Hillary Clinton’s Vision for an Economy Where our Businesses, our Workers, and Our Consumers Grow and Prosper Together
Hillary Clinton believes we need to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. But today, there are still powerful interests fighting to protect their own profits and privileges at the expense of everyone else. Too many of the rules and incentives in our economy encourage those at the top to abuse their power and take advantage of consumers, workers, small businesses, and taxpayers. That makes it tougher for even well-meaning CEOs to take the high road.
In recent months, we’ve seen three egregious examples of these problems. We saw a drug company, Mylan, excessively raise the price of lifesaving EpiPens without justification. We saw one of our country’s biggest banks, Wells Fargo, bully thousands of employees into committing fraud on unsuspecting customers. And now we’ve learned the latest on Donald Trump: In one year, he lost nearly a billion dollars; he stiffed small businesses, laid off workers, and walked away from hardworking communities; and he apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades—while tens of millions of working families paid theirs. That’s what he calls “smart” business.
Today, Clinton is offering her vision for an economy where our businesses, our workers, and our consumers grow and prosper together. She’s outlining a set of proposals to rewrite the rules so that more companies that do right by workers, small businesses, customers, and taxpayers.
- Eliminate Tax Breaks that Allow Corporations and the Wealthy to Avoid Paying Their Fair Share
- Shut down the “private tax system” for the most fortunate, starting by immediately closing egregious loopholes and restoring basic fairness to our tax code.
- Reform our tax code to reward investmentsin America – and stop companies from shifting jobs and profits overseas
- Protect Consumers from Unfair and Deceptive Practices
- Strengthen consumer financial protection, including by restricting practices that businesses like Wells Fargo have used to lock the consumers they’ve harmed out of court
- Respond to unjustified price increases in long-standing, lifesaving drugs like EpiPens
- Promoting Free and Fair Competition and Stopping Big Businesses from Hurting Small Business
- Crack downon big companies that repeatedly exploit their power to stiff small businesses – and give small businesses the power to respond
- A new commitment to promote competition, address excessive concentration and the abuse of economic power, and strengthen antitrust laws and enforcement
- Rewrite the Rules So Workers Share in the Profits They Create
- Reward companies that share profitswith their employees, not just their executives
- Fight for unions that built the American middle class and strengthen collective bargaining
- Encourage businesses to provide worker trainingand apprenticeships
- Make the minimum wagea living wage and fight for equal pay and overtime
- Guarantee paid leaveand make affordable, high-quality childcare available to all
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- Eliminate Tax Breaks Allow Corporations and the Wealthy to Avoid Paying Their Fair Share.It is wrong that some of the wealthiest Americans can use lawyers and accountants to avoid paying their fair share, and some of our largest companies exploit tax loopholes to pay hardly anything at all. Clinton is determined to close the loopholes and make Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich start paying their fair share of taxes—and use the proceeds to invest in America. This stands in contrast to Donald Trump, who we’ve now learned may have avoided paying a cent in Federal income taxes for 18 years—and whose tax plans would give him and his family a $4 billion tax cut (if he’s worth as much as he says he is).
- Shutting down the “private tax system” for the most fortunate, starting by immediately closing egregious loopholes and restoring basic fairness to our tax code.This means ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share, from closing the carried interest loophole for Wall Street money managers to implementing the “Buffett Rule” so no millionaire pays a lower rate than their secretary to restoring fairness to the estate tax. When people like Donald Trump avoid paying their taxes they aren’t just saving money, they are paying nothing for our military, our veterans, and protecting our health and public safety.
- Close corporate loopholes that let businesses shift jobs and profits overseas - and impose an “exit tax” on companies that walk out on America. Clinton believes we need to closecorporate loopholes, like inversions and so-called earnings stripping, that let businesses avoid paying their fair share by shifting profits and jobs overseas. She will impose an “exit tax” to ensure multinational companies that move abroad pay a fair share of the U.S. taxes they owe on earnings stashed overseas.
- Claw backthe special tax breaks that corporations receive for locating jobs and production here at home if they ship jobs overseas. It’s wrong when corporations take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other. Clinton believes we should “claw back” special tax breaks that companies get to locate in the U.S. if they outsource jobs abroad.
