Hillary’s tax threats shouldn’t worry Wall Street

Fortune

During her first public campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton served up some red meat for the income inequality crowd. Here was the line that jumped out at me:

“There’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days.”

What Clinton was getting at was the issue of “carried interest,” or the percentage of investment profits that hedge fund managers get to keep for themselves (the rest goes to their investors). Even though carried interest is ostensibly a fee for service, it is treated by the IRS as a capital gain rather than as ordinary income. For top earners (which most hedge fund managers are), it’s the difference between paying 20% and 39.6% (or 15% and 35%, for those earning less than $406k).

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