THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY JOE LOCKHART The Briefing Room
2:12 P.M. EDT
MR. LOCKHART: One quick announcement, and I'll try to give you a readout of the meeting with congressional leaders. The President will have an event tomorrow; he will unveil the details of his USA Accounts proposal. The event will be at 2:30 p.m. in the Rose Garden, which will be open press. The NEC Director Gene Sperling, and the Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers will brief on the proposal here at 12:45 p.m.
The congressional meeting -- I didn't get a final number, but I think there was somewhere between 55 and 60 members of Congress that came over and met with the President, his foreign policy team in the Yellow Oval. General Shelton gave a comprehensive overview of the operations to date for the congressional members.
I think members were impressed with both the presentation and the damage that's been done. Several of the members commented that this was the first time they'd seen it done in a comprehensive way, so I think they were pleased with the presentation from General Shelton.
I think overall there was strong bipartisan support for continuing this air campaign. I think there were some expressions of support for frontline states -- Macedonia, Albania -- from members of Congress. There was also generally positive comments about NATO unity and how the NATO Alliance has held together and been firm.
There were a variety of views expressed from both parties on ground troops. The President was asked for his position -- he was asked if his position had changed. The President responded directly that he's highly confident the air campaign will work to meet our military objectives, that he has no intention of introducing ground troops, and that NATO remains unified behind that position.
Q Did he also say he didn't take the option off the table?
MR. LOCKHART: He said what I just said. He said that he has no intention of introducing ground troops.
Finally, there was some discussion of how this will all be paid for. The President committed to having his OMB staff be up on the Hill in the next couple of days to work out the details of a bill to pay for this.
Q So did the members just deduce the fact that he had not taken the option off the table? Because that's what they said outside.
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think the President's words have been very clear on this. He has no intention of introducing ground troops. He is highly confident that we can reach our military objectives through the air campaign that's ongoing, that the NATO commanders support, and that the alliance supports.
Q But the President has talked about U.S. forces being part of a force later. What about the congressional members who say you should preposition those personnel now? Was there some pressure to do that?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't think so. Again, I think there was a variety of views expressed on this. I wouldn't describe there as pressure to move forward with that. The President has always said that his view is that in a post-implementation, that there needs to be an international security force as part of post-implementation. And that view remains the same.
Q Joe, on the price tag, is the estimate that Senator Bob Kerrey spoke, about $3 billion to $8 billion -- is that something that you're anticipating for the balance of this current fiscal year?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not going to get into estimates. OMB will be working with members on the Hill, and when they've completed their work we will get into a discussion.
Q You mean you have no idea?
MR. LOCKHART: I didn't say I had any idea, I just said I'm not going to discuss.
Q And would that money, whatever it costs, come from the budget surplus, or from cuts in other spending programs?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, again, OMB will be working with the appropriate members of the Hill over the next few days, and when they've come to some conclusions I'll be glad to discuss that with you.
Q Two senators, both of them Democrats, quoted the President as saying, no option was off the table, including ground troops. Were they wrong, or were they putting --
MR. LOCKHART: I'm telling you, in a direction question from a senator about his views, the President reiterated his view that he has no intention of introducing ground troops into a hostile environment, and that he's highly confident that the air campaign can reach our military objectives.
Q Is that the full answer? These senators, both of them said the President said no option is off the table, including ground troops. So are you saying the President didn't say that?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm telling you that what the President did was reiterate his position, which is he has no intention of introducing ground troops, and I'm just not going to go beyond that.
Q So he didn't say that?
MR. LOCKHART: I didn't say that he didn't say that.
Q Why would the President say one thing publicly -- or why would you say one thing publicly and not affirm that the President told these senators, yes, ground troops are on the table?
MR. LOCKHART: What I've done here is tried to affirm what the President's position is, what he has said. And I'm not going to get into ruling in things and ruling out things. He has no intention of introducing ground troops and that remains the position --
Q -- wrong then?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I'm not suggesting they are wrong.
Q Joe, what about prepositioning troops? That was brought up by several senators today, planning and prepositioning. Is he in favor of that?
