Economics

Hillary Clinton: Low Marginal Tax Rates Lead to Terrorism

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Did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admit that Americans are overtaxed during her business leader roundtable in Lahore, Pakistan? The juxtaposition of quotes in this Pakistan Daily Times article—the first part about the government's failure to locate al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan, the second about taxation—seems to say that:

"Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable. I don't know… As far as we know, they are in Pakistan," Clinton told senior Pakistani newspaper editors in Lahore, AFP reported. "The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world… We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn't move, and that's not what we see in Pakistan," she said.

Hillary Clinton prays for higher taxes in Pakistan.

Media Matters says Clinton's detractors are taking the quotes out of context, and cites an extended passage from a State Department transcript, which makes it clear that the secretary was not saying the United States taxes of all animal and mineral matter, but rather was imagining such a claim from a hypothetical Other:

But I think too that it is only fair to take a hard look internally about what Pakistan needs to do. And at the risk of maybe sounding undiplomatic, Pakistan has to have more internal investment in your public services and in your business opportunities. By any fair measure, for example, the percentage of taxes of GDP is among the lowest in the world. The United States, we tax ourselves, depending upon who is in power, somewhere between 16 and 23 percent of GDP, and right now, it usually hovers around the 20 percent. You're less than half of that.

And so at some point, when you ask for partnership, you have to ask what the equity state is that Pakistan itself is looking to make, because it is difficult to go to our taxpayers and say we consider Pakistan a strategic partner, we consider it a long-term friend and ally, we have supported it since its inception in 1947, we want to continue to do so, and have our taxpayers and our members of Congress say, well, we want to help those who help themselves, and we tax everything that moves and doesn't move, and that's not what we see happening in Pakistan.

A State Department video clip is inconclusive. The "gettable" line (and by the way, that should be "getatable") seems to have come in a press conference and the tax line seems to have come in an address. The two have been run together in news coverage, such as this BBC story, but they weren't part of a single argument.

But in context, the quote is even more revealing. Clinton's sentiment here is a variation on Oliver Wendell Holmes' claim that taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilization where imbeciles are involuntarily sterilized. Note that Clinton was not satisfied to make the legitimate suggestion that Pakistan reduce its consumption of U.S. aid. She also specified how the Pakistanis must achieve that goal, with a comparison that would sound chauvinistic coming from any foreign minister, but sounds especially so from one who represents the most powerful nation on earth. It's Clinton business to suggest that Pakistan get off the American tit, not to spell out how Pakistan does that.

In any event, it would be good to know what percentage of Americans agree with the sentiment. The United States and Pakistan are both former British holdings. When you consider all the variables of history and luck that made Pakistan's government dependent on American largesse rather than the other way around, does anybody think it's our higher tax rate that made the difference?

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49 responses to “Hillary Clinton: Low Marginal Tax Rates Lead to Terrorism

  1. best way to calm down pakistan- drop any and all tariffs on their products.

    1. Bullshit, faggot! The only way to calm them down is to bomb them back to the fucking stone age if they don’t calm the fuck down. Fucking savages only understand one thing – being bombed back to the fucking stone age.

      1. What Warty said.

      2. Drinking much tonight, Warty?

        1. Worse – doing math. Consider the linear multistep method

          2U^(n+3) – 5U^(n+2) + 4U^(n+1) – U^n = k(B0*f(U^n) + B1*f(U^(n+1)).

          (* means multiplication here – math typesetting is hard in ASCII)

          Now tell me: for what values of B0 and B1 is the local truncation error O(k^2)? Now use those values to determine if the LMM is convergent.

  2. By the way shouldn’t that be teat, not tit?

    1. joe|11.1.09 @ 11:24PM|#

      ack!!!

    2. Maybe when Colin Powell was the SecState.

      Also, calm yourself joshua, check the email address before you flip your shit. He’s a pretender to the throne.

  3. The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world

    Really? Thanks for the tip, Hillary. I was thinking that the Baltics were a good place to open a business, but I’ll have to give Pakistan a good look.

    -jcr

    1. She is the most vile creature in any Galaxy.

  4. If I’d had my way, Bill Clinton would never have existed. That slut who whelped him would have been spayed when she hit puberty.

    Love,

    Ollie.

    1. If only someone had neutered Bill when he hit puberty. Hell, I could have been President by now. (sigh)

      1. Thank god nobody neutered him! If I didn’t have his DNA on that blue dress, I’d just be another nameless DC groupie today.

        1. Bill Clinton never would have been president if I’d been neutered at puberty.

          1. At least Gary sunk his career for a hottie.

  5. We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan,” she said.

    Yeah, if it weren’t for those taxes, I could have blown up a whole city! Curses, foiled again!

  6. Hillary has a point. If the government doesn’t want your money, it must be worthless and contributes to a low self-esteem. Suicide bombing becomes the logical choice.

