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- November 20, 2015

Clinton's Tax Credit Proposals Will Do Little To Stop The Lower Wages And Higher Health Care Costs They've Seen As A Result Of The Obama Economy

Today, Clinton Will Discuss Her Proposed Tax Credits That Attempt To Solve Rising Health Care Costs And The Burden Of College Tuition. "Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing a tax credit to help people deal with the rising costs of health care, the first in a series of tax benefits the Democratic presidential front-runner will be rolling out in the coming weeks. The health care credit will cover what Clinton's campaign described as 'excessive' out-of-pocket expenditures. Eligible families will get up to $5,000 in credits and individuals as much as $2,500." (Adrian Sainz and Lisa Lerer, "Clinton Proposing Tax Credits To Help With Health Care Costs," Associated Press, 11/20/15)

As A Part Of Clinton's Healthcare Plan, She Has Proposed A Refundable Tax Credit Of Up To $2,500 For Individuals And $5,000 Per Family For Americans With Out-Of-Pocket Healthcare Expenses In Excess Of 5 Percent Of Their Income. "The plan also would provide a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 per family for Americans with out-of-pocket healthcare expenses in excess of 5 percent of their income." (Amanda Becker, "Clinton Plan To Cut Health Costs Includes Tax Credits, More Sick Visits," Reuters, 9/23/15)

As A Part Of Clinton's Massive Education Spending Proposals, Clinton Features An Extension Of The American Opportunity Tax Credit. "Extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit ensuring that middle-class families avoid a tax increase of up to $2,500 per year. Hillary Clinton's plan will permanently extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which now provides up to $2,500 in tax relief for tuition and other expenses to everyday American families - including $1,000 that is refundable and fully available for lower-income families." (Press Release, "Hillary Clinton's New College Compact Benefits Historically Black Colleges And Universities (HBCUs)," The Briefing, Accessed 8/12/15)

"It Isn't Clear Yet" How Clinton Will Pay For Her Tax Credits As Her Campaign Is Yet To Provide Any Specifics

Clinton Claims She Will Pay For Her Healthcare Tax Credit By "Demanding Rebates From Drug Manufacturers And Asking The Most Fortunate To Pay Their Fair Share" But Has Provided No Specifics. "The plan requires the three pre-deductible sick visits to be provided by insurers and employers, although 'a person with private coverage could save over $100 per year.' And the tax credit-up to $5,000 per family and $2,500 per individual-will be fully paid for by 'demanding rebates from drug manufacturers and asking the most fortunate to pay their fair share." (Caitlin Owens, "Hillary Clinton Releases More Plans To Cut Health Care Costs," National Journal, 9/23/15)

"It Isn't Clear Yet" Who Would Face New Taxes, What Deductions And Loopholes She Would Close, Or How Much Money Would Be Raised For Her Extension Of The American Opportunity Tax Credit. "The Democratic presidential candidate's campaign estimates that her plan -- which would include 'no-loan tuition' at state schools -- would cost about $350 billion over 10 years. Like many candidates, lawmakers and presidents before her, she is looking to the richest Americans to foot the bill. 'Clinton's New College Compact plan ... will be fully paid for by closing tax loopholes and expenditures for the most fortunate,' according to documents from the campaign. Just how fortunate isn't clear yet, nor is it clear which specific tax breaks and 'loopholes' Clinton will target specifically." (Jeanne Sahadi, "Who Will Pay For Hillary Clinton's College Plan," CNN, 8/10/15)

Despite Clinton's Claims, The "Real Winners" Of The American Opportunity Tax Credit Are "Higher Up The Ladder"

Despite Clinton's Claim To Help Middle- And Low-Income Americans, The "Real Winners" Of The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) Are "Higher Up The Ladder." "In a recent paper, for instance, economists George Bulman and Carolyn Hoxby found that the AOTC caused a 'massive increase' in the share of tax expenditures that went to students from families earning more than $120,000. … The refundable portion does help some low-income families that would not have benefited under earlier tax credits, but the real winners are higher up the ladder." (Andrew Kelly, "Hillary Clinton's Higher Education Plan: Something (Expensive) For Everyone,"Forbes, 8/28/15)

