americans will be my number-one priority. I’ll stand up for workers and fight attacks on collective bargaining. I’ll protect Social Security from Republican efforts to privatize it, and I’ll fight to ensure more hardworking Americans can retire with dignity. I’ll protect and build upon President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and will work my hardest to achieve comprehensive immigration reform once and for all.  And every day, I’ll proudly stand with the men and women of UFCW to help working families get ahead and stay ahead.”
In a way that only Melissa McEwan can, Shakeville decimates the “inevitability" argument:
[CN: Misogyny] Speaking of misogyny: "Sen. Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of taking an increasingly aggressive stance against him because she's nervous that he is beating her in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 'It could be that the inevitable candidate for the Democratic nomination may not be so inevitable today,' Sanders said at the Iowa Brown & Black Forum in Des Moines Monday night." FOR FUCK'S SAKE. When has Hillary Clinton ever been "inevitable"? Considering she lost the last time she ran, I don't think Clinton has any illusions of inevitability; that's a thing the men who challenge her invent to make themselves seem more amazing than they are.
Clinton isn’t worried about the horse race, no matter what journalists and Sanders would like to believe.
Politico reports:
“I have always known that if you’re gonna run to be president, particularly in the Democratic Party, it’s a long, hard, challenging road, and so I’ve been in these elections before,” Clinton told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota in a segment that aired Tuesday evening. “They always tighten up as people begin to make up their minds, as they look at the candidates. Totally predictable. I feel really, really good about the campaign organization that I have.”
“I don’t pay any attention to this,” said Clinton, who added that primary polls are “unpredictable” and have only gotten harder to conduct. “I don’t feel that it’s a good reflection about who will actually come out on caucus night. I can only tell you that the energy, the enthusiasm, the excitement of my volunteers, my organizers, the voters who come, who sign up on commit-to-caucus cards is just building. That’s my experience. So I’ll let people poll and try to figure out who’s gonna actually show up. I’m looking at people who are showing up, making up their minds and trying to, you know, convince them to come out and caucus for me.”
Clinton said she doesn’t spend much time thinking about losing Iowa and New Hampshire, where she trails Sanders.
“I’m gonna do everything I can to win as big a margin as possible in the caucus, then go to the primary, but this is a national campaign,” Clinton said. “Remember, I campaigned all the way into June last time, and I have always thought that given the unpredictability and the changes in people’s concerns going into this election, that we wouldn’t know exactly how the outcome would be for a couple of cycles of these primaries and caucuses.”
Clinton is targeting estate taxes as another way to make the wealthy pay their fair share.
Wall Street Journal reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed raising the estate-tax rate and increasing the number of households that would face the tax.
The plan is the latest part of Mrs. Clinton’s strategy to raise taxes on high-income and wealthy Americans, which her campaign said would raise a total of $400 billion to $500 billion over the next decade.
In her plan, the tax would apply to estates exceeding $3.5 million per person and at a 45% top rate. Under current law, reached in a compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans, the per-person exemption is $5.45 million and the top rate is 40%. As a result, the tax would hit about 0.4% of estates each year, up from 0.2% today.
Her campaign also said Tuesday that she would limit wealthy taxpayers’ use of foreign reinsurance companies and tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
The statement released by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said today that she would “explore additional measures to prevent high-income taxpayers from misclassifying income as capital gains or avoiding paying tax on some income at all.”
The campaign has released two detailed factsheets this week that specify policies in certain areas.
Here is her plan for a fairer tax code:
Investing in America by Restoring Basic Fairness to Our Tax Code 
Clinton’s Plan to Build on the Buffett Rule and end the “Private Tax System” for the Wealthiest
Hillary Clinton believes that creating good-paying jobs and getting paychecks growing for working families is the defining economic challenge of our time. She knows that if we want the kind of strong, shared growth that leads to rising pay and good jobs, we’ve got to invest in the middle class, and stop stacking the deck for those at the top.
