Clin­ton pledges bil­lions in mid­dle-class tax cuts

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY KELLY RIDDELL

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial front-run­ner Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton is tar­get­ing the mid­dle class, promis­ing tax breaks to hard­work­ing Amer­i­cans while re­buk­ing her top ri­val, Sen. Bernard San­ders, for propos­ing pol­icy that will lead to tax in­creases on the work­ing class.

Mrs. Clin­ton, speak­ing at a cam­paign event in Iowa, pro­posed a tax break for those who care for ag­ing par­ents and grand­par­ents, and this month her cam­paign said it would de­tail hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars in mid­dle-class tax cuts in the com­ing months.

Mrs. Clin­ton has pledged not to in­crease taxes on fam­i­lies earn­ing less than $250,000 a year. For care­givers, Mrs. Clin­ton is propos­ing a tax credit up to $1,200 for those with out-of-pocket ex­penses of more than $6,000.

“It will help fam­i­lies’ bud­gets stretch. It will help se­niors main­tain in­de­pen­dence,” Mrs. Clin­ton said.

Last week, Mrs. Clin­ton’s cam­paign said Mr. San­ders would raise taxes on the mid­dle class to help pay for his pol­icy pre­scrip­tions, most no­tably his sin­gle­payer health care plan.

Mr. San­ders’ pro­posal would re­place the Af­ford­able Care Act with a sin­gle­payer sys­tem in which the gov­ern­ment, not pri­vate in­sur­ers, would pay for health care claims. The Clin­ton cam­paign said Mr. San­ders’ plan would lead to a 9 per­cent tax in­crease on the av­er­age fam­ily.

The cam­paign of the self-avowed so­cial­ist from Ver­mont shot back, say­ing Mr. San­ders’ pro­pos­als would be funded with higher taxes on the wealthy and large cor­po­ra­tions.

“He’s rais­ing taxes to pay for re­lief for mid­dle-in­come and work­ing peo­ple,” San­ders cam­paign man­ager Jeff Weaver told re­porters af­ter the sec­ond Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial de­bate.

Mr. San­ders has ac­knowl­edged that his plan to of­fer three months of paid fam­ily med­i­cal each year will lead to a pay­roll tax of $1.38 per week for me­di­an­wage earn­ers. Al­though Mrs. Clin­ton has said she sup­ports fam­ily med­i­cal leave, he said, she hasn’t in­tro­duced any con­crete pol­icy plans.

“What is her pro­gram? What does she in­tend to do other than talk about it?” Mr. San­ders told the ed­i­to­rial board at The Des Moines Reg­is­ter. “If she thinks $1.38 a week is just too much to spend, let her ex­plain that to the peo­ple of Iowa.”

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