  • The AOTC Continues To "Disproportionately Benefit Upper-Income Families" Rather Than Lower-Income Americans Whom Clinton Claims To Help. "Here again, though, the problem is that tax credits disproportionately benefit upper-income families. These families are the most likely to spend enough on college expenses and pay enough in taxes to qualify for the full credits. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that a quarter of the money spent on the AOTC and half of the spending on the student loan interest deduction went to families earning between $100,000 and $200,000 a year. " (Andrew Kelly, "Hillary Clinton's Higher Education Plan: Something (Expensive) For Everyone," Forbes, 8/28/15)

The American Opportunity Tax Credit Fuels Higher Tuition Costs, Increasing The Burden Of Higher Education On Low-Income Americans. "It is important, however, that while direct grants to low-income students only increase demand for low-income students, who are less likely to go to college than more affluent students in the first place, tuition tax credits increase demand for all students, including those who are already willing and able to spend large sums on higher education. Colleges can respond to increased demand by increasing supply (e.g., admitting more students), by becoming more selective, or by charging higher prices to capture more of the aid." (Reihan Salam, "How Tuition Tax Credits Fuel The Higher-Ed Industrial Complex," National Review, 1/20/15)

"It's Not At All Clear" That Clinton's Healthcare Tax Credit "Would Provide An Actual Cure" As ObamaCare Already Caps Out-Of-Pocket Costs

"It's Not At All Clear That Clinton's Proposals - Some Of Which Have Been Mentioned For Decades" Would Lower Out-Of-Pocket Costs. "But while surveys show that health costs, and particularly drug costs, are a top concern for many voters, it's not at all clear that Clinton's proposals - some of which have been mentioned for decades - would provide an actual cure." (Julie Rovner, "Does Hillary Clinton Have The Prescription For Out-Of-Pocket Costs," Kaiser Health News , 9/25/15)

Effective Under ObamaCare In 2016, The Law "Sets The Maximum Out-Of-Pocket Expenses" At "$6,850 For Single Coverage And $13,700 For Family Coverage." "The health care reform law sets the maximum out-of-pocket expenses employers can require employees to pay for both medical and drug costs before health plan coverage kicks in at $6,850 for single coverage and $13,700 for family coverage, effective in 2016. And most employers already put annual limits on what their employees pay out of pocket for medical and drug costs, though there are no monthly limits, Mr. Kaplan said." (Shelby Livingston, "Hillary Clinton's Prescription Drug Plan Not What The Doctor Ordered," Business Insurance , 9/23/15)

IT'S OBAMA-CLINTON ECONOMIC POLICIES THAT HAVE SQUEEZED TENNESSEANS WITH LOWER WAGES AND HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS

Clinton Gives Obama An "A" Grade On The Economy

In An Interview With The Boston Globe, Clinton Gave The Obama Administration An "A" On The Economy. HILLARY CLINTON: "I'd give him an 'A.' I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy from falling into a great depression, for saving the auto industry which represents millions of jobs up and down the supply chain, for beginning the crackdown on Wall Street abuses with Dodd-Frank, for getting the Affordable Care Act passed, for really being as responsive as he could possibly be given the obstructionism that he faced with the republicans in congress." (Hillary Clinton Interview With The Boston Globe, 10/17/15)

Tennesseans Continue To Feel The Burden Of ObamaCare As Insurance Premiums Have Skyrocketed

The Tennessean Headline: "Tennessee's ACA Rate Hikes Are Among Highest In U.S." (Holly Fletcher, "Tennessee's ACA Rate Hikes Are Among Highest In U.S.," The Tennessean , 10/27/15)

Health Insurance Premiums On The ObamaCare Exchange In Tennessee "Are Among The Highest In The Country." "The health insurance premium increases for 2016 on the federally run exchange for Tennesseans are among the highest in the country." (Holly Fletcher, "Tennessee's ACA Rate Hikes Are Among Highest In U.S.," The Tennessean , 10/27/15)

