Category Archives: Bill Clinton

On income taxes and job creation, history debunks GOP views

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
Sunday, July 17, 2011

We’re used to politicians stretching the truth, but this is getting ridiculous. For months now, congressional Republicans have refused to support any debt ceiling and budget deal that would raise taxes on the wealthy because, these economic wizards tell us, the rich are “job creators.”

Tax increases would discourage these job genies from expanding their businesses. Unemployment, already at 9.2 percent (which says something about the job-creation myth, doesn’t it?), would get even worse, they insist. The problem with this economic philosophy? It’s garbage.

Even Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, knows that: “The rich are always going to say, ‘Just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you.’ But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”

The American public, it seems, is catching on, even if Republicans want to twist the truth about that, too. Speaker of the House John Boehner keeps insisting, “The American people don’t want us to raise taxes.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says, “This economy is ailing and we don’t believe, nor do the American people believe, raising taxes is the answer.”

Think again. Americans believe Congress should raise taxes on the wealthy.

A new Quinnipiac survey asked voters if they support a budget deal with only budget cuts or a blend of cuts and taxes on corporations and the rich. Only 25 percent said cuts only. Sixty-seven percent want cuts and a tax increase on the wealthy.

Republican leaders are not only misrepresenting what the American people want, they’re covering up Republican numbers, too. In a recent Gallup poll, only 26 percent of Republicans favored lowering the debt with cuts alone. In just about every poll — ABC News, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters — Americans want spending cuts and they want the wealthy to pay a larger share.

But maybe the American people are wrong. Let’s check the history. Did giving the wealthy a break with the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 help create jobs? Uh, no. From the end of the 2000-01 recession, just when the first Bush tax cuts took effect, until the beginning of the Great Recession, the economy grew at a slower pace than in any postrecession recovery period since World War II. Pay, adjusted for inflation, fell. And it took 39 months to get the number of jobs back to where it was before the 2000-01 recession.

Despite the same promises of jobs, the economy limped along. And the additional tax cut in 2003 didn’t rev it up, either.

President Bill Clinton faced vociferous opposition to his 1993 budget plan, which raised the top tax rates from 31 percent to 39.6 percent. Republicans called it the “Kevorkian Plan.”

So, what happened? Unparalleled economic growth. The nation’s unemployment dropped from 6.9 percent to 4 percent. The deficit shrank, and in 1998, the federal government boasted a surplus for the first time since 1969.

It seems the economy can survive a tax hike on the wealthy after all. And the tax hike did wonders to reduce the deficit as well, as designed.

More evidence: During the 1950s and early 1960s, when America experienced sustained growth, marginal tax rates on the rich were the highest they’ve ever been — 91 percent for the top bracket. (Even President Ronald Reagan, the Republican economic poster boy, raised taxes after he cut them.)

But Republicans keep chanting the same nonsense — without offering historical evidence to back it up. Instead, they want to bring the nation to the brink of default while protecting corporations (who are sitting on billions in profits) and fat cats — while everyday Americans are squeezed by high gas and food prices, plunging home prices and lower wages.

Let’s call the job-creator stuff what it is: a myth.

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Filed under Bill Clinton, Bush Tax Cuts, Congressional Republicans, Conservatives, debt limit, editorial, Eric Cantor, great recession, John Boehner, President Obama, tax cuts, the Star-Ledger, unemployment

>Doesn’t Anyone Remember Christine Whitman?

>In a CountyFair blog post on the website MediaMatters.org, blogger Jamison Foser asks a simple question “ Doesn’t Anyone Remember Christine Whitman?

It’s a great read and analogy of what transpired in the early 1990’s when young Republican Governors were swept into office and faced huge budget deficits after Bill Clinton became President and what is happening today.

“A young Democrat is elected President on a theme of hope and change, does some of the things he was elected to do, Republicans howl and win control of Congress in a landslide mid-term election, and the media becomes infatuated with a new crop of Republican governors who are trying to dramatically reconfigure state budgets.

“That’s a reasonable summary of the current state of affairs, but it also describes the first few years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. But it isn’t the similarity that’s striking: After all, there’s a reason the phrase “history has a way of repeating itself” exists. Or, perhaps more appropriately: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” See, what’s really striking about the current situation is how few reporters seem to remember what happened in the 1990s.

Most notably, the past few weeks have seen massive media attention paid to state budget deficits, and attempts by Republican governors like Chris Christie to blame out-of-control pension obligations for those deficits (even as they pursue deficit-increasing tax cuts…”

Foser goes on to talk about how NJ Governor Christie Whitman cut taxes and raided the state pension fund in order to close New Jersey’s budget gap even though many critics warned that the State Pension system would see significant shortfall 15-20 years down the road, which of course is what is happening to be now!

