Hillary is on the defensive about her economic record, especially her 2000 campaign pledge to produce 200,000 new jobs for upstate New York during her first term.
Six years ago, she called the issue of upstate jobs "the most important issue in this race," and her promise seemingly broke open what was a very close race with Rick Lazio. But truth be told, upstate New York has lost about 35,000 jobs since she took office, which is kind of sad considering that the overall economy has, under President Bush, created nearly 5 million jobs just since August 2003. Naturally, Hillary has placed the blame elsewhere, mostly on the state government (fair enough) and the Republican-controlled Congress. However, all the latter has done is support pro-business efforts such as tax cuts, reducing regulations and energy costs, giving small businesses the opportunity to provide health care for their employees and tort refom — most all of which Sen. Clinton has opposed, and all of which has contributed to the excellent economic growth noted above.
Hillary told an upstate paper that she is "not satisfied" with job "growth" in the area thus far, and that "There’s more we need to do." The paper couldn’t help but list several projects that Hillary has brought home the bacon to support, including "millions of dollars in federal aid for [a] $230 million project — which calls for a performing arts center, bus terminal and community college campus on East Main Street" in Rochester. This taxpayer-subsidized pork is all well and good, but it’s still a pale substitute for sound economic policies that would encourage entrepreneurship and the free-market.
One question that the media has not asked Hillary is why, if the 1990s Clinton economy was so great, was there even the need for Hillary to promise to create all these jobs in the first place?
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