- Impose a “risk fee” on the largest financial institutions. Dodd-Frank’s reforms and higher capital requirements on the largest banks are already helping address the problem of “Too Big to Fail.” But as Clinton has said throughout this campaign, we need to go further to deal with the risks posed by the largest financial institutions. That's why Clinton would charge a graduated risk feeevery year on the liabilities of banks with more than $50 billion in assets and other financial institutions that are designated by regulators for enhanced oversight.
- Protect Consumers from Unfair and Deceptive Practices.Today, Clinton is discussing three critical priorities for strengthening consumer protection:
- Defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from Republican efforts to defund and defang it.The CFPB has already returned more than $11 billion to more than 25 million Americans who have been ripped off by predatory lenders, credit card companies, and others. It is also making sure all those defrauded Wells Fargo customers get their money back. But Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress would dismantle the CFPB and scrap all the tough new rules imposed on Wall Street after the crisis. Hillary will stand up to these reckless attacks. Instead of gutting the CFPB, she will give it the tools and authorities it needs to protect even more consumers. And she would build on the Dodd-Frank’s financial reforms and go even further to make sure Wall Street can never again threaten Main Street.
- Ensuring that consumers, employees, and small businesses can fight back on a level playing field when they’re harmed. Across the country, consumers and employees that have suffered harm at the hands of large corporations are forced to seek recourse with the deck stacked heavily against them. Buried in the fine print of tens of millions of contracts—in contexts ranging from employment to credit cards to nursing homes—are forced “arbitration clauses” that block consumers and employees from taking corporations to court. When Wells Fargo’s customerstried to sue over the bogus accounts that had been set up in their name, they discovered that the fine print in their existing accounts had locked them out of court. When a94-year-old nursing home resident died from an untreated head wound, her family’s lawsuit was blocked. And when the for-profit Corinthian Colleges collapsed, leaving thousands of students saddled with student loan debt, students were generally unable to sue because they had unknowingly signed away their right to take the school to court
Arbitration can be a useful tool, for example, when sophisticated companies mutually agree to use arbitration to settle their disputes. But for consumers and employees given no choice but to sign, such clauses too often tilt the playing field toward the corporations that include them in the fine print of contracts—while offering consumers and employees no way out. That’s why, as president, Clinton would work to:
- Arm federal agencies with the authority they need to address corporate practices that strip consumers and workers of their ability to protect their rights.Clinton will call upon Congress to give federal agencies—like the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Labor Department—broad and clear authority to restrict the use of arbitration clauses and related provisions in consumer, employment, and antitrust contexts.
- Order agencies to use their existing authority to curb the overuse of harmful forced arbitration clauses.The Obama Administration has made substantial progress in curbing the overuse of mandatory arbitration clauses—undertaking important efforts at theConsumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Education, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and more. Clinton would build on these efforts, ordering executive agencies to pursue additional measures to level the playing field for consumers and employees under their existing authorities. And she believes the Securities and Exchange Commission should pursue the rulemaking authorized under Dodd-Frank to ensure that investors have appropriate legal recourse if they are wronged.
Respond to unjustified price increases in long-standing, lifesaving drugs like EpiPens. Clinton believes it is outrageous when drug companies jack up prices without justification for longstanding, lifesaving treatments—like Mylan has done for EpiPens, raising the price by more than 400%. Our biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are incredible sources of innovation—but Clinton will not stand by while companies put profits over patients by raising prices for long-available treatments simply because they lack competition. That’s why she will create a new consumer response team of enforcement agencies, advised by consumer advocates and independent experts. If they determine that a price increase for a long-standing, lifesaving treatment is excessive, we will have forceful new tools to respond, including emergency reimportation of affordable, safe alternatives; direct purchases to encourage availability and competition; and penalties for drug companies that continue to raise prices without justification.
- Promote Free and Fair Competition and Stopping Big Businesses from Hurting Small Business
- Make it easier for small businesses to fight back when they’re getting stiffed. Hillary Clinton believes it is outrageous when big businesses like Trump’s repeatedly stiff the small businesses that do work for them. She knows that getting paid, and getting paid on time, is essential to making payroll and keeping a business running. That’s why Clinton has put forward an agendato ensure federal regulatory oversight of proven bad actors and stop large companies from using expensive litigation hurdles to deny small businesses their right to a remedy—and give small businesses recourse to take on predatory behavior.
