Hillary Clinton Backing Apprenticeship Tax Credits Is The Latest Example Of Firm Policy Taking Shape From Her Sound Bites
After Hillary Clinton's well-attended, generally well-received introductory campaign rally last Saturday, one of the most exciting feelings was knowing we'd finally be getting some more specifics on matters of policy. Campaigns can be fun, showy and altogether sensational, obviously, but it's never better than when you start getting the gritty details. And on Wednesday, we got a pretty good example: Hillary Clinton will back apprenticeship tax credits for businesses, according a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Here's the basic idea: for every apprentice a business takes on, that business will be eligible for a $1,500 tax credit, a tidy little incentive. The program is being billed by the Clinton campaign as a boon to young workers, and as such, a good means for Team Hillary to shore up some support from younger voters. It's a savvy move, in all likelihood — post-college hiring isn't quite the guarantee it once appeared to be in American society, so providing a leg up to young would-be professionals seems like a solid idea.
It's one of the rollout issues that Clinton's aides have alluded to. As noted by TIME, those aides have estimated that they'll be rolling out a new policy proposal about once per week. And it's a smart strategy: Sometimes the news cycle determines the issues you talk about, but it's useful to control the few things that you actually can.
You might not be sure what an "apprenticeship" is, exactly, but luckily the U.S. Department of Labor has a definition for you.
Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer and labor groups, and/or employer associations.
So, what other firm policies will Clinton be rolling out? It's early on enough that we can only go by what she's said on the stump. But during that big kickoff rally in New York last weekend, in which she alluded to just this kind of concrete policy proposal, she did rattle off a list of potential issues we could be hearing more about very soon. Here are some of the points she highlighted, as quoted from the transcript of her remarks:
... reward businesses who invest in long term value rather than the quick buck - because that leads to higher growth for the economy, higher wages for workers, and yes, bigger profits, everybody will have a better time.
... rewrite the tax code so it rewards hard work and investments here at home, not quick trades or stashing profits overseas.
... give new incentives to companies that give their employees a fair share of the profits their hard work earns.
... unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing tax relief, cutting red tape, and making it easier to get a small business loan.
... restore America to the cutting edge of innovation, science, and research by increasing both public and private investments.
Obviously, Clinton's apprenticeship tax credit plan makes good on the first point — encouraging employers and professionals to take on the job of training young people, by means of a nice tax break.
The other items give a pretty good indication of what we could see in the weeks and months to come — specifically, she also called out "developing renewable power," including "wind, solar, [and] advanced biofuels."
Considering how vital an issue climate change is, and the extent to which it motivates much of the left-wing activist base of the Democratic Party — polling from Pew has found that a substantial majority of Democrats view climate change as a bigger threat than terrorism — it's virtually assured that you're going to hear some very specific things from Team Clinton on climate change very soon.
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