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It’s the Economy, Hillary!

Earlier this week Sen. Clinton gave what some consider a presidential candidate-type address at the Economic Club of Chicago. Her speech pretty much could be summed up in seven words: Clinton economic policies rule, Bush economic policies stink.

She blasted the administration’s tendency to run up huge budget deficits which weaken the dollar, leaving us beholden to lender countries like China.  Said Hill: “The most basic aspect of infrastructure is getting our economic fundamentals right so that businesses have the level playing field they need to compete.  Instead, we’re running the largest budget deficits in our nation’s history, and we’ve become the world’s largest debtor nation.”

Meanwhile, she was careful to point out that her husband left the presidency with record budget surpluses that have since turned into record deficits.  She did not mention, however, how her husband left a recession which began in the last quarter of 2000, or how President Clinton never had to worry about fighting a costly Cold War or an expensive war against terror. Nor did she note how she has fallen woefully short of her 2000 campaign promise to create 200,000 new jobs in upstate New York, by at least 240,000.

Sen. Clinton claimed that the strong Clinton economy of the 1990s was keyed by deficit-reduction policies, saying that “is why I support pay as you go budget rules that would ensure more discipline as we approach both spending and tax cuts."

In an earlier interview with Al Hunt, Hillary had to admit that “the economy is working really well for many people. And the indicators at the present time…are positive,” but that “if you look just over the horizon and below the surface there are some troubling issues.”  She says that “our failure to get health care costs under control, our failure to have a real energy policy, our fiscal position going into these huge deficits, increasing debt, raising our debt limits, our trade deficit” are raising some “yellow flags, if not some red ones.”

Frankly, it is hard to argue against these points, but whereas Hillary and her Democratic colleagues would mandate more government regulation in areas such as health care and energy costs, Republicans (in theory) would allow the free market to create more opportunities and keep costs down.

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