Hillary Clinton proposed a 4% tax — a surcharge — on any American making more than $5 million a year. Calling it a “fair share surcharge” Clinton’s move demonstrates a desire to show Americans that she’s not in Wall Street’s pocket, as she has sometimes been portrayed. “Right now we’re behind and we have to get the wealthy and the corporations to pay their fair share,” Clinton told a crowd in Iowa. Clinton’s proposal responds to an income tax challenge that even Warren Buffett has publicly said the US needs to solve. Buffett has said the current system, which requires his assistant to pay a higher tax rate than he does, is unsustainable — and unfair.
With the specificity of her 4% proposal, candidate Clinton appears to acknowledge the weight of the challenge she faces from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders has continued to find support and money, despite frequent assertions in the mainstream media that he’s not “electable.” And Sanders has essentially run a single-issue campaign centered on income inequality. On the stump, Sanders speaks about little else unless compelled to answer a direct question on another issue. It has proved to be a large enough issue on which to float his entire campaign, which remains buoyant. Clinton’s 4% tax surcharge proposal both acknowledges Sanders’ standing as a legit challenger, and tries to dilute some of his momentum by throwing her hat into the income inequality ring.