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.”
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.
“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.”
Democrat Joe Biden is mentally all over the place, claims people are “clipping coupons in the stock market” pic.twitter.com/EleAjG7ElA
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 16, 2019
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:
Dang! I wish the guy managing my retirement account would clip those coupons when he was buying stocks! Ol’ Joe 30330 wants to save me some $$! https://t.co/oujQXUZFt8
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 16, 2019
No, I’m not watching the debate. I’m clipping my stock market coupons
— Scare-d Holt👻 (@jaredlholt) October 16, 2019
I didn’t know I could play the stock market by clipping coupons, more sage advice from the extremely coherent Joe
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 16, 2019
The Hill’s Saagar Enjeti may have put it best:
This Biden answer on taxes is literally incomprehensible
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) October 16, 2019
“This Biden answer on taxes is literally incomprehensible,” he tweeted.
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