MR. LOCKHART: We've done -- NATO has done -- excuse me -- planning on a post-implementation force and how that would work. As several of the Pentagon and President's foreign policy team have said, that's not a difficult thing or something that's time-consuming to update. But there's no plans, as far as I know at this point, to preposition troops.
Q Joe, as to that last question, has he ruled out the option of using ground troops at some point in the future?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President's been very clear on this subject that he has no intention to introduce ground troops into this environment, and that's as clear as I can be.
Q What about the movement in Albania? Any reaction from the White House to reports of that?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not going to get into a specific NATO response at this point. We have some credible reports now that there was an incursion. There has been some incursions in the past and some shelling in the past. I'm not going to talk about a specific NATO response to this incident, but I will repeat our general principle that if President Milosevic seeks to widen this war, it would be a grave mistake.
Q Did the troops stay there from the incursions?
MR. LOCKHART: The reports are that the troops are no longer there.
Q Will he pay serious consequences, as you said this morning?
Q Joe, since the Vice President was asked about the draft, does the President believe it was right or wrong that women have always been exempt from the draft?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm sorry. Say again?
Q Yes. The Vice President, as you know, was asked about the possibility of reinstituting the draft --
MR. LOCKHART: Right.
Q -- does the President believe it was right or wrong that women have always been exempt from the draft?
MR. LOCKHART: I've never had that discussion with the President.
Q Would you check on that? And does he believe they should serve in the infantry?
MR. LOCKHART: When that becomes -- when the draft becomes a relevant issue, I'll be glad to research it.
Q Joe, is the President prepared to call up the reserves?
MR. LOCKHART: I think Secretary Cohen has indicated that there may be the need to call up some reservists. I expect that he will come to some decisions on that soon, and when the recommendation comes over to the White House, we will respond.
Q If I could follow up on that, has the President told Cohen that he, the President, approves of calling up the reserves, and it's just up to Cohen to figure out which units?
MR. LOCKHART: No. I think Secretary Cohen will make a recommendation to the President. When that recommendation comes over, the President will make a decision. But I checked this about an hour ago, and no recommendation had come over.
Q You're anticipating one, is my sense.
MR. LOCKHART: I think Secretary Cohen's been quite clear that he anticipates that there may be a need to do that.
Q When talking about this situation, the White House has said "conflict" or "issue." Senator Kerrey was outside, and I asked him a question about war, and he said, this is a low-grade war. And there are some people around the White House that have called this situation a war. Is the President ready to call this a low-grade war?
MR. LOCKHART: No.
Q Why not?
MR. LOCKHART: Because we view it as a conflict.
Q Well, when there is such a discrepancy about sending in troops, you've got this humanitarian effort that's massive, how can you say that it's not war?
MR. LOCKHART: Because it doesn't meet the definition as we define it.
Q Well, what is the definition as you define it?
Q -- about ground troops, what we were being told by some of these senators --
Q That's a legitimate question.
MR. LOCKHART: Let me take the question, then, and I'll get you -- there's a long issue, and it has some constitutional implications, and I'll take the question and try to get you an answer.
Q What the senators seemed to be saying regarding ground troops was simply that the President, apparently without using the word "ground troops," said, no options are off the table. And then to the question of prepositioning troops or having some kind of infrastructure, that he told them that would not go down well with the Europeans and he was not planning to do that. Is that a fair assessment of what the President said?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't know the precise words that he used, but again, I don't know that -- there's no plans as far as I know to do anything on prepositioning. And my understanding is that was accurately reflected. And I've stated clearly on ground troops, the President reiterated that he has no intention.
Q Were you there all the time?
MR. LOCKHART: No. No, I got a report on several of these issues.
Q Joe, back on the cost of --
Q But it is accurate that the President has never made a Sherman-like statement about ground troops, just that he has no intention, and that is what he told them today?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President repeated today what you've heard him say now on countless occasions. And you've heard his spokespeople, you've heard his Secretary of Defense, his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, that there is no intention of introducing ground troops.
Q -- that there are actually contingency plans?
