[referring to President Bill Clinton term of office] ". . .And his economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we could reduce our deficit and invest in the skills and ideas of our people. And at the time, you may be surprised to learn that the Republican Congress -- and a Senate candidate by the name of Mitt Romney -- said Bill Clinton's plan would kill jobs, kill the economy. Turns out their math back then was just as bad as it is now. Because by the end of President Clinton's second term, America had created 23 million new jobs. Incomes were up; poverty was down. Our deficit had become a surplus. . .
". . .we know our ideas work because they've been tested, they've been tried. And we also know that the other folks' ideas don't work because they've been tested. Now, after Bill Clinton left office, for most of the last decade, we tried giving big tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans that we couldn't afford. We tried giving insurance companies and oil companies and Wall Street the license to do whatever they pleased. And what we got was falling incomes, and record deficits, and the slowest job growth in half a century, and an economic crisis that we've been cleaning up after ever since. . . So we've got ideas that work; we've got ideas that don't. We've tried both. We should be able to make a pretty clear choice. . ."
"There will be many who say that with the election over, we should confront the first of these challenges by simply letting the top two tax rates expire, and pushing the sequester off to a later date. . . And we certainly won't solve it by simply raising tax rates. . . Mr. President, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives stands ready to work with you to do what's best for our country. . . Ernst and Young says going over part of the fiscal cliff and raising tax rates on the top two brackets will cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs. Ernst and Young also confirms many of those hit with the rate increase will be small business owners the very people both parties acknowledge are the key to private sector job creation."There is an alternative to going over the fiscal cliff, in whole or in part. It involves making real changes to the financial structure of entitlement programs, and reforming our tax code to curb special-interest loopholes and deductions. By working together and creating a fairer, simpler, cleaner tax code, we can give our country a stronger, healthier economy. A stronger economy means more revenue, which is what the president seeks. . . in order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt. We aren't seeking to impose our will on the president; we're asking him to make good on his 'balanced' approach. . ."But a 'balanced' approach isn't balanced if it means higher tax rates on the small businesses that are key to getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving. . . A 'balanced' approach isn't balanced if it's done in the old Washington way of raising taxes now, and ultimately failing to cut spending in the future. A 'balanced' approach isn't balanced if it means slashing national defense instead of making the common-sense spending cuts that are truly needed. . .". . .we're willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions. What matters is where the increased revenue comes from, and what type of reform comes with it. Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates? Or does it come as the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all?. . . Tax reform, done in the manner I've described, will result in the additional revenue the president seeks. It will support economic growth, which means more revenue is generated for the Treasury. . ."
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