Friday, June 04, 2010

Budget short-takes:
Secretary Clinton has something important to say

Before this slips down the memory hole, it's worth noting that Hillary Clinton said something very true last week that we don't usually hear from elite members of the political class. At a national security discussion at the Brookings Institution, she opined:

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues (the United States is), whether it's individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are," she said.

Clinton pointed to Brazil's high taxation as an example that other countries should strive toward.

"Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what -- it's growing like crazy. And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty," she said. "There is a certain formula there that used to work for us until we abandoned it, to our regret in my opinion."

Fox News, May 28, 2010

Sure, consider the source. Fox probably thought they'd caught Clinton admitting to a secret plan to impose socialism. And she did assure listeners that she was speaking for herself, not necessarily administration policy.

But what she said is simply true. Since Reagan took office in 1980, the United States has pretended that the general welfare depended on allowing the rich to get richer while income inequality grows exponentially. But this is not the formula for a stable, prosperous society. It's government's job to seek to raise up the majority so as to spread the goods of the country broadly -- broad prosperity makes the whole society work.

It's the job of the people to remind the government of its responsibility.

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