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Clinton focuses on economy’s future in speech

NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton offered a detailed agenda Friday meant to encourage American companies to invest for the future — and focus less on short-term profits.

Her prescriptions were notable but incremental: tax increases for high earners who sell their investments within six years, steps to curb executive pay and corporate stock buybacks, and an endorsement of New York state’s plan to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast-food workers.

Clinton criticized corporations, particularly publicly traded ones, for so-called “quarterly capitalism” — taking steps to boost profits instead of investing in training, research and other measures that improve competitiveness and national economic growth over time.

The most controversy hinged on her plan to raise capital-gains taxes on some shorter-term investments made by high-income investors.

Those investors who fall into the top federal income tax bracket of 39.6 percent, which is roughly those earning upwards of $400,000 in income a year, would pay higher taxes on investments held between one and six years.

Gains realized in less than one year are taxed at a base rate of nearly 40 percent, and everything else is taxed at 20 percent. Clinton would extend the 39.6 percent rate to investments held for up to two years. Then she would implement gradually declining rates for investments held for several years after that, ending with the 20 percent rate for those held longer than six years.

Conservatives called the plan a tax hike on investors and complained that it would be a symbolic move, at best, for the problem Clinton seeks to address.


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