How about the approximately 50% of all Americans who do not pay Income Tax?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a rare foray into domestic politics today, offering her view that — given America's high unemployment — wealthy Americans don't pay enough taxes.
"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does] — whether it's individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms," Clinton told an audience at the Brookings Institute, where she was discussing the administration's new National Security Strategy.
Clinton said the comment was her personal opinion. "I'm not speaking for the administration, so I'll preface that with a very clear caveat," she said.
Clinton went on to cite Brazil as a model.
"Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what — they're growing like crazy," Clinton said. "And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty."
Both Clinton and Obama campaigned for the presidency on promises to allow the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans to expire this year, a plan that is now part of Obama's budget. The move will effectively raise taxes sharply on people earning more than $250,000.
The administration's new formal strategy document makes the case that domestic economic strength is crucial to influence abroad.