Confused Biden Blasts People 'Clipping Coupons in the Stock Market,' Promises To Eliminate Then Double Capital Gains Tax


CORRECTION, Oct. 16, 2019: When this article was published, The Western Journal believed that Former Vice President Biden used the phrase “clipping coupons” incorrectly. However, it is a reference to receiving interest on investment-grade bonds (often referred to as “coupon bonds” — see, for example, this article from 2013).

Biden therefore used — or at least can be argued to have used — the phrase more or less correctly in context.

The use was obviously unclear and somewhat garbled — one doesn’t clip bond coupons in the stock market, but in the bond market — as was evidenced by the widespread confusion regarding the phrase, but it was not the blatant evidence of discomposure on Biden’s part that we took it to be. We have chosen to allow the text of the original article to remain in place because the point of the article as originally written — Joe Biden’s apparent confusion during the debate — remains a valid point that was also demonstrated elsewhere in the writing with other examples.

Former Vice President Joe Biden bizarrely claimed during Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate that there are people “clipping coupons in the stock market.”

Biden’s remarks came during a discussion about the wealth tax plans proposed by two of his fellow candidates — Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

That specific gaffe came several seconds after he said he’d eliminate the capital gains tax, before correcting himself and saying he’d actually raise it.

“We have to start rewarding work, not just wealth,” Biden said. “I would eliminate the capital gains tax.”

He flip-flopped roughly half a second later.

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“I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate of 39.5 percent. I would double it,” he said.

Then, Biden made his “coupons” gaffe.

“Why in God’s name should someone who’s clipping coupons in the stock market make — in fact, pay a lower tax rate than someone who in fact is, like I said, a schoolteacher and a firefighter,” he said.

“It’s ridiculous, and they pay a lower tax.”

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It’s not entirely clear what Biden meant to say. It’s possible he was trying to say that people who work in supermarkets should not pay a higher tax rate than people who work on the stock market.

Regardless, many commentators still took notice of his gaffe:

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The Hill’s Saagar Enjeti may have put it best:

“This Biden answer on taxes is literally incomprehensible,” he tweeted.

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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