Unfortunately, far too often, our tax code is rigged to favor multi-millionaires and billionaires who can exploit loopholes and shelter income in order to avoid paying their fair share. There is essentially a “private tax system” for the wealthiest Americans that lets them lower their tax bill by billions, while working families play by the rules and pay their fair share. In 2013, the 400 highest-income taxpayers – those making more than $250 million per year on average – paid an effective tax rate of just 23 percent,[1] in part because of tax gaming and sheltering to reduce their tax bills. Some multi-millionaires can pay lower rates than their employees. Clinton believes that at a time when pay has risen far too slowly for working families, when America is under-investing in our young people and our infrastructure, it is outrageous that the wealthiest can exploit loopholes and avoid paying their fair share.
Throughout her career, from voting against both Bush tax cuts to calling for the end of special tax breaks for Wall Street money managers, Clinton has stood for making the most fortunate pay their fair share. Last month, Clinton stood side-by-side with Warren Buffett and spoke about the importance of tax fairness. Today, she is offering a plan to build on the “Buffett Rule,” crack down on tax gaming and sheltering, and ensure that the super-wealthy pay their fair share by:
  1. Implementing a multi-millionaire “Fair Share Surcharge.” Hillary will call for imposing a 4 percent “Fair Share Surcharge” on the 2 out of every 10,000 taxpayers making more than $5 million per year – who are the most likely to benefit from tax planning. This surcharge is a direct way to ensure that effective rates rise for taxpayers who are avoiding paying their fair share, and that the richest Americans pay an effective rate higher than middle-class families.
  2. Shutting down the “private tax system” for the most fortunate, starting by immediately closing egregious loopholes. Hillary will call for strengthening the Buffett Rule by broadening the base of income subject to the rule. This means immediately closing egregious loopholes, like the Bermuda reinsurance loophole and the “Romney loophole” that let the most fortunate avoid paying their fair share.
  3. Restoring fair taxation on multi-million dollar estates. Hillary is proposing to restore the Estate Tax to 2009 parameters, which would ensure some of the largest, multi-million dollar estates are not exempt from paying their fair share. She will also close complex loopholes, including methods that people can now use to make their estates appear to be worth less than they really are. The Estate Tax is a tax on the very largest estates that would only affect 4 out of every 1,000 estates after Clinton’s reforms. [2]
  4. Ensuring millionaires can no longer pay a lower rate than their secretary. Hillary will reiterate her call for the “Buffett Rule,” which ensures that those making more than $1 million per year pay at least an effective tax rate of 30 percent.
In combination, these proposals will raise between $400 and $500 billion in revenue over 10 years for investments that will drive strong growth and raise the pay of middle-class families. The full details of Clinton’s plan are described below.
  1. Implement a multi-millionaire “Fair Share Surcharge.” Clinton is calling for a multi-millionaire surcharge as a direct way to ensure that the most fortunate pay their fair share. As a result of loopholes and the “private tax system” of lawyers and accountants who enable complex strategies to shelter and lower the bill on income for the most fortunate, some of the wealthiest taxpayers continue to pay low effective rates on their income. Today, one-quarter of the top 400 taxpayers who make on average $250 million per year pay less than a 20 percent effective Federal income tax rate[3] – and the top 400 taxpayers pay an overall effective rate that is around 7 percentage points lower than the mid-1990s, a period of strong, shared economic growth. As part of her plan for expanding on the Buffett Rule, Clinton’s plan calls for a 4 percent multi-millionaire “Fair Share Surcharge” on the top 0.02 percent of taxpayers on their income above $5 million per year – affecting roughly 2 out of every 10,000 taxpayers. The experience of the past few years shows that a surcharge can directly raise the effective rates on the very-highest-income taxpayers, in ways even their tax maneuvers cannot game: as a result of President Obama securing the end of the high-income Bush tax cuts and other measures, the effective rate paid by the top 400 taxpayers rose from less than 17 percent to the most recent rate of 23 percent.[4]
  1. Shut down the “private tax system” for the wealthiest, starting by immediately closing specific egregious loopholes. Some of the most fortunate taxpayers in the country – often those making multiple millions per year, or with billions of dollars in wealth – are able to game the system by sheltering their income or using exotic tax gaming to avoid paying their fair share. As a recent New York Times story explained, “Operating largely out of public view…the wealthy have used their influence to steadily whittle away at the government’s ability to tax them. The effect has been to create a kind of private tax system, catering to only several thousand Americans.”[5]
Hillary is committing to shutting down the private tax system for the ultra-wealthy, by closing loopholes that exist today, and remaining vigilant for new loopholes lawyers and accountants try to find next. The ultra-wealthy should not be able to exploit loopholes and leave middle-class families who play by the rules holding the bag. Today, she is announcing several examples of proposals to crack down on specific tax shelters and strategies, and will continue make closing egregious loopholes a priority throughout her administration:
  • End the Bermuda reinsurance loophole, and tax gaming through complex derivative trading: High-income money managers have used loopholes related to foreign reinsurance – often located in Bermuda – to avoid paying their fair share.[6] And they take advantage of complex derivative trades to lower their tax bill.[7] Clinton would build on proposals from both Democrats like President Obama and Republicans in Congress to close down these two loopholes.
