The Atlantic

What Hillary Clinton Says She Learned From Her Defeat

In her new memoir, the defeated Democrat regrets that she didn’t offer bolder ideas during her campaign.
Source: Craig Ruttle / AP

A cash payment to guarantee a basic income for every American. A nationwide “carbon-dividend program” to tax fossil fuels and redirect the revenue to citizens. Taxing an individual’s net worth instead of their annual income as a way to reduce income inequality.

Hillary Clinton considered proposing each of these transformative ideas during her ill-fated presidential campaign last year, she writes in What Happened, the memoir she is releasing Tuesday. The former secretary of state discarded all of them, however. They were too costly, she writes. Her campaign “couldn’t make the numbers work.”

“We decided it was exciting but not realistic, and left it on the shelf. That was the responsible decision,” Clinton writes about the cash-payment proposal, which was based on Alaska’s program of distributing the state’s oil royalties in dividends to its residents. She is now having second thoughts. “I wonder now whether we should have thrown caution to the wind

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