Numerous conservative media outlets are pushing a distortion of comments made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a roundtable discussion with business leaders in Pakistan to suggest that she celebrated the notion that "[w]e tax everything that moves and doesn't move," in contrast to lower tax rates in Pakistan. But in her comments, Clinton actually called on Pakistan to raise more revenue of its own, rather than relying on U.S. aid, and said that U.S. taxpayers and Congress say, "[W]e want to help those who help themselves."
Pakistan's Daily Times crops Clinton's comments
Daily Times: Clinton says Pakistan's taxes "among the lowest in the world... We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn't move." Reporting on comments Clinton made during the October 29 roundtable discussion, the Daily Times reported that Clinton said, "The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world... We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn't move, and that's not what we see in Pakistan."
Clinton discussed tax disparity and foreign aid and said taxpayers and Congress "want to help those who help themselves." During her roundtable discussion, Clinton called on Pakistan to raise more of its own revenues, rather than relying on foreign aid.
From Clinton's October 29 roundtable comments:
CLINTON: I appreciate too the idea of a sustainable, long-term partnership, and to highlight the opportunities that exist and to use the tools that are already at our disposal, tools like OPIC or the Export-Import Bank or making sure that travel visas get issued. These are all the kind of nuts-and-bolts issues that we can address and try to resolve together.
But I think too that it is only fair to take a hard look internally about what Pakistan needs to do. And at the risk of maybe sounding undiplomatic, Pakistan has to have more internal investment in your public services and in your business opportunities. By any fair measure, for example, the percentage of taxes of GDP is among the lowest in the world. The United States, we tax ourselves, depending upon who is in power, somewhere between 16 and 23 percent of GDP, and right now, it usually hovers around the 20 percent. You're less than half of that.
And so at some point, when you ask for partnership, you have to ask what the equity state is that Pakistan itself is looking to make, because it is difficult to go to our taxpayers and say we consider Pakistan a strategic partner, we consider it a long-term friend and ally, we have supported it since its inception in 1947, we want to continue to do so, and have our taxpayers and our members of Congress say, well, we want to help those who help themselves, and we tax everything that moves and doesn't move, and that's not what we see happening in Pakistan.
And I can say that because I think there has to be, in any partnership, but more importantly in any plan for your own economic future, a hard look at where you're going to get the resources to meet these needs. You do have somewhere between 170 and 180 million people. Your population is projected to be about 300 million as the current birth rates, which are among the highest in the world, continue - 2.6 birth rate. I don't know what you're going to do with that kind of challenge unless you start planning right now.
Conservative media push distorted comments to suggest Clinton celebrated taxing "everything that moves"
Gateway Pundit: Clinton "[a]dmits" "that the democrats tax everything that moves." In an October 30 blog post on Gatewaypundit.com, titled, "Hillary Clinton Admits: 'We Tax Everything That Moves,' " Jim Hoft wrote that Clinton "told the Pakistanis today that the democrats tax everything that moves" and asserted that "she's proud of it."
Drudge: "Hillary: 'We tax everything that moves and doesn't move.' " The Drudge Report linked to the Daily Times article on October 31 with the headline, "Hillary: 'We tax everything that moves and doesn't move.' "
Fox Nation: "Hillary: 'We tax everything that moves.' " Linking to the Daily Times article on October 30, the Fox Nation featured the headline, "Hillary: 'We tax everything that moves.' "