ClintonGate: Hilary Clinton Planning a Video Game Tax?

Dennis Faas's picture

While U.S. President George W. Bush wages war against the Middle East, New York Junior Senator Hilary Clinton has strapped on her own combat fatigues -- but she's aiming her missiles in a different direction: toward the video game industry.

Last Year

In 2005, Bill Clinton's wife grabbed headlines by launching an over-the-top tirade against video games. She dramatically proclaimed that games are "stealing the innocence of our children and ... making the difficult job of being a parent even harder." (Source:

Despite drowning in a sea of hyperbole, Hilary's 2005 proposal to penalize retailers five-thousand dollars for selling mature-rated games to under-aged children -- while excessive -- did contain some merit. She is correct that young kids should not be exposed to violent, sexual, adult-oriented titles like the Grand Theft Auto series. (However, it should be noted that the movie industry does not face the same scrutiny, even though it's ridiculously easy for children to sneak into inappropriately violent and sexual "R"-rated films).

Video Games: A "Disease"?

In early 2006, Hilary Clinton joined former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee and fellow Senator Joseph Lieberman by demanding that the Centers for Disease Control investigate the "impact of electronic media use" (video games) on children.

A Tax on Games?

With Mrs. Clinton seemingly positioning herself for a run at the U.S. Presidency in 2008, it appears that she has decided to continue her crusade against gaming in the hopes of garnering support -- votes -- from concerned parents.

Brian D. Crecente, a journalist for the Rocky Mountain News and the editor of gaming blog Kotaku, says he has obtained an e-mail from Hilary Clinton's office seeking "volunteers for a new anti-violence in video games initiative."

In other words, Hilary allegedly wants to enlist an army of angry parents to complain loudly about video games to the press. Furthermore, according to Crecente's source, the Junior Senator hopes to "add a special tax to video games" -- similar to cigarette taxes. Even though proceeds from the tax would reportedly go toward a program for troubled minors, that can't be much comfort for diehard gamers whose favorite hobby is under constant attack.

Das Experiment

Even if a video game tax never sees the light of day, Hilary has made it clear that she'll stop at nothing in her attempts to "police" the industry.

In a recent speech for the Kaiser Family Foundation, she referred to video games and other forms of media as a "massive experiment" against kids. (Sources: and

Hilary famously prescribes to the old African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," so it's no surprise that she's not content to sit back and allow parents to monitor their own kids' activities without outside interference from the government or other sources.

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