MR. LOCKHART: Sure. Absolutely. I don't mean to --
Q Well, they didn't claim that no option is off the table, so why won't you, on behalf of the President --
MR. LOCKHART: I have done so by saying that the President has been clear that he has no intention of introducing ground troops.
Now, on the question you raise, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and others have made clear that there was planning done for the post-implementation force, there was an assessment done for putting ground troops into a hostile environment. Those could be updated without great time being consumed, but at this point, the NATO Alliance has not expressed any interest in that. The military command has expressed no interest in that.
Q Joe, when you say there's no intention of introducing ground troops, you're talking about introducing them into a hostile environment. What Kerrey and a lot of the other senators were saying, you don't have to introduce them into a hostile environment, you just have to have them prepositioned in case you need them, because otherwise, you're going to lose x number of months that it takes to get them over there. Is the President ruling that out as well?
MR. LOCKHART: What I'm telling you is the President at this point has no intention of prepositioning troops. There were a wide variety of views expressed at this meeting. It was a good, positive meeting where people spoke their mind. But as with ground troops, on prepositioning, we have no intention of prepositioning troops at this point.
Q What was the President signaling at the end -- as far as the refugees inside Kosovo, themselves, when he said there were problems with air drops of food and supplies, but he was suggesting that there might be something else that the NATO allies could be able to do --
MR. LOCKHART: No, I think the President recognized, as do the NATO planners, that this is a serious problem. You have an enormous amount of internally displaced refugees in Kosovo who have not managed to get out. NATO has, for several days now, been taking a hard look at ways to reach them with humanitarian supplies. They have not come up with a good answer yet, but they're going to continue to work.
Q Joe, is the President confident that whatever the cost turns out to be that he'll have bipartisan support for these emergency funds?
MR. LOCKHART: I think based on the conversations we've had with members of the Hill, based on the meetings, based on the support that's already been expressed by both the House and the Senate, the President is confident there will be bipartisan support for finding appropriate funding for this campaign.
Q Joe, is the President going to appeal the contempt citation in the Paula Jones case?
MR. LOCKHART: I suggest you ask that question to Mr. Bennett, the President's able private attorney.
Q He is unavailable right now.
MR. LOCKHART: When he's ready to say something, he'll say something.
Q The contempt citation brings up an interesting constitutional question on the separation of powers. Is the White House as an institution considering appealing it on behalf of the presidency?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware that there is any activity here looking at that on constitutional grounds.
Q Joe, the President's tax returns, they show no --
MR. LOCKHART: Let me stop you there. Mr. Toiv, someone who understands tax returns much better than I, will handle these questions at the end of the briefing.
Q Joe, I asked you something about the aid to Central America, what's the status of it -- is it separate from the aid the President's requesting for the Yugoslavian operation?
MR. LOCKHART: It has been on the Hill for some time. We still hope that we can get bipartisan support. There is still a humanitarian need, although our attention has shifted to another part of the world. There's still an ongoing and critical need for humanitarian and reconstruction relief in Central America in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane, so it's our hope that this Congress can move forward as Congress is back. As far as things being put together, these are matters that the OMB will be discussing over the next few days with the appropriate leadership on the Appropriations Committee.
Q Joe, The New York Times in Moscow on Sunday quoted Patriarch Alexi, (spelling) the head of the Orthodox Church, as asking on the air, and this is a quote: "If they carry on bombing over Orthodox Easter, what kind of Christians are they? They are not Christians, they are Barbarians." End of quote. We ran a Lexus check disclosing that CNN, the New York Daily News and Newsday all quoted the President's express concern last December that no bombing be done during Ramadan. Question: What is the White House response to the Patriarch, given our country's tradition of religious neutrality rather than favoritism of Islam over Christianity and Judaism?
MR. LOCKHART: I would reject the premise of the question which the content, the length, didn't do anything.
Q Are you rejecting the Patriarch's statement?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I'll get to that, but let me get to the question first, which is, you remember the military campaign in Iraq did go into Ramadan, so all of those who have liked raising that --
Q The President expressed his concern that it not, and that's a definite quote.