  • Tennessee Has The Sixth Highest Premiums In The Country. "There are five states with increases higher than Tennessee for upcoming enrollment. Oklahoma leads the country with a 35.7 percent increase. Montana will have a 34.5 percent increase, Alaska a 31.5 percent increase, New Mexico a 25.8 percent increase and a 24.7 percent increase in South Dakota." (Holly Fletcher, "Tennessee's ACA Rate Hikes Are Among Highest In U.S.," The Tennessean , 10/27/15)

In Tennessee, "The Second-Lowest Cost Silver Plan Is Set To Go Up 23.4 Percent, While The National Average Is 7.5 Percent, According To The U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services." "The second-lowest cost silver plan is set to go up 23.4 percent, while the national average is 7.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services." (Holly Fletcher, "Tennessee's ACA Rate Hikes Are Among Highest In U.S.," The Tennessean , 10/27/15)

BlueCross BlueShield Of Tennessee, Tennessee's Largest Insurance Provider, Will Have Increased Rates Averaging 36.3% In 2016. "The state regulator approved Friday several large rate requests from health insurers' 2016 plans on the federal exchange. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state's largest insurance provider, had its 36.3 percent average increase approved." (Holly Fletcher, "ACA Rate Hikes May Not Cover Losses," The Tennessean, 8/21/15)

Premiums Will Increase $62.50 For The Benchmark Plan In 2015. "In Tennessee the benchmark plan on the exchange established by the Affordable Care Act cost $203 in 2015, according to Kaiser Health Foundation. That plan would be $250.50 in 2016, for the 23.4 percent increase. The state's benchmark plan in 2014 was $188." (Holly Fletcher, "Tennessee's ACA Rate Hikes Are Among Highest In U.S.," The Tennessean , 10/27/15)

"Substantially Less Money" Is The New Norm In Tennessee And Across The Country

During The Obama Administration, Median Household Income In Tennessee Has Fallen By $992 In Tennessee From $44,708 In 2009 To $43,716 In 2014. (Census, Accessed 11/20/15)

During The Obama Administration, Poverty In Tennessee Has Increased From 15 Percent In 2008 To 17.3 Percent In 2014. (Census, Accessed 11/20/15)

American Household Incomes "Lost Ground" Last Year, In A Sign The U.S. Economic Expansion "Has Not Led To Gains For Many Americans" Since The End Of The 2007-2009 Recession. "American household incomes lost ground last year and the poverty rate ticked up, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Wednesday, in a sign the U.S. economic expansion has not led to gains for many Americans five years after the 2007-2009 recession." (Susan Heavey, "U.S. Household Incomes Slip, Poverty Rate Up Slightly In 2014," Reuters, 9/16/15)

  • The "Depressing Data" On Middle-Class Wages Is "True Across Almost All Groups Based On Race And Age." "The depressing data on middle-class wages is true across almost all groups based on race and age." (Neil Irwin, "Why Americans Still Think The Economy Is Terrible," The New York Times, 9/16/15)

The Median Household Income In The U.S. Fell $805, Or 1.5 Percent, From $54,462 In 2013 To $53,657 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

During The Obama Administration, Median Household Income Has Fallen $1,656, From $55,313 In 2008 To $53,657 In 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

The Recent Census Data Is The "Latest Sign" That The Economic Expansion "Has Done Little To Improve Living Standards For A Broad Swath Of The Nation." "Incomes in the U.S. edged lower in 2014, the latest sign an economic expansion that began five years earlier has done little to improve living standards for a broad swath of the nation." (Nick Timiraos, "U.S. Income Edged Lower In 2014," The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/15

Middle-Income American Families "Make Substantially Less Money" In Inflation Adjusted Terms Than Years Ago, And "There Is No Evidence That Is Reversing." "A middle-income American family, in other words, makes substantially less money in inflation-adjusted terms than it did 15 years ago. And there is no evidence that is reversing." (Neil Irwin, "Why Americans Still Think The Economy Is Terrible," The New York Times, 9/16/15)


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