Hillary Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign, unleashes attack on Wall Street

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jun 13, 2015

NEW YORK — In her first major campaign speech, the Democratic presidential contender on Saturday tore into CEOs, hedge fund managers, Corporate America — and the Republicans who support them.

Here’s what she had to say about Wall Street during her nearly hour-long remarks on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, just a few miles from the financial center:

CEOs: Hammered companies for making “record profits” and their chiefs for making record pay, while the salaries of average workers have “barely budged.” “Prosperity can’t just be for CEO’s and hedge fund managers,” Clinton said to cheers. “Democracy can’t just be for billionaires and corporations.”

Hedge fund managers: Charged that the top 25 hedge fund managers make more than the combined total pay of every kindergarten teacher in the U.S. “And often paying a lower tax rate,” Clinton added, reprising an attack line that she had used in remarks last month.

“So, you have to wonder,” she told the crowd. “When does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead?”

Financial industry: Ripped what she called “complex trading schemes” and excessive stock buybacks.

“The financial industry and many multi-national corporations have created huge wealth for a few by focusing too much on short-term profit and too little on long-term value…too much on complex trading schemes and stock buybacks, too little on investments in new businesses, jobs, and fair compensation,” Clinton said.

Income inequality: Warned that Republicans and their policies will make the gap between the rich and poor even worse and said the GOP “will wipe out tough rules on Wall Street.” Clinton said that reflects the Republican Party’s “mass amnesia” about the 2008 financial crisis.


Photo Credit: CNN

“These Republicans trip over themselves promising lower taxes for the wealthy and fewer rules for the biggest corporations without regard for how that will make income inequality even worse,” she said. “We’ve heard this tune before. And we know how it turns out.”

Tax policy: Vowed to rewrite the tax code to remove incentives for “quick trades and stashing profits overseas.”

“I will give new incentives to companies that give their employees a fair share of the profits their hard work earns,” Clinton said.

Workers: Clinton said she supports workers having the right to earn paid sick days; providing employees with adequate advance notice of their upcoming shifts so they can plan their lives; paid family leave; ending the “outrage” of women earning less than men in the workplace; and raising the minimum wage.

Responsible business leaders: Cited those who want higher pay for employees, equal pay for women, and oppose discrimination against the LGBT community. “There are leaders of finance who want less short-term trading and more long-term investing,” Clinton said, without naming names.

The former first lady and secretary of state promised more policy details in coming weeks.