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. Dave

    And she's right. The issue is that everyone in this country expects things and doesn't think they have to pay for anything. People expect smooth roads, top-notch schools, a strong military, solid infrasturcture, and the list goes on. However, no one wants to pay for it or they expect it to magically come out of the air. That's not reality.

    As far as the rich paying more taxes, I'm sure I can find more important things to worry about. Wait a month or two to buy your new car.

    May 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Meka

    Thank you Sec. Clinton. But COMMON SENSE is not a TRAIT OF AMERICA!

    May 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. john

    Is this woman serious? The top 50% of taxpayers pay nearly 97% of the federal tax burden. The top 5% of taxpayers (which would include families earning $150,000/year {i.e., two people earning $75,000+/year} pay roughly 60%+ of the federal tax burden. And she thinks these people are wealthy and not paying their fair share?!

    This woman isn't a Democrat, she is a Marxist. My God! These people are incredible!

    May 28, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Randall in Torrance, CA - The GOP Myth

    Republicans love to cite social economic systems that are failing or have failed as reasons why the rich should never be taxed. This is a smoke screen designed to confuse the voting public. They would rather continue their propaganda campaign that the middle class must make minimum wage until death in order to keep the industrial and technology enterprises afloat. This is pure GOP crap. The rich MUST pay for their sins. They are not better than the poor, whom they keep poor through policy loop holes and fear campaigns.

    May 28, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Deven

    Oh Hillary, our hearts are broken.....if only 2008 had turned out differently....if only....if only.....

    May 28, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    And she's a millionaire–self made. The hysteric anti-tax mob usually INHERITED their $. "Born on third base, they go through life acting like they hit a triple to get there." –Coach Barry Switzer.

    May 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Jaywing

    Thanks for just tellin' it like it is, Hillary. There are way too many greedy folks in this country, who whine about getting their fair share at the expense of everyone else around them (yes, tea-baggers, I'm talkin' about you, to begin with). I believe it's time for a national year of ethical reflection, where we as a nation set aside 1 full year to focus on lifting our entire society to another level of humanity. America has led the way in so many meaningful and throughtful avenues over the last two centuries - perhaps it's time we put aside our personal agendas and the empty promise of acquiring massive individual material wealth, and show the world how to live as a unified society during the next two centuries.

    May 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Lucullus

    Just proving once again how Hillary hates America. The rich are America, the rest of us working slobs are just the mob, as well thought of by our leaders as the mob in Rome were thought of by their leaders.

    Make the rich pay more . . . . or just pay for that matter? I've given up on those fantasies

    May 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Right on Hillary!! How come companies recieve massive amounts of corporate welfare and they end up moving jobs to china anyway. They are traitors in my opinion.

    May 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Amen!

    Finally someone says it! Thank You Mrs. Clinton! the super rich/rich in this country pay only approx 15% in taxes while making BILLIONS/MILLIONS of dollars and gouging the rest of us who pay between 25-30% in taxes!!!

    Ya republicans, keep putting more of your retarded republican representatives in office, cuz this is who they protect...NOT YOU!

    May 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Katie

    Reagan's trickle down theory where if you give money to wealthy people by keeping their taxes low, it will trickle down to the rest of us in the economy doesn't work NEARLY as well as trickle up, like when you hand out stimulus checks to poor people where WAY more money goes directly into the economy. Hillary is correct.

    May 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. liz

    by god! i think shes right!!

    May 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. ann

    So, Ms. Hillary,

    Why don't you and the hubby get the ball rolling then with taking from yourselves and giving to the the Robin Hoods of the new century.

    May 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. wayno

    O help us!!!! Does she really want us to be like Brazil. Been there many times. She must be nuts!!!!!! "Bringing people out of poverty" . . . I don't think sooooo. America would fall apart if you tried to make Americans live like Brazilians -with the insane amount of taxes they have to pay!!! I was talking with a friend while in Brazil and after I made the statement that Americans really believe in their "rights". He stated that "no Brasil nao temos direitos. . .temos deveres." In Brazil we don't have rights we have "responsibilities." Be careful what you wish for.

    May 28, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Jeff

    Wow......what a novel idea. Punish the successful who have sacrificed and worked hard to get where they are at today. Things are just better when you don't talk, Mrs. Clinton.

    May 28, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. FL

    A simple flat taxs is the answer. Rich or poor everyone pays the same percent on income period. No deductions no loopholes end of story. Government would literally save billions by not having to over see such a complicated tax system. This would also encourage business growth because they would no longer be punished for being successful . Lets face it why are the liberals so headstrong on punishing the wealthy? THEY ARE THE ONES WHO INVEST IN THIS COUNTRY AND SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR TAKING THE RISK. NOT RUN OUT OF THE COUNTRY OR FORCED TO HIDE THEIR WEALTH TO PRESERVE IT. All men are created equal under the law so it is only common sense that they should be held to the same set of laws and taxes. Punish the wealthy and the poor will always suffer more.

    May 28, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. JC

    I totally agree. I fully supoorted Pres. Clinton's way and get rid of W's tac cuts.

    May 28, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Tom

    If I'd be rich I would probably love my money and Hillary would be on my personal naughty list for trying to take away my god.

    May 28, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. LIP

    It's a heck of a lot more complicated than a soundbite from Hillary. Try saying "no unions". Our corporations move all of the businness to these countries for a reason and it is simply that they don't allow unions to exist and therefor they are successful.
    Picking on the rich as a means to get votes when all of the Democrats in office are filthy rich and close friends of the filthy rich is really getting old.

    May 28, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Orlando r.

    Many of us dont like the idea of paying higher taxes. The GOP is sure good of running on a platform of no new taxes! But in reality who benefits from the GOP tax cuts? Instead of making cuts to programs, we might after raise taxes in somethings and sacrifice for a bit. This may help reduce our deficit,the debt. No one really likes paying taxes. period. But at the end all of us will benefit. The rich,the poor. While the rich and coorporations become richer and richer,they see their stocks go up! The middle class will see their income go higher,many will be lifted from poverty,their be jobs available for everyone. Democrats try to pass an increase on taxes on people with high income,but the GOP knows how to play the tax and spend liberal card. Remember walter mondale? Sad. But i agree with Hillary.

    May 28, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Jeff

    How could she make such a factually inaccurate statement? The rich pay the MAJORITY of income taxes.

    40% of Americans pay no federal income taxes at all. Are they paying their fair share?

    May 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. marcia

    Go Hillary!!!
    You are absolutely right!!!

    May 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Brian Steele

    From a historical perspective, Tea Party activists should lobby party leaders to adopt this as the primary platform and pursue this agenda.

    May 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Maria H-Miami

    What a joke, she's actually admiring Brazil's economy and saying that they're pulling the people out of poverty???? I hope Clinton is not going to try to convince us in Miami of such a joke, that's not the story Brazilians tell here in Miami.

    I'm sorry, I'm sick that everytime they want to distract us they start in with more getting us angry that the rich are not paying enough taxes. She's just trying to keep some kind of attention on herself.

    May 28, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. geecee

    She is absolutely correct, and of course, she will be slammed like heck for her position by the neo-cons, right-wing nutjobs, GOP, etc.

    May 28, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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