MR. LOCKHART: And the President also expressed his concern in an interview with CBS about doing this kind of military campaign during religious season and how unfortunate it was. But what I would say to the Patriarch is that the barbarism is someplace else.
There are now over a million people who don't have a place to worship, don't have a home, don't have members of their family. They've been thrown out of their villages, their villages have been burned, their families have been separated and in worst cases, killed in a very barbaric way. And this comes from President Milosevic and the campaign, the military campaign that's been done to ethnically gut the province of Kosovo.
So while it is always regrettable, we have always sought a peaceful solution to this, the responsibility for this campaign reaching its third week is with President Milosevic and President Milosevic alone.
Q Joe, what are your hopes with Russia?
MR. LOCKHART: I think Secretary Albright had a very good meeting today with her counterpart. We have always said and the President believes that Russia has an important and constructive role in this crisis. In their joint statements, they indicated that there are large areas of agreement as far as ending the fighting, getting the Serb paramilitary and military forces out of Kosovo, allowing humanitarian aid to flow in, allowing refugees to go back home.
We remain with some fundamental disagreements on a post-implementation force, but there are many areas we agree on, and I think the President believes that Russia can play a constructive role as we go forward.
Q Joe, the President today, in formulating the goals of the operation in Kosovo, mentioned an international security force, period. He did not add the phrase that as recently as yesterday, he and Secretary Cohen and others have always added an international force led by NATO. Is that omission --
MR. LOCKHART: No, as Secretary Cohen told you yesterday, the United States has always believed that such an international force, although it could take on additional components, like it has in Bosnia, needs to be led by NATO, and NATO has the command structure to run such a force that we would have confidence in.
Q Could we just go back to the John Kerrey thing for one minute so we don't leave the impression that Kerrey was misrepresenting what the President said. Kerrey said he didn't rule in, he didn't explicitly rule anything out, but he was willing to do what was necessary to achieve the goals. Is that a fair representation?
MR. LOCKHART: That's a fair representation, that's a fair representation of what the President has said all along, and as the President said all along, he is highly confident we can reach these goals through air power alone.
Q No, that's not what Kerrey said. He said he's willing to do what's necessary to reach the goals. He didn't say restricting himself to air power alone.
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President --
Q Did Kerrey not understand him?
MR. LOCKHART: Let me tell you what the President's views are, rather than get into whether someone understands or doesn't understand. The President has said that he can meet the objectives laid out, the military objectives through the air campaign that's ongoing and he has no intention of introducing ground troops.
Q If he turns out he's wrong, is everything else still on the table, as these senators are reporting?
MR. LOCKHART: The President is highly confident that this campaign will work.
Q Did the President make any comparisons to the air war during the Gulf War and the air war over Yugoslavia?
MR. LOCKHART: He may have, but that wasn't reported to me.
Q -- the KLA, is that under consideration?
MR. LOCKHART: Sorry?
Q Arming the KLA was brought up in the meeting. Is that under consideration?
MR. LOCKHART: Yes, I think Senator McConnell has talked about that and expressed those views, as I understand it, in the meeting. It's not something that we agree with. Our policy now is focused on getting the Serbs, their military and paramilitary forces, out of Kosovo, reducing the level of violence there, and not arming the KLA.
Q So there's no chance that you might change that policy?
MR. LOCKHART: Our policy's our policy.
Q Joe, on the emergency supplemental --
Q Anything on China? Anything new on China? Any progress on trade issues after last week's visits?
MR. LOCKHART: There may be some discussions as we move through this afternoon, and when I'm in a position to talk about that, we will.
Q On the emergency supplemental on Kosovo, do you anticipate taking that out of existing spending, or out of the budget surplus?
MR. LOCKHART: Those discussions are ongoing between OMB and the Appropriations Committee. I think they'll be meeting over the next couple days, and --
Q But, Joe, the President called it an emergency supplemental, so --
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I expect that some of this will be emergency, but I can't tell you before OMB goes up and has the discussions how this will all be done.
