Bill Clinton: No More Taxes Now
September 21, 2011
Former President Bill Clinton says now is not the time to hike taxes.
“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending, either one, until we get this economy off the ground,” Clinton told Newsmax in an interview Tuesday. “This has been a dead flat economy.”
Clinton, who is hosting the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York City this week, said that until the country’s debt is reduced, he doesn’t believe cutting or raising taxes or boosting spending are the solution to bringing the country to a full employment economy.
“If we cut government spending, which I normally would be very inclined to do when the deficit’s this big, with interest rates already near zero, you can’t get the benefits out of it,” Clinton said. “So what I’d like to see them do is come up with a bipartisan approach, starting with the payroll tax cuts because they have the biggest return.”
He added, “What I would like to say to both Speaker [John] Boehner and to the president is, OK, you both have your deal. Go work it out. Meanwhile, focus on putting America back to work now, because it just confused Americans.”
Earlier this week, Clinton suggested that Republicans should stop arguing against Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich.
“The Republicans in Washington always say the same thing,” Clinton said, accusing the GOP of being locked into opposing the end of the Bush-era tax cuts.
“It’s an insult to those people [the wealthy],” Clinton added. “They don’t mind being asked to pay their fair share.”
Clinton criticized the GOP’s “anti-government extreme position” on tax hikes, saying, “It scares people around the world.”
President Barack Obama’s $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan includes Tax Code reform that would raise $1.5 trillion in new revenues, mostly from the country’s wealthiest income earners.
In the Newsmax interview, Clinton also cautioned against new government regulations.
“What I find is a lot of businesspeople can be supportive of new regulations and new standards, but particularly in a fragile time they don’t like to have too many things changing at once,” he said. “A business can’t do five things at once and decide whether to get back into the investment business after it’s slow.”