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

"There's certainly 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 positive."
- 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

"Whenever Chief 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 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 soar."
- 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 economic scale."
- Chicago Tribune Washington reporter Steve Daley in syndicated column, August 3.


Republican Disinformation

"Senators and 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 Dinosaur."
- Newsweek reporters Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift, August 9.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- 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