Q Do you expect that the President's request will go up this week?
MR. LOCKHART: I wouldn't rule out that it would go up before the end of the week.
Q Joe, can you tell us about the meeting tonight with the President of the Spanish government?
MR. LOCKHART: Yes, I can. The President I think will spend some time expressing his appreciation and support for Spain's solidarity within NATO for the air campaign that's ongoing. Spain has provided F-16s, a C-130 tanker, full access to bases, and help on the humanitarian front.
The President appreciates President Aznar's personal leadership in this matter. And I think the meeting will be a chance for both leaders to take stock of the campaign to date and look forward into the future.
I think there will be some discussion of the upcoming NATO summit. As you all remember, Spain hosted a successful NATO -- the last NATO summit. So I think the President is looking forward to getting his views on some of the last-minute work that's going into the summit. And I think there will be some discussion on issues of bilateral concern -- the Mediterranean region, Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara, and also Latin America.
Q Joe, on the census issue, quickly. This alternative to sampling seems to be much more expensive than what you'd already planned, especially the mailing to every home three times information about the census.
MR. LOCKHART: Our view on this has been that we ought to have the best count we can. What we're afraid of with some of the alternatives is that we not only get a less reliable count, but it is more expensive.
Q Do you know how much more expensive it is?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't have the individual bills priced out, but I know that it's in excess of billions of dollars. And it's kind of hard to explain to those who haven't followed this, but you're asking to spend billions of extra dollars on a count that you know isn't as good as the one you could do for less, so it's just something peculiar to Washington.
Q Does the President have confidence that his fellow members of the Arkansas Bar will not disbar him, or does he have no such confidence as signaled by your no comment or referral elsewhere?
MR. LOCKHART: If he's discussed that, he would have discussed it with his private lawyer, not with me.
Q Joe, could you have attended the meeting this morning, would you have been allowed to?
MR. LOCKHART: Could have, sure.
Q Why didn't you?
MR. LOCKHART: I went for just a very short time, stuck my head in and then went to work on some other things, but got a pretty detailed readout from staffers who were in there and a couple of the members.
Q Joe, after his meeting with some of the leaders last night and at this expanded meeting today with key members from the relevant committees, does the President feel that Congress is really trying to work with him on this, that they're not trying to take cheap shots, they're not trying to score political points, that the Republicans are really trying to be helpful in this?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President came out, and in my discussion with him afterward, came out with exactly that view, that there was strong bipartisan support for continuing on this air campaign, for continuing to keep NATO together as a strong, vital organization, for continuing to express support for the front line states, for working on this humanitarian crisis that we have that NATO has worked so strongly together on.
There were clearly some specific issues where there are different views on, but overall, the President is very encouraged with the support members have given, both on the floor through their resolutions and in private in meetings like this.
Q In the past, the President has characterized the events of the past year as being driven by politics and partisanship. Does he have the same view about the contempt citation now by Judge Wright?
MR. LOCKHART: The President's private attorney, Mr. Bennett, is handling this, so I haven't discussed it with him.
Q Could you elaborate a little bit on what you told me about China? Are there meetings going on this afternoon?
MR. LOCKHART: I will make information available to you once I had it. I think there may be some discussions this afternoon which had not commenced when I came out here.
Q Bring on Barry.
MR. LOCKHART: I'll let you know.
Q The White House has repeatedly -- you have repeatedly said from that podium that the President believes that he told the truth under oath. The Judge has now said he did not on two specific issues. Does the President still believe he told the truth --
MR. LOCKHART: I don't believe the President has changed his view.
Q USA Accounts. Are these an entitlement or are they officially now a tax cut?
MR. LOCKHART: They are officially a tax cut. There you go.
Q When you say you don't believe the President has changed his view, I mean, what does that mean?
MR. LOCKHART: I haven't asked him if he's changed his view, but I don't believe he's changed his view.
Q That means he thinks the Judge is wrong.
MR. LOCKHART: If you've got questions about that, ask his attorney.
Q His attorney is not available, Joe.
Q His attorney is not answering questions.
MR. LOCKHART: Thank you.
