May 28th, 2010
09:16 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton: Rich aren't paying fair share

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton waded into tax policy Thursday."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton struck a strong populist chord while wading into territory secretary of states rarely go Thursday: Domestic policy.

During a conference at the Brookings Institution on national security, the nation's top diplomat bluntly aired her own views on the nation's tax policies, saying she feels "the rich are not paying their fair share."

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [like the U.S.] – whether it's individual, corporate or whatever the taxation forms are," Clinton said after clearly stipulating that these were her opinions, no those of the Obama administration.

Clinton went on to cite Brazil, long known for its high taxes, as a model of a successful economic policy.

"Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what – they're growing like crazy," Clinton said. "And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty."

"There is a certain formula there that used to work for us, until we abandoned it, to our regret in my opinion," she added.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    She's right, which is what makes the conservatives so angry. You see, nothing touches a nerve with an ideologue more than reality failing to obey.

    May 28, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. gary

    The working rich are more than paying their fair share....the problem in the country is that 50% of all adults 18 to 65 are not working. Chronic welfare recipients even in the best of economic times, people with minimal disability collecting a check, healthy people 65 to 75 who could still work. High school and college kids who don't work part time. People who are chronically on unemployment. That is what is damaging our economy and our budget.... Here is the plan to revive our economy: #1 no one gets a check without working! #2 Get everyone to work (paid job, volunteer job etc) #3 Get everyone to pay at least some taxes #4 cut government spending by 20%.....once you've done #1 thourgh #4 – – then and only then is it reasonable to raise taxes on hard working high income people (e.g. doctors, lawyers, business people, dentists, business owners etc). We need fewer freeloaders and more workers in this country!!!!

    May 28, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Clinton is right on. She would have been a great president.

    May 28, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Karl in Charleston,SC

    And just how much taxes have the Clintons paid? Your mansion in NY paid for by the lease of on site quarters for the Secret Service. (at the tax payers expense).

    How disengenuoius!

    May 28, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. JMikey54

    Hillary is right and I thank her for telling the hard truth about this problem.

    May 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Dis-gusted

    You go, girl; tell it like it is!

    May 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Will

    Things are going so well since Obama has taken over why don't we just all jump off the cliff with him and Hillary. This is ridiculous. Clinton has done okay in her position as secretary but her boss has proven incompetent at every turn and following his ideas has been detrimental.

    May 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. AZ Senior

    So, listen to her, she has a good point.

    May 28, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Mr. Wilson

    She's right. Under her husband, no one got any tax cuts and the economy grew like crazy. We invested in a key part of our infrastructure (the Internet) and a lot of us (not just the rich) got richer.

    My annual salary doubled during the Clinton Adminstration. How's that for beating inflation.

    May 28, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Bradley Lemberg

    I am fed up with people like her . I am 67 years old and work 60 hrs a week as a practicing physician. I have worked all my life through high school,college, med school and residency. I paid all my taxes and give 10% of my income to charity. She has NO RIGHT to say I am rich and do not pay my fair share even though I do make motre than $250,000 a year.There are many more in my position. I should probably retire and avoid her taxation complex.

    May 28, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    All she needs to do then is write a bigger check to the IRS. Afterall, she is rich! Secondly is Brazil actually pulling people out of poverty or are they walling them in? Is it me or is she soundiing presidential, cause this speech has NOTHING to do with foreign policy!

    May 28, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. David in Dallas

    Thank God for Hillary. I was so hoping that she would be our President instead of no-balls Obama. We can't continue to have soaring deficitis and the benefits that most Americans feel entitled to without raising taxes on the wealthy. The wealthiest Americans are paying much less in taxes than they did during the Reagan administration. That is one thing that is so confusing about the tea-baggers. They want less taxes, but when asked what programs they want to cut, they can't say. Can't we Democrats get together and dump Obama in 2012 in favor of Hillary? I bet she would get a balanced budget and get us out of rediculous foreign wars.

    May 28, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. yeha398

    It is true but it won't matter. The wing nutt, tea party faithful, who will never be rich, will paint this as socialism, although the red state rednecks in the gulf area now what an active government.

    She should just stick to matters of the state. The rich have bought off too many conservative politicians to change anything; as witnessed by the Republicans trying to pass damage liability to oil companies even as the worst oil spill disaster in American history unfolds.

    May 28, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Jill American

    Woulda, coulda, SHOULDA!
    But that job went to a less experienced, younger, good looking man.

    May 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Eric in Denver

    Is she serious? 50% of the people pay no taxes and the people that work hard to make a living should be taxed more than the 30-40 tax rate that is presently if force. This is a typical liberal talking point regarding the tax code in this country. This country is becoming a welfare country where eventually people will be better off not working as opposed to working hard to make a good life for themselves. What a complete joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Citizen

    Madame Secretary
    Only you have the courage to tell things as they are. Our country needs your service for a long time. God bless you!

    May 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. art in kingwood

    But Brazil does not have a ruling class installing a Marxist dictatorship as the Obamistas are in Washington at this very moment. Brazil will prosper as the U.S. collapses into a Cuban style sheethole.

    May 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Choice that matters

    I think the heart is appriciated I just hope that when she starts to sound off on her thoughts it does not hurt the brand of Pres. Obama admin as a whole over the statement.

    May 28, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Big George in Big D

    Gee, Hillary, is that why Rio can't get started on building needed stadiums, etc., for the upcoming olympics they sought? Really? Really?

    May 28, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. Itwasntme904

    Now Brazil is a model for the USA??? What an IDIOT!! Maybe she and the rest of the tax evading democrats should pay their taxes. If they dont think it is enough, go ahead and give more to the government as a gift. My bet, they wont. Democrats want your money so they can spend it. Did Kennedy leave his wealth to the federal government, nooooooooo, just to his family.

    May 28, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Jason

    I agree. Reagan was taxing the rich way more than we are today. And they were happier then than they are now.

    May 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Xuxo Garcia

    What?!!! Been to Brazil several times and worked there. That statement of "pulling people out of poverty" is so far away from reality, I am speechless.
    Also, many educated professionals in the country used to ask me for stuff because they can't afford them there.

    Hillary, I wished you would have been president, but this knocked some points off

    May 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Turn Texas Blue

    Shes right, and Rush Limbaugh heads the list of greedy scumbags that hide their money in offshore accts. as not to get taxed.Dont forget to flood his phone lines today on openline friday,he wants to hear from everyone.

    May 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. JD

    The plural of "secretary of state" is not "secretary of states." It is "secretaries of state." "Secretary of states" would indicate one person who is secretary of multiple state departments. In this case, we are talking about multiple secretaries for one state department.

    May 28, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. stevegee

    How about the 50% of the country who pays no income tax start paying their fair share? And what about the underground cash economy, they pay zilch? Even if you took all of "rich" people's money, it wouldn't be enough. Our government has a spending addiction that we need to cut off - cold turkey!

    May 28, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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