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Clinton: Rich 'Not Paying Their Fair Share' in Taxes

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks before signing an agreement at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing May 25. (AP Photo)

The rich are not being taxed enough and the economy is suffering for it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday. 

The former first lady broached the subject during a national security discussion at the Brookings Institution. She lamented that the United States has lowered taxes on the wealthy and said nations around the world need to "increase their public revenue collections" to spur investment. 

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues (the United States is), whether it's individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are," she said. 

Clinton pointed to Brazil's high taxation as an example that other countries should strive toward. 

"Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what -- it's growing like crazy. And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty," she said. "There is a certain formula there that used to work for us until we abandoned it, to our regret in my opinion." 

Clinton cautioned that she was not speaking for the Obama administration as a whole. 

While the president wants to phase out the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, he has persistently battled the perception that his policies will lead to across-the-board taxes for more than just the rich. 

The president said at a Democratic Party fundraiser last month that anti-tax Tea Party activists should "be saying thank you" to him for the tax cuts passed by his administration.

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