Q You're welcome.
MR. TOIV: Hi.
Q What are they going to do with the money they're getting back?
MR. LOCKHART: They're going to keep it right here at the U.S. Treasury to pay for their -- yes, they're rolling it over for next year's taxes.
Q Barry, there's no royalties from Mrs. Clinton's second book, "Dear Buddy, Dear Socks." None were received last year, or they made a gift of the copyright?
MR. TOIV: No. What they -- I'm not sure of the technical term for what they did, but they way she structured this book is that the royalties go straight to the National Park Foundation, which is the foundation associated with the National Park Service. And all of the royalties are going straight there. It doesn't pass through her hands at all, so that there's no tax implication and you won't see it on the tax return.
Q Do you how much those --
MR. TOIV: That's a good question. I don't know the answer to that. I'll see if I can find that out.
Q In terms of their charitable contributions on -- we won't get, as we usually don't get, details of who they gave the money to?
MR. TOIV: Right. I checked with the First Lady's Office on the book. There won't be a list, certainly, of the other contributions. The contributions that result from "It Takes A Village" generally go to charities that affect children -- children's hospitals and other such charities.
I don't think they've released a list of those charities in the past. They have done it twice? Okay. I think they've done it sometimes and not done it other times. I would suggest you check with the First Lady's press office to see if they're going to do it this year.
The other charities, though, that they also contribute to are such things as churches, the alma maters, colleges, law schools, et cetera. And that's what the other contributions are for. There won't be a list of those.
Q Of the $161,000 that they gave to charity, how much of that was income -- was from the book, and how much is giving to other institutions just out of their own pocket?
MR. TOIV: $80,000 in contributions this year are from the book; $12,000 are the PIN money proceeds -- the $12,000 in PIN money proceeds that the First Lady receives every year. And then there is the $60,000-some that was rolled over from last year, that they could not use last year because the level of charitable contributions were beyond the amount that you can deduct in any one year. And then there is -- I think if you do all the subtraction, there is something over $7,000 in additional contributions that were made.
I've been asked to announce that Vjosa Dobruna, who is the Director for the Center for Protection of Women and Children, and Aferdita Kelmendi, who is the Director of Radio-TV 21 in Pristina, are going to be at the stakeout.
Q Barry, the Clintons reported very substantial short-and long-term capital gains for last year. Does this reflect cashing in assets to pay for the Paula Jones case?
MR. TOIV: We would have no way of knowing the answer to that right now. As you know, it's a blind trust and the Clintons do not see any specific actions taken by the blind trust. I would -- but as you know, a portion of the settlement was made out of the Clintons' blind trust. I would remind you that that took place in 1999.
Q -- is that from last year?
MR. TOIV: Yes, that results from book royalties, right.
Q And this is all "It Takes A Village" --
MR. TOIV: Yes. Well, this isn't -- $80,000 this year is "It Takes A Village" book royalties. In addition to the carryover.
Q So the total from book royalties is really more like $140,000.
MR. TOIV: Yes. I wouldn't want to double-count it from last year, though. I mean, the contributions that roll over, those contributions were made last year. But the deduction -- part of the deduction had to be rolled over to this year.
Q Barry, have there been any audit changes -- as a result of IRS audits, were there any changes to any of the President's tax returns since he took office?
MR. TOIV: I'll have to check on that. I'm not aware of any, but I don't know.
Q Do they continue to file as Arkansas residents, Washington, D.C. residents, for state income tax purposes?
MR. TOIV: That's correct.
Q And the $22,545, that's a lot of state and local taxes. That is Arkansas, all Arkansas?
MR. TOIV: Yes, it's all Arkansas.
Q So, Barry, you would then consider that we should report their charitable contributions for this year as $99,000 not as $161,000?
MR. TOIV: Yes, that would be accurate.
Q Barry, the press release refers to an income tax of $89,951. I just want to make sure that -- don't you mean $79,480, because $10,000 --
MR. TOIV: In addition to self-employment tax, and --
Q Is federal tax, Medicare and Social Security.
