Dick Morris and  Eileen McGann

Hillary Clinton would raise taxes if she is elected president. Sharply. As her candidacy gains momentum and she closes in on the Democratic nomination, it would be well to review the record and underscor e the tax increases she would be likely to enact.

As always, Hillary speaks in code. So here’s the code book. She says that she will “…let President Bush's tax cuts for top earners expire." Most people assume that this pledge means that she will raise the top bracket (for those earning more than $200,000 a year) on income taxes from the 35 percent to which Bush cut it, to the 39.6 percent to which her husband raised it in 1993. But, in reality, it means a whole lot more.

It also likely means increasing the tax on capital gains from the current 15 percent to at least 20 percent and probably to the 30 percent level backed by most liberals. Some even believe she may eliminate capital gains taxation entirely and tax it at the same rate as ordinary income.

She certainly would repeal Bush's tax cut halving th e tax rate on dividends and would raise it from its current 15 percent to 30 percent. She would also most likely end the planned elimination of the estate tax and probably reduce the size of estates subject to the tax.

But that is far from all.

She has specifically refused to rule out a big increase in Social Security (FICA) taxes. This levy is currently enforced on the first $97,000 of income. Hillary would probably follow the lead of Democratic liberals and either raise the limit — at least doubling it — or eliminating it altogether. A self-employed American making $250,000 a year currently pays $12,125 in FICA taxes (12.5 percent x $97,000). If the threshold were eliminated, his FICA tax would jump to $31,250!

Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), both close Hillary allies (it was Rangel who first suggested she run for Senate in New York), are paving the way by their proposed tax increases. The Schumer-Rangel bill was first, superficially, an attempt to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax ( AMT.) Each year, inflation threatens to expand to cover more and more middle class families and replace it with a 35 percent tax on all "carried interest" earnings of hedge funds and other venture capital partnerships.

Robert Novak reports that Rangel's staff is "hard at work on an audacious plan that over the next decade would redistribute up to a trillion dollars in American income through the tax system." Rangel, himself, calls the new legislation "the mother of all tax reforms."


Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Dick Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of 2010: Take Back America. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com