  • Close the “Romney Loophole” that allows sheltering multiple millions in retirement accounts: According to data from the Government Accountability Office, roughly 1,000 taxpayers have accumulated close to $100 billion dollars in tax-preferred retirement accounts, with balances of more than $10 million per taxpayer.[8] Clinton believes that we should encourage robust retirement savings by American families – but that retirement accounts should not become a shelter from taxation for the most fortunate. She would build on proposals by President Obama in calling for closing down the so-called “Romney Loophole”[9] by limiting the ability of the very wealthiest to game the system by sheltering large incomes in tax-preferred accounts.
  • Close the “carried interest” loophole: For almost a decade, since she was a Senator, Clinton has called for closing the “carried interest” loophole that allows hedge fund, private equity, and other Wall Street money managers to avoid paying ordinary income rates on their earnings. With the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than every kindergarten teacher in the country combined, there is absolutely no reason for this tax loophole.
  • Commit to tax fairness beyond closing these specific loopholes – especially on capital income: Beyond these specific loopholes, Hillary will continue to take steps to ensure the most fortunate cannot game the system and avoid paying their fair share. Already in this campaign, she has called for raising capital gains rates for short-term trading, in order to encourage long-term investment. But long-termism should never be an excuse for persistently and continuously sheltering income from fair taxation. That is why Clinton will go beyond the loopholes identified above to reform capital taxation, and explore additional measures to prevent high-income taxpayers from misclassifying income as capital gains or avoiding paying tax on some income at all. She will make strong enforcement against the “private tax system” for the extremely wealthy a priority for her administration.
  1. Restoring fair taxation on multi-million dollar estates. Clinton is joining President Obama and other Democrats in calling for returning the Estate Tax to 2009 parameters, and lower the exemption for the Estate Tax from almost $11 million today, while raising the Estate Tax rate. Hillary has called for Estate Tax reform for more than a decade, and embraced similar proposals in her 2008 presidential campaign. The Estate Tax only impacts the very largest estates, and the reformed Estate Tax would only affect the wealthiest 4 out of every 1,000 estates in the country.[10] Her plan would also crack down on loopholes in the Estate Tax, including methods that people can now use to make their estates appear to be worth less than they really are.[11]
  1. Ensure millionaires can no longer pay a lower rate than their secretary. When Hillary stood with Warren Buffett last month, he pointed to his own taxes as proof of the fundamental unfairness of our tax system. He has earned billions and yet, year after year, he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.[12] In addition to the surcharge and specific loophole closers outlined above, Clinton is reiterating her call for the Buffett Rule, which ensures that millionaires must pay at least a 30 percent effective rate. Plain and simple, this rule of basic fairness ensures that the wealthiest Americans no longer pay a lower effective tax rate than the middle class.
And her plan for investing in Latino communities:
Growing Together: Hillary Clinton’s Vision for a New Economic Future for Latino Communities 
The story of America and the American economy is a story of progress. But too often, even while being central to this progress, the Latino community has been excluded from reaping its rewards. Latinos make up an estimated 17 percent of the population but hold only 2.2 percent of its wealth. And during the Great Recession, while the median white household saw its wealth decrease by 16 percent, the median Latino household saw its wealth fall by a devastating 66 percent. These inequities are rooted in a history of discrimination and materialize today in an economy that is stacked for those at the top.
