Bill Clinton said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s goal of hiking taxes on the rich alone is not enough to solve the country’s fiscal woes and suggested that middle class Americans must also eventually contribute more.
Clinton, who discussed a number of economic and political issues at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s third annual Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C., prefaced his comments with the warning that he was giving his personal view and was “not speaking for the White House.”
“This is just me now, I’m not speaking for the White House — I think you could tax me at a 100 percent and you wouldn’t balance the budget,” said Clinton, who has earned tens of millions of dollars since leaving office. “We are all going to have to contribute to this, and if middle class people’s wages were going up again, and we had some growth to the economy, I don’t think they would object to going back to tax rates [from] when I was president” - before the Bush tax cuts.
The former president’s remarks about his own tax rate seemed to be a reference to Obama’s “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire Warren Buffett, which proposes higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Clinton asserted that when he was at the White House, “very few people” thought they were being overtaxed