MR. TOIV: Yes.
Q Now, the Clintons paid the alternative minimum tax --
MR. TOIV: Yes they did.
Q -- which the Republicans have been railing about at some length. Does the President have any view about the fact that he became subject this year to that tax?
MR. TOIV: Well, as you know -- as you can see from the tax return, I think the Clintons would consider themselves to be in the high range of incomes, and I don't think that the President has a concern about the impact of the alternative minimum tax on taxpayers such as himself.
Our own budget does contain some provisions to address the issue of the impact of the alternative minimum tax on some other taxpayers who the Congress probably did not intend to be affected by the alternative minimum tax. And we'll certainly be looking at that issue. But I don't think that he would relate that problem to the fact that he is required to pay it this year.
Q Barry, two specific questions. The $100,329 that this listed as taxable refunds for offsets of state and local income, is all of that from the Arkansas?
MR. TOIV: Yes, it is. That's all refund from last year's taxes.
Q And the second question, it lists $8 in income from rental, real estate royalties partnerships, yada yada yada. What exactly is that from?
MR. TOIV: That's from a couple odds and ends. One is income from Midlife Investments, $5 of royalties for Midlife Investments, which was the investment they made a long time ago in some sort of TV-movie project which I've never been able to find out the name of and which pays very, very minor royalties each year. I'm informed that this is probably the last year that that will happen, so they're going to have to find another source of income, I suppose. Then, there's $3 of other income from the PIN money fund.
Q And so he earned nothing last year from reruns of Arsenio Hall?
MR. TOIV: That's correct. You would have seen that reflected in California. There would have been a little bit of state tax in California and there isn't this year.
Q They paid about 17 percent of their adjusted gross income in taxes. How does that compare with what the average American taxpayer pays?
MR. TOIV: That is a fair question. I don't know the answer to that. I would say, though, that their tax situation is highly unusual because of the large amount of charitable contributions that they make because of the book -- the way it's all structure. It's probably an unusual situation, so I wouldn't -- it would be hard to make comparisons. So -- but I actually don't know how it compares to the average taxpayer.
Q Barry, given that the Clintons made -- or, Mrs. Clinton, anyway, made this change in handling the royalties from this book and, therefore, they didn't pay twice as much as they needed to pay, as occurred last year, do you know anything about the reasoning that went into that?
MR. TOIV: Well, you and I will continue to disagree on that point. With respect to -- I know that last year you were accusing them of paying too much in taxes, which is a little unusual. But when she wrote "It Takes A Village," the First Lady felt very strongly about being able to distribute the proceeds among a number of charities that could help children in a lot of different ways around the country.
When it came to this book, she made the decision that she wanted to help the National Parks Foundation, which is a foundation that is associated with the National Park Service and which helps the Park Service to keep up a lot of the historic and other properties that they maintain around the country, not the least of which is this building right here, the White House and its grounds, and also everything from national parks to other historic buildings that they maintain. I think there's a certain amount of relationship to the millennium as well, the whole effort to restore these --
Q So the motive here was not to maximize the gift to charity and minimize the tax?
MR. TOIV: No. The motive had everything to do with where she wanted the money to go and nothing to do with the issue that you have raised.
Q Barry, one other thing. The income that Mrs. Clinton reports of $74,289 -- is all of that from "It Takes A Village"?
MR. TOIV: Yes. And why is that not the same as $80,000? Yes, because -- simply because the amount of money that comes in each year is not exactly the amount of money that is contributed to charity. This year, there was some left over from last year, so that the difference is some of the amount that was still in the fund from last year and it was contributed this year.
Q May I say, Barry, that you are very well prepared and unusually forthright. (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: Deborah still has a question, though, Lester. Thank you for trying to close the briefing, but --
Q If you were calculating, would you -- employment tax should be counted as part of his income tax or a separate calculation?
MR. TOIV: Well, David raised a fair point, and that is that technically that is not income tax. And if you -- when you and I --
Q We had this conversation --
MR. TOIV: Okay. Well, then the rest of the country will have to do without it.
END 2:50 P.M. EDT