Clinton on Romney’s Tax Cuts for Wealthy — `I’m One of Those Folks’

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Former President Bill Clinton, right, introduces Mitt Romney at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York.

The “secretary of explaining stuff,” as President Barack Obama took to calling former President Bill Clinton after their party’s convention in Charlotte this year, has been out and about explaining the “arithmetic over illusion” in Republican Mitt Romney’s tax plans.

Clinton, in a two-minute campaign video which has the makings of some closing-argument commercials in it, takes a walk through the tax cuts that Romney proposes — starting with an across-the-board 20 percent cut in tax rates. He explains how it amounts to $5 trillion. And he contends that it cannot be offset with the closing of tax loopholes that Romney proposes.

With the video equivalent of a chalk board, he takes apart the argument that Romney’s plan will not cut taxes for the wealthy by explaining:  “I know how this works, because I’m one of those folks” — taking the example of someone like him earning more than $3 million a year, he says: “I will still get a tax cut” of $250,000.

“We simply cannot afford to give another round of tax cuts to the folks who got the benefits of the cuts the last time,” says the former president, who left office in 2000 with an annual budgetary surplus.

The president probably cannot afford another debate like his first one with Romney, in which he left unexplained his objections to the proposals Romney is making — including a Clintonian explanation of the $5 trillion tax cut. The second of the three nationally televised presidential debates tonight at Hofstra University, starting at 9 pm EDT, will show how well the president has been studying the former president’s tax lessons.

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