Clinton Campaign: Corporate Profit-Sharing Is Something Gov't 'Should Incentivize'

Susan Jones | May 24, 2016 | 9:19am EDT
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Democrat Hillary Clinton speaks to more than 3,000 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at the union's 2016 International Convention, Monday, May 23, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

( - Brian Fallon, Hillary Clinton's press secretary, says his boss would use the tax code to encourage "smart corporate behavior," such as profit-sharing through stock distributions to employees.

"If you look at Chobani, the Greek yogurt company based in New York, the CEO of that company made headlines a few weeks ago for announcing that he was going to reward his employees, all his rank-and-file workers, with stock.

"We think that's the type of smart, forward-looking approach to running your business that we should incentivize from the government," Fallon told Bloomberg News on Monday.

"[O]ur goal is to see something we haven't seen since the 1990s, which is not just putting more people put to work, but seeing more people paid higher wages," he added.

To put more Americans back to work, Clinton has proposed a $500-billion infrastructure plan to rebuild the nation's roads and bridges. Fallon said Clinton would pay for the repairs "by asking the wealthier to do more."

"I think that our story that we will tell in the general election is that President Obama has done a Herculean task in terms of lifting the country out of a great recession that rivaled the depression of several decades ago, but that the prosperity that we are starting to see is not fully shared, and that we still have a stacked deck where too much of the rewards of the improved economy today are flowing to the top, in terms of CEO pay, shareholder dividends.

"Not enough of that money is flowing down in terms of investing in the workforce."

Host Mark Halperin asked Fallon, "She would support economic policies which would take money from the people who are currently well off and doing well and move it to people who are lower down the economic ladder?"

"That's what the profit -- the tax proposal to incentiv(ize) profit-sharing by corporations is all about," Fallon said. "It's a carrot, not a stick, but it's -- we think it would be a significant inducement toward more responsible -- we think it's smart corporate behavior."

Fallon also said Clinton would use the tax code to discourage "irresponsible" corporate behavior: "For instance she would impose an exit tax on companies that try to invert themselves and register themselves has having their headquarters abroad. So that's something that we've seen President Obama crack down on.

"But she would go further and say, all of those profits that you have parked offshore, we're not going to wait for you to try to repatriate them here in the United States; we're going to tax them as soon as you try to leave and move to whatever country you're going to headquarter yourself in.

"She's also got a clawback proposal, where she would say, if you close a factory in the United States and you move jobs overseas, we are going to clawback the value of your R&D tax credit that helped you subsidize your research and development."

When it comes to individual taxpayers, Fallon noted that Clinton already has floated some middle-class tax cut proposals, "but we have not revealed the full extent " of the plan.

"So more is coming?" host John Heilemann asked Fallon.

"Absolutely," Fallon responded. "And we did that on purpose with an eye toward preserving it for a general election campaign."

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