Bill Clinton on Arizona Immigration Law, Goldman Sachs, and Chelsea’s Wedding

By Nitya

Apr 28, 2010 12:56pm

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: During a Q&A following his speech at the Pete Peterson Foundation's Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C. former President Bill Clinton touched on a variety of issues including Arizona's immigration law, a value added tax, Goldman Sachs and his upcoming role of father of the bride at his daughter Chelsea's upcoming wedding. 

On immigration, Clinton said that he does not know how the US will cope with the aging of its population without increasing the number of immigrants in the country.

"You got to have more immigrants," said Clinton during the Q&A led by CBS' Bob Schieffer.

With regards to the recently enacted law in Arizona, Clinton said: "I don't like that Arizona bill but I get why it happened." 

On the question of whether the US should enact a Value Added Tax, Clinton argued that it had a lot of attractive aspects to it while acknowledging that it may be too great a leap to work politically.

Clinton said Europeans have grown accustomed to a VAT and that it could help revive US manufacturing. He stressed, however, that it could only be enacted by making the existing tax code more progressive. In the end, he suggested that it might be too great of a "mental leap" and compared it to a single payer health care plan which has theoretical advantages but doesn't work politically.

On Goldman Sachs, Clinton said that he is not sure that they "violated the law". He said, however, that the problem is that many of the transactions had no real economic value.

Clinton was introduced by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. During his conversation with Schieffer, Clinton said that Rubin has "taken a few licks" lately but added that he still thinks that Rubin was the greatest Treasury Secretary since Alexander Hamilton. As for Chelsea Clinton's upcoming wedding, Clinton seemed genuinely surprised when Schieffer brought up the topic as the last question.Clinton said that when Chelsea was growing up, he used to tell her that he would be happy for her to live at home until 25 and to get married at 35.Clinton said that his daughter has told him that he has to look good for the wedding and that her definition of good means losing 15 pounds."I'm half way home," said Clinton.

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