Hillary Clinton's Tax Proposal: The Experts Weigh In
Policy + Politics

Hillary Clinton's Tax Proposal: The Experts Weigh In

ABC News

It's hard enough running for president and having every move you make dissected and scrutizined by the media -- let alone your opponents. Worse still is proposing a tax plan, which is inevitably going to hurt some people and help others. Hillary Clinton makes no bones about taking a bite out of the coffers of the ultra-wealthy in order to help finance some of her domestic agenda. The question remains, though, can her plan help grow the economy?

The Fiscal Times asked a panel of experts in tax and fiscal policy to review the Hillary Clinton tax plan: William G. Gale, the Arjay and Francis Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Tax Policy Center; Doug Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office Director; and G. William Hoagland, a vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Republican Senate budget official. A summary of their analysis is below:

Hillary Clinton
Tax Proposal Report Card
Gale Hoagland Holtz-Eakin Average
Legislative feasibility B C D C
Economic growth B D F D+
Fiscal responsibility A B D B-
Impact on taxpayers A B D B-
Expert average A- C+ D-

We've broken down each expert's analysis in the three report cards below:

Hillary Clinton's Tax Proposal

Analyst: William C. Gale
Co-Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Legislative feasibility B While it is doubtful that the any sweeping package is ever enacted completely, it is worth noting that the public generally and consistently supports higher taxes on the wealthy.
Economic growth B The plan will probably be close to a wash in terms of growth over the medium term. An increase in tax rates might hurt growth, but the reduction in debt should help growth in the long-term. Over the longer term, the impact on debt will dominate and the plan could be pro-growth.
Fiscal responsibility A This is clearly a strength of the proposal.
Impact on taxpayers A This is the other great strength. A very progressive plan.

Hillary Clinton's Tax Proposal

Analyst: William Hoagland
Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center
Legislative feasibility C It is unlikely that the Clinton tax plan would be enacted as proposed by itself. In conjunction with policy changes to the spending side, there is an outside chance that some of Clinton’s tax reforms might be achieved.
Economic growth D The proposal to raise the holding period for long-term capital gains and impose a transaction tax on high frequency traders might have some dampening impact on investments and growth. With no changes to lower the corporate tax rate to be competitive in a global market this is a major shortcoming of the plan.
Fiscal responsibility B The tax proposal by itself and relative to a Trump proposal, has significantly less impact on the level of future debt and deficits.
Impact on taxpayers B Primarily impacting higher income taxpayers and those with large deductions. But on balance for average taxpayer overall no significant impact.
Additional comments   Combined with health care proposals to increase the federal subsidies for purchasing health insurance, the combined marginal tax rate on the phase out of the subsidies may result in creating work disincentives within a subset of the 2nd and 3rd quintiles.

Hillary Clinton's Tax Proposal

Analyst: Douglas Holtz-Eakin
President, American Action Forum
Legislative feasibility D The exclusive focus on the top-end of the income distribution, the absence of broad-based reforms, ignoring the tax-based nature of inversions, and raising the estate tax will doom this plan in the House.
Economic growth F There is nothing that supports saving, investment or innovation -- these are the foundation of growth.
Fiscal responsibility D These tax increases are immediately spent, leaving the basic unsustainability of the budget untouched.
Impact on taxpayers D It is by definition unfair as it is targeted exclusively on the affluent for the sole reason that they are affluent (and not any specific behavior).