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Bubba Off The Rails On Trade, Corporate Taxes

- September 21, 2016

IN AN INTERVIEW, BILL CLINTON SUGGESTED HE BACKS THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP) TRADE DEAL

In An Interview With CNBC, Bill Clinton Said The "Geopolitical Reasons" For TPP Are "Clear," Saying The Trade Deal Is "Designed To Make Sure That The Future Of The Asia-Pacific Region Economically Is Not Totally Dominated By China." CNBC HOST BECKY QUICK: "What do you think about TPP? Because a lot of people look at that as the legacy for NAFTA." BILL CLINTON: "Well first of all, I don't think it has anything to do with NAFTA. But I think that the geopolitical reasons for it from America's point of view are pretty clear, that it, it's designed to make sure that the future of the Asia-Pacific region economically is not totally dominated by China. I think it's pretty clear what, what Hillary's said about it, and that is that there needs to be provisions on currency manipulation that are enforced. And there need to be again measures put in place in America so that we take care of whatever dislocation ever happens. Simultaneously, everybody makes nice about doing something about it, and then, at least for the last twenty years, for most of the time, Congress never wanted to do it. And you just can't do that, it's not true. In places, especially where there's physical isolation, the market economy will not make up the difference unless there is a real investment, or real investment incentives, or both." (CNBC's "Squawk Box," 9/21/16)

Click To Watch

While Bubba Says The Reasons For The Trade Deal Are "Clear," Hillary Clinton Swears She'll Oppose The TPP As President Despite Backing It Repeatedly As Secretary Of State

On The Campaign Trail, Clinton Has "Forcefully Rejected The Notion" That She Would Support The TPP, Saying "I Oppose It Now, I'll Oppose It After The Election, And I'll Oppose It As President." " Hillary Clinton on Thursday forcefully rejected the notion that she will support the Trans-Pacific Partnership if she's elected in November, telling a blue-collar crowd in Michigan that 'I oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election, and I'll oppose it as president.'" (Nolan D. McCaskill, "Clinton Forcefully Disavows Obama's Trade Deal," Politico, 8/11/16)

As Secretary Of State, Clinton Took "A Leading Part In Drafting The Trans-Pacific Partnership." "She's pressed the case for U.S. business in Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries in China's shadow. She's also taken a leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade pact that would give U.S. companies a leg up on their Chinese competitors." (Elizabeth Dwoskin and Indira Laksmanan, "How Hillary Clinton Created A U.S. Business-Promotion Machine," Bloomberg, 1/10/13)

As "One Of The Leading Drivers Of The TPP When Secretary Of State," Clinton Spoke In Favor Of TPP At Least 45 Times. "But as members of the Obama administration can attest, Clinton was one of the leading drivers of the TPP when Secretary of State. Here are 45 instances when she approvingly invoked the trade bill about which she is now expressing concerns." (Jake Tapper, "45 Times Secretary Clinton Pushed The Trade Bill She Now Opposes," CNN, 6/15/15)

In November 2012, Clinton Said The "TPP Sets The Gold Standard In Trade Agreements" And Includes "Strong Protections For Workers And The Environment." CLINTON: "So it's fair to say that our economies are entwined, and we need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. Australia is a critical partner. This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Techport Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, 11/15/12)

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BILL ALSO WENT OFF-SCRIPT ON THE U.S. CORPORATE TAX RATE, SAYING IT NEEDS TO BE LOWERED

In The Interview, Bill Clinton Also Said He Thinks The Corporate Tax Rate Should Be Lowered From 35 Percent Because It Is Now Above The Average For Industrial Nations. CNBC HOST BECKY QUICK: "What's the right corporate tax rate to make sure you're bringing in income but also incentivizing businesses to be investing here in America? Is it 15 percent? Is it 35 percent? Is it somewhere in between?" BILL CLINTON: "I was the president who urged it to be raised to 35 percent. But when I did it, it was precisely in the middle of the OECD countries. It isn't anymore. So, I believe, I think it should be lowered, this is just me, not now, not speaking for (inaudible). I think it should be lowered, and there should be, should sort of be what the Japanese did. We should try to get it as close to the international average as we can, so it would be competitive, but we ought to have an alternative minimum so everybody pays something that's acceptable and you don't have to worry about finding every last tax shelter, and every last dodge, and every last this that and the other thing. Just say, you know, do that." (CNBC's "Squawk Box," 9/21/16)

