Bill Clinton: Obama’s deficit plan ‘confusing’

If Barack Obama is going to turn around the nation’s economy, he’d better avoid raising taxes, former President Bill Clinton warned this week.

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending until we get this economy off the ground,” Clinton told  the conservative site Newsmax. “If we cut government spending, which I normally would be very inclined to do when the deficit’s this big, with interest rates already near zero you can’t get the benefits out of it.

Clinton said Obama “didn’t propose any new taxes” in his speech Monday to unveil his deficit reduction plan. “The speech was $250 billion in tax cuts, $250 billion in spending over a period of two to three years,” Clinton said. “It focused mostly on a rather innovative set of payroll tax cuts and incentives to hire people.”

Though Clinton didn’t cast the president’s proposal as a tax increase, Republicans jumped on Clinton’s assessment Wednesday to bolster their opposition to the president’s plan, which includes the elimination of tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans under what the administration calls  the “Buffett Rule.” A blog for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Wednesday touted the interview under the headline “Clinton: No Tax Hikes, No New Regulations”

Source: Rachel Rose Hartman, The Ticket.