Notable Quotables - 08/16/1993
The Clinton Plan's Flaw: Not Enough Taxes
"Although most of
the new taxes will be borne by the rich, as Mr. Clinton's Technicolor pie
charts showed, the package comes nowhere close to undoing Ronald Reagan's tax
breaks for the wealthy. It leaves the tax burden in the United States far less
onerous than those in most other Western nations. If the electorate is as
serious as it tells itself it is about eliminating the deficit and cutting the
national debt, it will eventually have to accept far more than this modest
effort to increase revenues."
- New York Times Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple, August 8 "Week in Review" section.
"You have minor
little atrocities in this overall thing. Here they're raising taxes on the
affluent, raising taxes by quite a bit. But they're cutting the luxury tax -
eliminating that special luxury tax on yachts, very expensive jewelry, and
certain other items - which makes no sense. I mean that only encourages
consumption when you ought to be encouraging savings."
- Time political correspondent Laurence Barrett on the Fox Morning News, August 4.
"Last week after
much posturing and fretting, the elected representatives of the people decided
how much sacrifice we should make for a civilized society. By the narrowest
possible margin in both houses of the Congress, they agreed, in the interest
of deficit reduction, that we could afford: four cents. A rise of just over
four cents a gallon in the federal tax on gasoline...In the land of the free
and the home of the brave, ordinary citizens might have been brave enough to
make a real sacrifice for the economic health of their country. But now we
won't know. The politicians weren't brave enough to find out."
- CBS Sunday Morning host Charles Kuralt, August 8.
"There will be a
ripple effect throughout the economy because of higher gas taxes and increased
costs to small businesses. But on balance Americans will still be paying lower
taxes than most of the rest of the world."
- ABC reporter Walter Rodgers, August 6 Good Morning America.
"It is going to be
a little bit of a nick for the middle class but only probably about thirty
dollars a year for the average driver. And this is a tax that you can do
something about, after all. You can really cut down on your driving, buy a
more fuel-efficient car."
- GMA Money Editor Tyler Mathisen, August 4.
Middle Class Tax Impact
Middle class gets breaks
- Boston Globe, August 4
Tax Boost to Hit More
People Than Expected Changes in Deductions To Be Felt by Middle Class
- Washington Post, August 8
First Serious Deficit Reduction
not a lot there to stimulate the economy, there's no question about that. On
the other hand, it is the first serious attempt to reduce the deficit and in
my opinion, that's got to have a psychological impact that's got to be
- Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief Jack Nelson on the PBS talk show Charlie Rose, August 5.
"The national debt,
it's still going to increase, but at least for the first time there's a
serious effort to cut the deficit. And I mean, I think that's good....I think
that after 12 years of Republican rule where you did so much for wealthy
people and relatively so little for poor people, it was time the country
turned to trying to do something like that [taxing the rich]... from that
standpoint at least, the bill did have good features in it."
- Nelson on a C-SPAN viewer call-in, August 9.
Medicare: Myth vs. Reality
"It seems that
Medicare programs have always been the programs that have been targeted [for
cuts] in the past. Will we see additional cuts in Medicare and other social
programs if you are going to meet the target you want to meet?"
- CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn to OMB Director Leon Panetta, July 30.
"The final hurdle
was getting agreement on a cutback of $56 billion in Medicare, part of nearly
$250 billion the plan promises to slash in everything from defense to social
programs over the next five years."
- CBS reporter Bob Schieffer, August 2 Evening News.
"From 1993 to 1994,
for example, the CBO's Medicare baseline will rise by about $21 billion, or 14
percent. The budget will cut that increase by about $2 billion, but the hike
will still be at least 12 percent. Thanks to baseline budgeting, oldsters are
now screaming about planned reductions in Medicare spending, even though
spending will rise at about triple the rate of inflation."
- James Glassman in July 30 Washington Post.
No Liberals To Be Found
Justice William H. Rehnquist finds himself in the minority - something that
may happen with increasing frequency now that the moderately conservative
[Ruth Bader] Ginsburg is replacing the staunchly conservative White - the
moderate Stevens, if he is in the majority, would have the power...to decide
which justice will write the opinion for the court."
- Washington Post reporter Al Kamen, July 30.
Pass Clinton's Budget - Please
"The GOP, led by
Minority Leader Bob Dole, the Senate's Dr. No, is waging a demagogic antitax
campaign. This is a betrayal of the American people....[Democrats] are in no
position now to abandon their new President on a bill that represents the
heart of his entire domestic program - one critical to long-term prosperity.
This budget bill cannot be allowed to fail."
- U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman, July 26.
Cheers for Reversing Reaganomics
"The narrow votes
on Thursday and Friday represent the first real rejection of Reaganomics, a
doctrine that survived for more than a decade in which taxes were lowered,
spending raised, and Congress was blamed while everyone watched the deficit
- Time Associate Editor Nancy Gibbs, August 16.
"For all their
protests, the Democrats understand that the administration's plan is the sole
available option....some of these chaps - [David] Boren comes to mind - are
complicit in Reaganomics, having boosted the economic theory that over 12
years quadrupled the national debt and shifted the tax burden down the
- Chicago Tribune Washington reporter Steve Daley in syndicated column, August 3.
Congressmen have been fielding calls all week long from people who say, you
know, `I can't afford to pay these retroactive taxes. How can they be taxing
the middle class like this?' I think it suggests the President has not done a
very good job of selling his plan. I think it suggests the Republicans have
done a good job of putting out disinformation."
- Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Alan Murray, August 6 Washington Week in Review.
Clinton: Barney the Dinosaur?
"Clinton is giving
the best evidence yet of his approach to leadership. It's about understanding,
not threats; accommodation, not confrontation; about getting people (or at
least Democrats) to sing the same song. The style is reminiscent of another
patient, nonjudgmental figure given to hugging in public: Barney the
- Newsweek reporters Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift, August 9.
- L. Brent Bozell III;
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Andrew Gabron, Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
- David Felton, David Muska; Interns