“Whitman was one of those star Republican governors of the early 1990s. Like so many other Republican governors who win media attention for innovative approaches, she made her name through the not-so-innovative strategy of cutting taxes. Since she had to offset those tax cuts in order to balance New Jersey’s budget, she reduced payments into the state’s pension system. And that, as the New York Times noted last August, “contributed to the growth of the unfunded liability” that is now widely blamed for New Jersey’s budget shortfall.”

He went on to state that none of this should have come as a surprise to anyone because “when Whitman was defunding the pension system in order to cut taxes, there were warnings that this is exactly what would happen. Here, for example, is a September 5, 1994 Washington Post article:
“The first thing Christine Todd Whitman did upon taking office as governor of New Jersey in January was to cut the state’s income tax. Then in July, as she signed into law her first state budget, the Republican cut taxes again while simultaneously closing the huge deficit left by her predecessor.

This is what her supporters call the Whitman miracle, the fiscal accomplishment that has sent her stock soaring among New Jersey’s voters and transformed her on the national scene from a political unknown into one of the Republican Party’s newest stars.

But the key to the Whitman miracle lies neither in her political philosophy nor in her spending cuts, but rather in the fine print of her budget. Contained there is a series of arcane fiscal changes that some experts say amount to this: Christine Todd Whitman has balanced New Jersey’s books and paid for her tax cut by quietly diverting more than $1 billion from the state’s pension fund.

Whitman calls what she did a “reform” of the pension system that puts it on a more “sound actuarial footing.” Others are less charitable. The one thing that even the actuarial consultants hired by the Whitman administration agree on, however, is that the chief effect of the changes will be to shift billions of dollars in pension obligations onto New Jersey taxpayers 15 to 20 years from now.”


“At best, this represents a gamble that the state’s economy in the early part of the next century will be stronger than it is today and better able to shoulder pension responsibilities. At worst, according to fiscal experts, Whitman’s move represents politics at its most cynical.

In recent years financially strapped governments around the country — including Washington, D.C., and New York state — have raided their pension funds for cash, gambling that when the bills come due their local economies will be in a better position to pay them.

“The New Jersey pension system was highly rated in terms of its fiscal integrity,” said [Henry] Raimondo of the Eagleton Institute. “Now that’s compromised. She has effectively slowed down” the amount of “money going into the system, and in around 2010 the liability to New Jersey taxpayers is going to grow dramatically.”

Foser concluded his post by adding:
“Let’s review: A Republican governor of New Jersey reduced payments to the state pension system so she could cut taxes. Critics warned doing so would cause significant budget shortfalls in 2010. 2010 rolled around, and — surprise! — so did budget shortfalls. And now those shortfalls are used by New Jersey’s current Republican governor (along with many in the media) to justify cutting pensions (while again cutting taxes.)

Basically, conservatives have staged an end-run around having a public debate over cutting pensions in order to pay for tax cuts. Rather than making the argument that tax cuts are more important than pensions, they just went ahead and cut taxes, raiding the pension system in the process, then waited 15 years for predictable — and predicted — deficits, which they now point to as evidence that the pension system is unsustainably generous. And they’ve done it with the help of countless news organizations that fall for this shell game.”

You really need to read the full post, it’s fascinating how history has once again repeated itself.
You can read it >>> here

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Filed under 60 Minutes, Bill Clinton, Bill O'Reilly, budget deficit, Gov. Christie Whitman, Media Matters, New Jersey, pension deficit, Republican Governors, state pension system, tax cuts

New Jersey Reform Party (NJRP) Press Release Announces "Perot Legacy" Discussion At Matawan Public Library

I remember back in 1992 when Ross Perot launched his Independent campaign for the presidency calling attention to the federal deficit, national debt, term limits and campaign finance reform. That summer when Bill Clinton secured that Democratic nomination Perot was enjoying a slim lead in the opinions polls.

Then all hell broke lose when Perot dropped out of the race accusing the Republicans of trying to plot against him by planning to sabotage his daughters wedding.

When he eventually re-entered the presidential race later that fall it was to late, to many people had become disillusioned with Perot and he couldn’t overcome the label of “quitter”. he ended up with 19% of the vote that November which effective gave the race to Bill Clinton and left others to wonder what might have been if Perot had won.
Those that wondered what might have been if Perot had actually won the presidency eventually formed the “Reform Party”.
Since that time the Reform Party has had it’s ups and downs and has had its share of growing pains that nearly killed it, but through it all the party survived.
So earlier this week when I received a press release from the New Jersey Reform Party which announced that there would be a discussion at the Matawan Public Library to discuss the “Perot Legacy” and how through his efforts, the Reform Party was formed, I was intrigued and seriously thinking about attending:

For immediate release

For Further Information contact:
Jake Zychick
Website: http://www.reformparty.org
email: ReformPartyNJ@Gmail.com
cell phone: (201) 248-7525

Radio Personality Pat Benjamin to Discuss “Perot Legacy” at Matawan Library


The Reform Party of New Jersey is proud to present an afternoon with author and radio personality Pat Benjamin at the Matawan Library on April 10th, 2010 at 1:00pm. Benjamin is the host of WNJC Radio’s “The Independent Voice” and author of “The Perot Legacy.”

