BOOM! Clinton just threw Trump a softball with her whopping 65% tax rate

Hillary Clinton
Ty Wright | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has just drastically raised her planned estate-tax rates – and it's a gift to her GOP rival, Donald Trump.

Clinton's campaign just issued a press release calling for a whopping new top rate of 65 percent on the richest estates and 50 percent or 55 percent on smaller estates. Clinton had previously been backing a top rate of 45 percent, so this is a major shift.

Why would she do such a thing just 47 days before the election?

It's a clear sign that she's trying to rally her party's growing progressive base by chasing that Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren train as it pulls out of the station.

She did successfully rally a base — but it was Trump's base rallying against such a ridiculous idea!

Such a massive estate-tax hike would wreak havoc among many small and medium-sized business owners who don't have the means or don't qualify for the many loopholes available to the richest Americans. But Clinton is clearly not interested in their votes. This is all about trying to win over the Sanders/Warren voters.

The latest change in Clinton's policy comes, not coincidentally, on the same week that Sen. Warren reasserted her leadership of the base of the Democratic Party. Her headline-grabbing takedown of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at the heavily-covered Senate hearings Monday proved that the progressive wing of the party is fully in control of the Left-of-center voters and a good number of moderates in America.

That hearing served as yet another example of just how much the Clinton campaign erred in choosing Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate as opposed to Warren herself. Warren's ability to excite the base and even expand it a bit was on full display. That kind of enthusiasm is sorely missing from the Clinton campaign, which still struggles to fill arenas – a stark contrast to the stadium-packing Trump campaign.

Even if Clinton wins, she will have to share the spotlight and a fair amount of power with Senator Warren. That's something she would not have had to deal with if she were Clinton's vice president and basically neutered politically. It's debatable what Kaine brings to the table for a Clinton campaign that needs more energy and must inspire young voters.

One thing's for sure, the announcement of the new Clinton tax-hike plan energized her detractors. Cries of "government theft!" and "They even get you when you're dead!" were all over social media as soon as the news came out on the wires.

This plan may or may not fire up the Democratic base, but it's definitely firing up Trump's supporters. At a time when the Clinton camp wants to convince everyone that the core of the Trump base comes from racists and xenophobes, it just served them up a completely rational and racism-free excuse to go nuts.

Commentary by Jake Novak, senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

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