Hillary Clinton believes it’s time for that to change. Latino families want the same things that every working family across this country wants: economic security and an equal chance at success. Hillary Clinton will fight for a new economic future for Latinos in America: for every individual, family, and community, because our nation can only reach its full potential when every individual can reach his or her own—when all of us grow together.
As President, Hillary will fight to ensure:
  • Education and job prospects are never limited by race, ethnicity, or zip code. Even as the Latino community has grown, Latinos continue to lag behind in higher education attainment. And today, unemployment among Latinos remains above the national average. Hillary will champion new educational opportunities and remove barriers to employment to ensure nothing stands in the way of people achieving their full potential. She will:
    • Provide every child a world-class education. There’s increasing scientific evidence that brain development in the earliest years of childhood is crucial to economic success. That’s why Hillary will increase our investment in Early Head Start and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. She also has a plan to make pre-K universal for all 4 year-olds in America, and will fight for strong public schools in every zip code and every community across the country—so that every Latino child has access to a world-class education.
    • Make college affordable and relieve the crushing burden of student debt. Nearly 67 percent of Latino students who earn bachelor’s degrees leave school with debt. Latino students are also less likely than white students to enroll in a four-year college and less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree—sometimes out of a sense of responsibility to support their families financially. Through her New College Compact, Hillary will fight to ensure that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to attend college—and that debt won’t hold them back when they do. Her plan will also support, encourage, and reward the Hispanic Serving Institutions that help our students succeed. And it will provide scholarships and child care support for student parents, so that these parents can build a brighter future for their families.
    • Create good-paying jobs. The typical Latino family has just $0.10 of wealth for every dollar of wealth that the typical white family has accumulated. And today, unemployment among Latinos still stands above the national average. Hillary has a plan to create good-paying jobs. For example, she will invest $275 billion in our crumbling infrastructure and ensure that critical investments are going to the communities that need them most. She will work to revitalize manufacturing. And she has a plan to boost economic growth for the long-term, so that all Latinos have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.
    • Get incomes rising again and close the wage gap. The typical Latino household earns more than 20% less than the typical white household, and Latinas often lose out the most—earning, on average, 55 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. Hillary has said getting incomes rising again is the defining economic challenge of our time, and she will fight to raise incomes so that Latino families can get ahead and stay ahead. Her plan includes raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay for Latinas, providing incentives for companies to share profits with their employees, and boosting apprenticeships to help more people get into the workforce. 
  • Every family is able to build a strong economic foundation. Latino families face significant financial barriers to saving for retirement, reducing debt, building emergency savings, and funding education for children or grandchildren. Too many Latino families are forced to worry about how one financial setback can erase all of the progress they’ve made. Hillary will fight for economic security for every family, because economic security is a foundation for economic opportunity. She will:
    • Remove barriers to sustainable home ownership and connect affordable housing and economic opportunity. Housing policy is about more than housing. It’s about connecting families to strong communities and economic opportunity. But too many Latino families have been left out of the mainstream mortgage market, and too many of those renting have been shut out of communities with high-performing schools, safe streets and good-paying jobs beyond their reach. Clinton will fight to ensure that housing policy and the housing market serve to connect Latino families to opportunity rather than exclude them.
    • Defend and strengthen Social Security. Social Security has provided Americans with financial security over the past 80 years. It needs to be protected—not torn down. Yet Republicans are threatening to dismantle the program. The stakes are high, especially for Latinos who would be disproportionately harmed by Social Security cuts. As president, Hillary will fight to defend Social Security—so that Latino families can retire with dignity.
