Since leaving office, Bill Clinton has been increasingly over-the-top in his public pronouncements, so it’s hard to be surprised by anything he says. But his speech on Tuesday before Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Conference in Chicago was beyond parody.
Clinton began by enjoining his listeners not to stoop to the tactics of right-wing talk show hosts: “Let us never demonize or give up on those who disagree with us. We don’t want to become like the right-wing talk-show hosts, hammering our adversaries into cartoon characters and denying their humanity.” Having gotten that out of the way, he lauched into his denunciations of Republicans: “extreme conservatives,” he said, are in now in control of the White House, Congress, much of the federal judiciary system, and a growing share of the media. As a result, children are being thrown out onto the street.
Yes, that’s right: “We are going to put half-a-million [children] out on the street, so I can get my $80,000 [tax cut],” Clinton said. Huh? What half-a-million children are those? If you say without adequate proof that there are 150 Communists in the State Department, you are reviled for a century after your death. But if you say that 500,000 children are being thrown out onto the street by your opponents’ policies, no evidence is required. Or even an explanation of what in the hell you are talking about.
That got Clinton going on the subject of taxes: “I must be the only person in America that every time — I pay the maximum tax rates — every time I sign that tax form, I smile. I thank God I live in a country that gave me a chance to make the money I do.” Oddly, though, notwithstanding his attacks on the President’s tax cuts and his professed fondness for paying taxes, Clinton does not intend to forgo his $80,000 refund. Someone should tell him that the IRS takes donations, and there is no obstacle to his giving the money back. But somehow liberals, no matter how fervently they denounce tax cuts, never seem to do that.
And, by the way, math was never Clinton’s strong point. But if he made $9.5 million last year as has been widely reported, the reduction in marginal tax rates alone would save him well over $300,000, not $80,000. Surely he must know that. Apparently he didn’t want his listeners to realize 1) how much money he is making, or 2) how much money the Administration’s tax cuts are putting back in the hands of taxpayers.
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