Click To Watch

Hillary Clinton Has Refused To Say Whether She Thinks The Corporate Tax Rate Should Be Lowered

Clinton And Her Campaign Have Ignored Questions About Whether She Supports Lowering The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Rate. "Mrs. Clinton hasn't said whether or not she supports lowering the 35% rate, and her campaign hasn't responded to requests for comment on the matter." (Richard Rubin, "Hillary Clinton Hasn't Tipped Her Hand On Corporate Tax Rate," The Wall Street Journal, 6/6/16)

The United States Has A "World-High Marginal Rate Of 35 Percent" On Businesses. "Mrs. Clinton's lack of emphasis on cutting the statutory rate follows a strand of Democratic thinking that emphasizes closing gaps in the tax base and analyzing companies' effective tax rates, where the U.S. is less out of step with the rest of the world than it is with its world-high marginal rate of 35%." (Richard Rubin, "Hillary Clinton Hasn't Tipped Her Hand On Corporate Tax Rate," The Wall Street Journal, 6/6/16)

Even Obama Believes The U.S. Needs A Lower Corporate Tax Rate. "It took Mr. Obama four years to move from campaign proposals that emphasized higher taxes on U.S. firms' foreign earnings to the rate cut. Since 2012, he has supported a 28% corporate tax rate with a 25% rate for manufacturers." (Richard Rubin, "Hillary Clinton Hasn't Tipped Her Hand On Corporate Tax Rate," The Wall Street Journal, 6/6/16)

While Clinton Won't Say, A "Key" Clinton Adviser Has Dismissed The Idea Of Her Lowering The Corporate Tax Rate As President

"Key" Clinton Adviser Neera Tanden "Scoffed" At The Idea Of Cutting The Corporate Tax Rate, Saying American Businesses Seem "To Be Doing Just Fine" With A 35 Percent Tax Rate. "Neera Tanden, a key adviser to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, scoffed in Philadelphia at the idea that the corporate tax rate needs a cut - noting that companies' bottom lines seem to be doing just fine, even with the top rate of 35 percent, and suggesting that average Americans aren't concerned over whether corporations get a lower rate." (Bernie Becker, "Corporate Tax Left In The Lurch?," Politico's Morning Tax, 7/29/16)

Tanden Is A "Longtime" Clinton Ally And A Prominent Member Of Clinton's Presidential Transition Team. "Hillary Clinton has tapped former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to lead her White House transition team. Salazar will chair a team that also includes former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and longtime Clinton allies Neera Tanden and Maggie Williams." ("Clinton Taps Ex-Interior Chief For Transition," The Associated Press , 8/16/16)

Instead Of Lowering The Highest Marginal Corporate Tax Rate In The World, Clinton Wants To Raise $275 Billion In Revenue Through "Business Tax Reform," But She Has Not Released A Plan

When Hillary Clinton Released A $275 Billion Spending Plan, She Said She Would "Fully Pay" For It "Through Business Tax Reform," But She Has Offered No Details On What These Reforms Would Be. "Clinton will work to increase federal infrastructure funding by $275 billion over the next five years, of which $250 billion would be allocated to direct public investment. She will fully pay for these investments through business tax reform." ("Hillary Clinton's Infrastructure Plan: Building Tomorrow's Economy Today," Hillary For America's The Briefing , 11/30/15)

  • Clinton Has Not "Detailed Exactly How She Would Pay For The Plan." "She hasn't detailed exactly how she'd pay for the plan other than to say she would raise revenue through "business tax reform." That probably means she is looking to tap the same fiscal spigot as are Democrats and some Republicans in Congress (as well as the Obama administration)-a one-time infusion of cash from corporations that bring their profits back from overseas accounts in exchange for a tax discount. Such a move would bring in enough money to boost infrastructure spending for several years, but it would not be able to sustain those levels into the future." (Russell Berman, "Hillary Clinton's Modest Infrastructure Proposal," The Atlantic, 12/1/15)

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