Tag Archives: president bill clinton

Bill Clinton condemns class-warfare and engages in it in same speech

President Bill Clinton’s Speech Oct 1, 2011 with Joshua & Anna at Little Rock Arkansas

Uploaded by on Oct 2, 2011

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In this speech in Little Rock on October 1, 2011 former President Bill Clinton noted:

There is no example of a country in the fix we are in that can balance the budget without a combination of spending cuts, the people who can afford it paying more and growing the economy.

What was the secret of the Clinton Presidency? Clinton tells us in the same speech:

We decided to stop the politics of pitting one American against another by race…income, by anything else.

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President Obama and other politicians are advocating higher taxes, with a particular emphasis on class-warfare taxes targeting the so-called rich. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video explains why fiscal policy based on hate and envy is fundamentally misguided. For more information please visit our web page: www.freedomandprosperity.org.

I just don’t understand how a politician can say two things in the same speech that cancel each other out? John Brummett and Max Brantley love to try to act like all of our problems would be solved if we could take the money from the rich guy. Below is an article that makes some great points concerning class-warfare:

Soaking the Rich Is Not Fair

by Jeffrey A. Miron

Jeffrey A. Miron is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron blogs at JeffreyMiron.com and is the author of Libertarianism, from A to Z.

Added to cato.org on September 2, 2011

This article appeared on The Huffington Post on September 2, 2011.

What is the “fair” amount of taxation on high-income taxpayers?

To liberals, the answer is always “more.” Liberals view high income — meaning any income that exceeds their own — as the result of luck or anti-social behavior. Hence liberals believe “fairness” justifies government-imposed transfers from the rich to everyone else. Many conservatives accept this view implicitly. They oppose soak-the-rich policies because of concern over growth, but they do not dispute whether such policies are fair.

But high tax rates on the rich are not fair or desirable for any other reason; they are an expression of America’s worst instincts, and their adverse consequences go beyond their negatives for economic growth.

The liberal hatred of the rich is a minority view, not a widely shared American value.

Consider first the view that differences in income result from luck rather than hard work: some people are born with big trust funds or innate skill and talent, and these fortuitous differences explain much of why some people have higher incomes than others.

Never mind that such a characterization is grossly incomplete. Luck undoubtedly explains some income differences, but this is not the whole story. Many trust fund babies have squandered their wealth, and inborn skill or talent means little unless combined with hard work.

But even if all income differences reflect luck, why are government-imposed “corrections” fair? The fact that liberals assert this does not make it true, any more than assertions to the contrary make it false. Fairness is an ill-defined, infinitely malleable concept, readily tailored to suit the ends of those asserting fairness, independent of facts or reason.

Worse, if liberals can assert a right to the wealth of the rich, why cannot others assert the right to similar transfers, such as from blacks to whites, Catholics to Protestants, or Sunni to Shia? Government coercion based on one group’s view of fairness is a first step toward arbitrary transfers of all kinds.

Now consider the claim that income differences result from illegal, unethical, or otherwise inappropriate behavior. This claim has an element of truth: some wealth results from illegal acts, and policies that punish such acts are appropriate.

But most inappropriate wealth accumulations results from bad government policies: those that restrict competition, enable crony capitalism, and hand large tax breaks to politically connected interest groups. These differences in wealth are a social ill, but the right response is removing the policies that promote them, not targeting everyone with high income.

The claim that soaking the rich is fair, therefore, has no basis in logic or in generating desirable outcomes; instead, it represents envy and hatred.

Why do liberals hate the rich? Perhaps because liberals were the “smart” but nerdy and socially awkward kids in high school, the ones who aced the SATs but did not excel at sports and rarely got asked to the prom. Some of their “dumber” classmates, meanwhile, went on to make more money, marry better-looking spouses, and have more fun.

Liberals find all this unjust because it rekindles their emotional insecurities from long ago. They do not have the honesty to accept that those with less SAT smarts might have other skills that the marketplace values. Instead, they resent wealth and convince themselves that large financial gains are ill-gotten.

Jeffrey A. Miron is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron blogs at JeffreyMiron.com and is the author of Libertarianism, from A to Z.

More by Jeffrey A. Miron

The liberal views on fairness and redistribution are far more defensible, of course, when it comes to providing for the truly needy. Reasonable people can criticize the structure of current anti-poverty programs, or argue that the system is overly generous, or suggest that private charity would be more effective at caring for the least vulnerable.

The desire to help the poor, however, represents a generous instinct: giving to those in desperate situations, where bad luck undoubtedly plays a major role. Soaking the rich is a selfish instinct, one that undermines good will generally.

And most Americans share this perspective. They are enthusiastic about public and private attempt to help the poor, but they do not agree that soaking the rich is fair. That is why U.S. policy has rarely embraced punitive income taxation or an aggressive estate tax. Instead, Americans are happy to celebrate well-earned success. The liberal hatred of the rich is a minority view, not a widely shared American value.

For America to restore its economic greatness, it must put aside the liberal hatred of the rich and embrace anew its deeply held respect for success. If it does, America will have enough for everyone.

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Is soaking the rich fair?