  7. I don’t think that’s what she’s saying at all. She’s saying that it’s hard to justify sending money to the Pakistani government when they won’t first look to their own citizens for income.

    She’s saying that when presented with such a request, Congress and the American Taxpayer may employ a hyperbole like the one cited to protest more aid. I think it’s a valid point.

    Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form a Hillary Clinton fan…

  8. and have our taxpayers and our members of Congress say, well, we want to help those who help themselves, and we tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see happening in Pakistan.
    Interesting, my belief is we have a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit and it might be time to…
    a) stop pretending that our taxes are paying for any of this.
    and
    b) stop spending money we don’t have.

  9. When i first read this i thought she meant that the US government taxes everything so the government knows where everything and everyone is thus making it hard to commit acts of terror.

  10. Another part of the context of this I read somewhere was not a criticism of tax rates, per se, but of the high level of tax evasion in Pakistan, and the seemingly unwillingness of the govt of Pakistan to do much about it.

    1. The worst offenders are those who evade the liquor tax, especially the al-Duke boys.

  11. If we don’t know what the fuck she is talking about or the point she is trying to make how well do you think the Pakistanis understand it after it has been filtered through an interpreter?

    Worse Secretary of State ever!

    1. She’s painfully clear … she’s saying the U.S. taxes like a sumbitch, and she thinks that’s a good thing, and Pakistan should up their tax rate too.

      1. Yup, that’s how I understood, too.

  12. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the main purpose of a State to provide security to it’s citizen?
    And if the State lacks the funds to do this due to a too small tax-base, wouldn’t be reasonable to increase the tax base?

    1. Try getting the Obama Administration to admit that. They’d rather eat ground glass.

    2. there are other ways to provide security. guns and force are the last resort, giving people freedom and opportunity, property rights and rule of law to protect them so they don’t want to resort to crime in the first place is much cheaper.

  13. No, Madam Secretary. We help those who don’t help themselves and tax the everloving shit out of those who do.

  14. The Teabaggers are hoping that their terrorism will lead to low marginal tax rates!

    1. Correct. We learned it from the gay rights fascists and the moozlims. Works for them, now it’ll work for us. Get scared, libs. Get very, very scared.

  15. the secretary … was imagining such a claim from a hypothetical Other

    Yeah, a lot of that going around these days.

  16. The United States, we tax ourselves, depending upon who is in power, somewhere between 16 and 23 percent of GDP, and right now, it usually hovers around the 20 percent.

    Which United States is this where we’re only paying 20%? Or is she cherry-picking just the income tax?

    1. I think she’s referring to to percentage of GDP spent by the feds.

      Thanks for leaving out the states and localities, Hill. Throw those in, and you’re up north of 35%.

  17. I think her point is that if Pakistan isn’t willing to invest in their own infrastructure, public welfare, whatever, then why should we give a flying fuck about them?

    And that’s independent of whether or not the US has chosen the correct tax rate. Whether it’s 16% or 23%, we all agree at some level that we derive a common benefit from the public infrastructure.

    1. “We all agree at some level that we derive a common benefit from the public infrastructure”

      We disagree that we need taxes so high to provide the public “infrastructure”. Gobs of our tax dollars are going to people who didn’t earn it in the form of rebates, credits, and other payoffs to the poorer classes to buy the Democrats seats in our Congress and in the White House.

  18. It’s all about control for these fuckers.

    Well, fuck you bitch Hillary, you can’t even control you husband, cunt.

  19. Considering the amount of bribes you have to pay in somewhere like Pakistan the “effective tax rate” is probably higher than she thinks.

    Does she really think all the problems of third world countries can be solved by more tax?

  20. I don’t understand, Pakistan needs to encourage more investment, and she thinks the way to do that is to raise taxes on anyone who wants to invest there? what?

  21. I find the performance artist by the name of Hillary Clinton with her pitch perfect act, the belligerent limousine liberal, to be the most entertaining of all in our current political spectacle. If this were a Stanley Kubrik movie, she would be the one whose obtuse remarks set off a nuclear war.

    Whoops we go!

    I like Justine Remaido’s take in a column on the old mare donkey in the china shop posted up at the moment:

    http://original.antiwar.com/ju…..will-tour/

    1. I like Justine Remaido’s take in a column

      Sorry, Justin. That wasn’t homophobia on my part. I had copied your name off of a googled text where Justine Bateman was included in a list of names, so I wouldn’t mispell your surname.

      1. and even Remaido was not the correct one in the copy! Gah. There were several names there, and I deleted the content between Justine and Remaido.

        Raimondo, many apologies.

  22. Let’s not forget this is the same Hillary who opposed tax cuts because the government knows better than we do how our money ought to be spent.

    I think its fair to put the worst possible interpretation on anything she says about taxes.

  23. “It’s Clinton business to suggest that Pakistan get off the American tit, not to spell out how Pakistan does that.”
    The “how” is important to Democrats, which helps explain why they have 2,000 pages for their health care “reform”.

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