In 1992, feisty Texan billionaire H. Ross Perot’s independent presidential campaign inspired a generation of activists to challenge the two-party system. In 1996, he formed the Reform Party of the United States to champion fiscal responsibility. Author Pat Benjamin was onboard from the beginning, and her 2007 book documents Perot’s political revolution.

While Perot has since withdrawn from the political landscape, his message is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The Reform Party has lived on, championing his cause of fiscal responsibility, political reform, and open politics, nominating candidates such as Eric Eidsness, Jesse Ventura, and Pat DiNizio.

As Ross Perot himself has said:

“In the 1990’s, my campaigns as an independent presidential candidate gave a voice to millions of Americans who had been left out of the partisan political process. These people wanted-and still want-to contribute to their country and make America better for their children and grandchildren. [“The Perot Legacy”] is their story.”

# # #

Pat Benjamin will appear at the Matawan Library (165 Main Street, Matawan, NJ) on April 10th, 2010 at 1:00pm. The afternoon will also include a screening of “Ross Perot: Straight Talk.”

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Filed under Bill Clinton, Matawan NJ, press release, Reform Party, Republicans, Ross Perot

Obama to sit down with Jay Leno on ‘The Tonight Show’

Thursday night President Barack Obama will be sitting down with Jay Leno as a guest on “The Tonight Show”. Obama will be using his time with Leno to hawk his economic recovery plan while enjoying the serenades of Garth Brooks.

Obama has visited Leno before, making his first “Tonight Show” appearance in December 2006, when he was plotting his White House bid. Other successful presidential candidates preceded him, including Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
The appearence should be a good one, Obama is know for his wit and charm so I’ll be looking forward to watching the show.
Read More >>> Here

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Filed under Bill Clinton, Gart Brooks, Jay Leno, President Obama, presidential candidates, Richard Nixon, The Tonight Show

>Statement: Statement of Former President Bill Clinton on the Nomination of Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

>December 01, 2008 | New York | Bill Clinton | Statements

As an American, I am thankful that President-elect Barack Obama has asked Hillary to be Secretary of State and that she has accepted. As her husband, I am deeply proud.
She is the right person for the job of helping to restore America’s image abroad, end the war in Iraq, advance peace and increase our security, by building a future for our children with more partners and fewer adversaries, one of shared responsibilities and opportunities.
She has already earned the respect of foreign leaders and diplomats through her work to promote human rights and the empowerment of women through access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. And Americans know, from her leadership in the Senate on national security, that she will always put the security, values and the interests of our people first.
In her service to the people of New York and our nation, Hillary has demonstrated the knowledge, passion, resilience, and capacity to learn that our country needs at this critical time. She loves being a Senator from New York, but as she has in all the thirty-seven years I’ve known her, she answered the call to serve. I commend President-Elect Obama for asking her to be a part of a great national security team. America will be well-served.

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Filed under America, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, National Security Team, press release, Secretary of State

Statement: Statement of Former President Bill Clinton on the Nomination of Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

December 01, 2008 | New York | Bill Clinton | Statements

As an American, I am thankful that President-elect Barack Obama has asked Hillary to be Secretary of State and that she has accepted. As her husband, I am deeply proud.
She is the right person for the job of helping to restore America’s image abroad, end the war in Iraq, advance peace and increase our security, by building a future for our children with more partners and fewer adversaries, one of shared responsibilities and opportunities.
She has already earned the respect of foreign leaders and diplomats through her work to promote human rights and the empowerment of women through access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. And Americans know, from her leadership in the Senate on national security, that she will always put the security, values and the interests of our people first.
In her service to the people of New York and our nation, Hillary has demonstrated the knowledge, passion, resilience, and capacity to learn that our country needs at this critical time. She loves being a Senator from New York, but as she has in all the thirty-seven years I’ve known her, she answered the call to serve. I commend President-Elect Obama for asking her to be a part of a great national security team. America will be well-served.

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Filed under America, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, National Security Team, press release, Secretary of State

>Clinton Will Accept Obama’s Offer

>Sen. Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of Secretary of State offered by President-elect Obama, “who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration,” the Guardian has learned.

However, the Washington Post says a formal offer hasn’t been made yet but notes “there is an understanding” that if Sen. Clinton “can sort out her husband’s global work… she would have a good, if not completely certain, shot at it.”

Said Clinton confidant James Carville: “There’s a lot of momentum in the direction of this happening.”

Poltical Wire

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Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, James Carville, political wire, Politics, Secretary of State