Is soaking the rich fair? Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy Uploaded by afq2007 on Jun 15, 2009 President Obama and other politicians are advocating higher taxes, with a particular emphasis on class-warfare taxes targeting the so-called rich. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video explains why fiscal policy based on hate […]

Is it class warfare? Brummett says no

Take a look above at this clip. In his article “Class Warfare versus Pay it forward,” Sept 26, 2011, Arkansas News Bureau, John Brummett tries to make the case that Obama is not involved in class warefare. He quotes Elizabeth Warren to prove his point. Unfortunately, logically this argument fails because although we all benefit […]

Obama’s tax plan would not work even if tried

The Flat Tax: How it Works and Why it is Good for America Uploaded by afq2007 on Mar 29, 2010 This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video shows how the flat tax would benefit families and businesses, and also explains how this simple and fair system would boost economic growth and eliminate the special-interest […]

Three points where Brummett misses the boat in discussion versus Charlie Collins

Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy Uploaded by afq2007 on Jun 15, 2009 President Obama and other politicians are advocating higher taxes, with a particular emphasis on class-warfare taxes targeting the so-called rich. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video explains why fiscal policy based on hate and envy is fundamentally misguided. […]

President Obama and Alternative Minimum Tax

President Obama and Alternative Minimum Tax Dan Mitchell does it again. He is always right on the mark. CPAs Celebrate as Obama Proposes to Create a Turbo-Charged Alternative Minimum Tax Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell Wow, this is remarkable. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) is one of the most-hated features of the tax code. It […]

Buffett wants the rich soaked but that will not solve our problem in the budget

Max Brantley on the Arkansas Times Blog, August 15, 2011, asserted: Billionaire Warren Buffett laments, again, in a New York Times op-ed how the rich don’t share the sacrifices made by others in the U.S.. He notes his effectiie tax rate of 17 percent is lower than that of many of the working people in his office on account of preferences for […]

Brummett touts Buffett’s math, but it is wrong

Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy Max Brantley on the Arkansas Times Blog, August 15, 2011, asserted:   Billionaire Warren Buffett laments, again, in a New York Times op-ed how the rich don’t share the sacrifices made by others in the U.S.. He notes his effectiie tax rate of 17 percent is lower than […]

Dick Cheney appointed to hunting safety commission? Better chance of that than politicians correcting housing problem

Mark Calabria from the Cato Institute on Financial Regulation

Mark Calabria from the Cato Institute joins Crane to discuss financial regulation

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Can liberal politicians correct the housing problem? No way!!

Uh-Oh: Bipartisan Housing Commission Announced

Posted by Tad DeHaven

The words “bipartisan” and “commission” usually send a chill down my spine. I felt such a chill when I learned that the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) had formed a Housing Commission to “address the long-term challenges facing a struggling housing sector.” My initial reaction was confirmed when I read that it would be chaired by former government officials and politicians of the establishment type:

  • Christopher “Kit” Bond – former U.S. senator (R-MO)
  • Henry Cisneros – Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary under President Bill Clinton
  • Mel Martinez – former U.S. senator (R-FL) and HUD secretary under President George W. Bush
  • George Mitchell – former Senate majority leader (D-ME) and BPC co-founder

The most disturbing name is Henry Cisneros. Policies implemented by Cisneros’s HUD helped lead to the housing bubble and bust (see this section on Cisneros from a Cato essay on HUD Scandals). What’s next, Dick Cheney on a hunting safety commission?

Christopher “Kit” Bond, former appropriator and proud porker, hangs himself with his statement on the BPC’s website:

Since serving as Missouri’s Governor, and then as a United States Senator, I have worked to be an advocate for improving public housing and advancing community development. Some of my proudest achievements are helping shape housing policy and programs in homelessness, rural housing, public housing, HOPE VI, and affordable housing. None of these successes would have been possible without strong partners on the other side of the aisle.

In fact, my fellow Commission Co-Chair, and former HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros and I, were referred to in a 1996 Wall Street Journal article as the ‘Odd Couple’ of federal housing policy – a moniker I still wear as a badge of honor. Though it was a different time in our nation’s history, Henry and I were then – as we are now – committed to coming together to address long-ignored problems with immense implications.

The federal government’s abysmal record on housing (see these Cato essays here for more) is a poster child for government failure. But not only does Bond consider his support for these programs to be among his “proudest” achievements, he actually states that collaborating with Cisneros back in the 1990s is a “badge of honor.”

I’m not sure what Mel Martinez has going for him on housing policy other than that his relatively short tenure as HUD secretary under Bush wasn’t marred by scandal like his successor’s, Alphonso Jackson. At least Martinez acknowledges that the Bush administration continued the Clinton administration’s misplaced emphasis on expanding homeownership.

As for George Mitchell, his claim to federal housing policy fame is that he authored the creation of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Here’s what a Cato essay on public housing has to say about the LIHTC:

Another response to the failure of traditional public housing has been the creation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit in 1986, which currently subsidizes construction or rehabilitation of roughly 70,000 units of low-income housing each year. This is another failed attempt to manipulate markets, and it has a variety of negative effects. For one thing, the structure of the tax credit program encourages the location of projects in particularly low-income areas, thus exacerbating the concentration of poverty in cities, just as traditional public housing did. Also, the method of allocating tax credits to the states results in many subsidies going to areas of the country where few housing affordability problems exist.

Further, the projects built under the LIHTC program have income caps for tenants, which create the same disincentive effects for personal advancement that traditional welfare programs do. Finally, the program essentially functions as a subsidy program for developers. Economists Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko argue that developers effectively pocket the $4 billion or so in annual federal tax credits, while the rents in buildings constructed under the program are generally no lower than they would have been in the absence of the program.

In a nutshell: an establishment commission is planning to “reform the nation’s housing policy by crafting a package of realistic and actionable policy recommendations” for the Beltway establishment’s consideration. Hold onto your wallets, taxpayers.