- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Forget trickle-down economics, Hillary Rodham Clinton says she’s going to be the rainmaker.

The Democratic presidential front-runner offered up a plan Thursday to give tax credits to businesses that share profits with employees, one way in which Mrs. Clinton said she would keep her promise, if elected, to boost paychecks for working-class Americans.

Mrs. Clinton said that it was “common sense” for business to spread the wealth to workers, but prodding them to do so would help the entire economy.

“I really think our corporations are missing a big bet,” Mrs. Clinton said at a town hall-style event in Dover, New Hampshire. “Creditable studies, quite a number of them actually, prove that profit sharing with your employees is good for the employees, good for the business, good for the economy.”

The plan, which she dubbed the “Rising Incomes, Sharing Profits” tax credit, would give a two-year credit equal to 15 percent of a businesses’ profit-sharing program. Small business would be awarded a bigger credit, according to the Clinton campaign.

The Clinton campaign said it would cost between $10 billion and $20 billion, but the money could be recouped by closing tax loopholes that Mrs. Clinton will identify in coming weeks as she continues to roll out her economic policies.


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The plan was one piece of Mrs. Clinton’s economic agenda that focuses on correcting income inequality in the United States. She outlined the agenda Monday in a speech that steered her campaign sharply left, with proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy, mandate worker benefits, expand unions and increase federal spending on infrastructure projects.

As she did in when announcing her economic vision, Mrs. Clinton assailed Republicans for pursing “trickle down” economic policies that focus on tax breaks for the wealthiest families and which she blames for the Great Recession and the massive income gap.

“Everybody running on the other side has a different economic philosophy,” she said. “They really still believe that if you cut taxes on the wealthy, if you lift regulations on corporations, that somehow economic activity will trickle down to all the rest of us. Well, we tried that. We tried it and it hasn’t worked.”

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state said the contrast between her economic philosophy and Republicans’ was what the election would be about.

“Now, you know that old saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” said Mrs. Clinton.

Under the profit-sharing incentive, a company that shared $5,000 with a worker, for example, would get back $750 in tax credits.

Restriction would apply, including making high-income employees ineligible and barring participation by business where the plan would only benefits a small percentage of workers. And the benefit for any single company in a given year would be capped to prevent an excessive credit for very large corporations, according to the campaign.

Mrs. Clinton cited the New England supermarket chain Market Basket as an example of a company that understands the value of profit sharing. Its program shares profits with any employee — both full time and part time — who works at least 1,000 hours a year, which is less than 20 hours per week.

“What you hear from companies such as Market Basket is it increases productivity, it increases loyalty of employees, it gives you a bond with your employees, they will work harder, they will look for more things to do to improve what’s going on in the stores,” she said.

“That is just common sense. You treat somebody like they have a stake in your business, they’re going to stand up a little straighter, their going to work a little harder, they’re going to make a difference,” said Mrs. Clinton.

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