- Announcing a new commitment to promote competition, address excessive concentration and the abuse of economic power, and reinvigorating antitrust laws and enforcement: Clinton believes that a vibrant and fair economy depends on laws that protect free and fair competition to strengthen entrepreneurship and innovation, prevent consumer harm, and ensure workers are not exploited -- just as Republican and Democratic Presidents alike have pursued and promoted fair competition. As President, she will work to promote competition and take on abuses of market power, by taking action through government at every level, and rewarding innovationand entrepreneurshipin the private sector. Last year, Clinton outlined her principles for addressing excessive, harmful market concentration, arguing “being pro-business doesn’t mean hanging consumers out to dry.” Today, she is explaining further how she would promote competition, and take on monopoly power as President, and offering additional detail on her vision to:
- Appoint strong leadership at our antitrust agencies. Clinton will appoint strong enforcement officials at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and FTC who have demonstrated a willingness to take on anti-competitive behavior, and ensure competition policy is a focus within the executive branch. She will increase the resources and staffing at the antitrust agencies so they have the bandwidth for research, review, and aggressive enforcement. And she believes we should encourage building up jurisprudence that supports strong enforcement.
- Aggressively enforce and strengthen merger reviews as well as our antitrust laws and guidelines. Clinton believes we should robustly enforce antitrust laws to prevent creating and exploiting excessive, harmful economic power. In contrast to the highly permissive approach of the Reagan era, she believes we should make sure that mergers and acquisitions do not excessively concentrate market power, and undermine consumers, suppliers, workers, and small businesses through higher prices, reduced choice, and other harms. She recognizes the importance of promoting competitive market structures and strong presumptions that market concentration can lead to anti-competitive conduct—as well as the need for careful, thorough legal and economic analysis of the potential consequences of mergers and acquisitions. That means aggressively enforcing the laws we have on the books, and strengthening guidelines and laws where necessary.
- Prevent the inappropriate exploitation of excessive market power where it already exists.Clinton believes that when large firms abuse their power by excluding potential rivals or stifling entrepreneurship, innovation, and free competition, those abuses undermine consumers, businesses, workers, and our economy as a whole - and our enforcement agencies should take action to prevent it.
- Ensure post-merger retrospective reviews, and transparency. Clinton believes we should empower the antitrust agencies to conduct post-merger monitoring and retrospective analyses on a regular basis to further enforcement and accountability. She will make sure agencies responsible for reviewing mergers and ensuring fair competition have the resources to, and carry out, retrospective reviews that examine how mergers actually play out in terms of their impact on competition, prices, and other factors—and ensure transparency about decision-making. And she will ensure regular, thorough study and data collection on market concentration and its impact on competition, consumers, workers, small businesses, and innovation.
- Make promoting competition a goal of agencies across the Federal government – and more broadly. Clinton will build on the President’s recent Executive Order to increase competition administration-wide. She believes that executive departments and agencies should take part in promoting competition by identifying actions they can take, and working with and referring anti-competitive practices to enforcement agencies. She will encourage cooperation with officials at the state and local level, like state attorneys general, to promote competition, ensure strong enforcement, and prevent barriers to competition.
- Rewrite the Rules So Workers Share in the Profits They Create.Clinton believes that everyone who works hard deserves to share in the rewards, not just senior executives.
- Reward companies that share profitswith their employees, not just their executives: Under Clinton’s plan, companies that share profits with their employees would receive a two-year tax credit equal to 15 percent of the profits they share – with a higher credit for small businesses.
- Fight for unions that built the American middle class and strengthen collective bargaining. Labor unions helped build America’s middle class, and organized labor remains critical to fulfilling America’s basic bargain: If you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead.
- Encourage businesses to provide worker trainingand apprenticeships. Clinton believes that every American—especially young people—should be able to learn the skills they need to get hired, seize new opportunities at work, get promoted, and contribute in a 21st-century workforce.
- Make the minimum wagea living wage and fight for equal pay and overtime.Clinton is a strong supporter of the Fight for $15, and raising the minimum wage so it is a living wage. She will fight for equal pay, and defending the President’s new overtime rules, so every American is paid fairly.
- Guaranteeing paid leaveand make affordable, high-quality childcare available to all. Clinton’s plan would provide 12 weeks of paid family leave and 7 paid sick days. And she has set an ambitious goal of ensuring that families do not have to pay more than 10% of their income in childcare cost, through a combination of tax relief and additional spending.