    • Protect and enhance the Affordable Care Act. The ACA has helped to address racial disparities in health care accessibility. The Latino uninsured rate has fallen by more than 12 percent, and 4.2 million Latino adults have gained coverage because of the ACA. This progress is promoting more healthy, vibrant and successful communities. Hillary will stand up to Republican attempts to roll back the law and will ensure that it reaches more members of the Latino community by allowing any family to purchase health insurance through an ACA exchange, no matter their immigration status. She will also build on the ACA to lower out-of-pocket health care costs, reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and transform our health care system to reward value and quality.
    • Fight against unfair and deceptive practices that are holding families back. Far too often, the financial security of working families is compromised by unfair and deceptive practices in the financial industry—from predatory payday lending to shady overdraft practices. President Obama has taken crucial steps to protect working families from abusive financial practices, but Republicans are dead-set on reversing these critical protections. Hillary will fight to defend and build on the President’s efforts—and ensure that the financial sector serves the interests of working families, not just itself. 
  • All communities provide opportunities to prosper. For generations, Latino communities have largely been cut out of economic opportunity and social mobility. Hillary will fight to ensure that Latinos, from New York City to the Rio Grande Valley, have access to all of America’s potential. And she will fight to ensure that discrimination doesn’t get in the way. She will:
    • Fight to keep families together. An estimated 9 million Americans live in mixed status families, and more than half of Latino children have at least one parent who was born outside the United States. Hillary is committed to doing everything that she can as President to keep families together. Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America for years, Hillary will fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship, defend and protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) policies, and do everything possible under the law to protect families.
    • Promote naturalization. There are an estimated 8 million immigrants that are eligible for citizenship. Hillary believes we should do more to help them take that last step. As President, she will expand fee-waivers and increase access to language and outreach programs.
    • End racial profiling. Racial profiling is demeaning and ineffective, and contributes to the overrepresentation of Latinos in the criminal justice system. Racial profiling also erodes trust between law enforcement officers and the residents they serve. That is why Hillary cosponsored legislation to end racial profiling as a Senator and would continue to support such legislation as President.
    • Support small businesses. Latinos know first-hand that small business is the engine of job-creation in America. The number of Latina-owned small businesses, for example, has more than tripled since 1997. But Latino-owned businesses too often face difficulties securing the outside funding they need to grow. Hillary wants to be the Small Business President. She will fight to level the playing field for Latino small business owners by cutting red tape, expanding access to capital, providing tax relief, and expanding access to new markets.
    • Promote transportation equity. Latinos rely heavily on public transportation, and research shows that access to jobs through affordable transit is one of the most powerful forces for social mobility. But right now, our nation’s mass transit system does not sufficiently serve the communities that need it most. Hillary will increase investments in public transit to connect Latinos to jobs and spur economic growth in local communities.
Lifetime is airing a Clinton interview tonight that was conducted by Amanda de Cadenet.

The Hollywood Reporter reports:
What surprised you the most about Hillary?
Just how completely down to earth and grounded she is. I mean, there is so much surrounding her having been Secretary of State, First Lady of the United States and now a presidential candidate. That’s a big life to manage and a lot to take care of. But, what I found with her, from the minute we said hello and shook hands and looked at each other, she was so down to earth and she made it easy for me because she was not guarded. I didn’t have to navigate a lot of barriers and defense. I’m not interested in surface fluff, but I also don’t have an agenda to get someone to be someone they’re not, or to reveal something. When she came to do the interview, she knew what she was walking into.
What answers will most surprise viewers?
Most surprising is how relatable she is and how wise she is. She’s very wise. My favorite conversations to have are with people who can talk about and are interested in equality and justice, who are interested in changing the playing fields for women and girls. That’s what I’m very committed to. That’s why I do the show. So, to be able to sit with someone and talk to them about why they became an advocate for women and girls, and how they created a platform for themselves to really help move these issues forward and get attention, and then also a woman who is a grandma. They made an announcement [about Chelsea Clinton’s second pregnancy] literally as she was walking down the hallway to us to come do the interview. This was an area that brings her so much joy. One of the questions was, "What do you think we need more of in the world?" She said, "More love and compassion." I was like, "You’re walking the fine line of being the emotional woman by saying that." She said she knows that but she believes it to be true. She is a very compassionate person.

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