Question: What’s the difference between Hillary Clinton and Chairman Mao?
Answer: Hillary’s little book, supporting class warfare while attacking personal, political, and economic liberty, doesn’t have a red cover.
In her recently re-tooled “Economic Blueprint for the 21st Century,” Hillary Clinton offers “Solutions for America” which anyone other than the most die-hard of liberals would see as a recipe for economic disaster.
Senator Clinton has frequently used a telling phrase when discussing economics: “Shared prosperity.” On January 24, introducing her “blueprint,” Clinton said that she has “a vision for a twenty-first century economy based on shared prosperity. Where we measure our success not by the wealth at the very top but by how broadly wealth is shared.”
Sound familiar? How about, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” No, that’s not from an earlier Clinton speech. Just one of her apparent policy forebears: Karl Marx. To accomplish this economic Kumbaya, Clinton proposes a wide range of new spending, taxes, and regulations.
Some of the lowlights outside of the spending proposals include:
• Freezing rates on sub-prime adjustable-rate mortgages for at least 5 years.
• Extracting $50 billion from “large oil companies” and drug companies.
• Calling a “time out” for new trade agreements, and “reviewing” existing agreements every five years.
• Lowering from 50 to 25 the number of employees that a company must have to be forced to give employees 12 weeks of “job-protected leave” for new parents or people who need to deal with a personal or family illness.
• Giving “working and middle class families” up to $1,000 in matching tax cuts for their 401(k) contributions.
• And although it’s not mentioned in the document, Hillary is of course against the continuation of the Bush tax cuts, so she effectively supports what would likely be the largest tax increase in the nation’s history.
Then there’s the spending:
• A $30 billion foreclosure assistance and education fund
• An average of $650 in energy assistance to 37 million families ($24 billion)
• A $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund
• $440 million for job training programs
• $1 billion annually toward a “Family Leave Innovation Fund”
• An undefined plan to “invest” in such things as clean energy and “green collar jobs.”
And finally, Hillary’s signature issue, Health Care:
• Socialized medicine which will, like the current SCHIP plan, encourage people to stop paying for private insurance and take the government’s “free lunch,” creating an unfunded liability for the government which will make Social Security seem like a drop in an ocean of red ink. She does not (and dare not) state the cost.
It’s like she said last year: “I have a million ideas. The country can’t afford them all." Actually, we can’t afford any of her economic ideas.
Hillary Clinton has, in her quest for the Democratic nomination, abandoned any pretense of being a moderate. Indeed, her oratory is even more laden with leftist and class warfare language than is her printed manifesto (to mix communist document metaphors). Prior to her being crushed in the Wisconsin primary, Clinton called for “tax breaks for the middle class, not the wealthy and the well-connected.” Surely Mrs. Clinton knows that the tax code is, after the Bush tax cuts, the most “progressive” it’s ever been; the “middle class” is paying a lower share of total income tax collections than ever.
In a speech for Wisconsin Founders Day, Clinton said “for me to be your president and for us to reach America’s promise in this century, we also have to agree that shared opportunities and shared prosperity require shared responsibility as parents, as neighbors, as workers, as business and political leaders, as a nation.”
Does anyone doubt what Mrs. “It Takes a Village” means by economic “sharing”? How many Americans would even briefly support “shared responsibility as parents”? The socialism implied in her statements are well outside the American political mainstream, even if within the labor union and MoveOn.org base of the Democratic Party.
Clinton added that she is interested in “not just change for the sake of change, but progress.” Americans should remember that so-called “progressive” government, combined with the disastrous Smoot-Hawley act which crushed America’s free trade, caused the Great Depression to be deeper and longer than it otherwise would have been. This is the sort of “change” and “progress” we will re-live if America elects either of the two current Democratic candidates for President.
The risk is not just to America but to the world from opposition to free trade. According to economist Brian Wesbury, “history shows that free trade has huge benefits to economies that follow it.” Wesbury also points out that opposition to free trade also goes against liberals’ stated interest in reducing poverty: “If we were to reverse the 25-year trend in global free trade, we would set back economic progress everywhere, not just in the US, including progress fighting poverty around the globe.”
Despite Clinton’s having appealed primarily to lower-income voters so far this election season, and even realizing that many voters find her simply repellent, her being so out-front with her economic plans is likely a real factor in her continuing streak of primary and caucus defeats.
This points to a possible weakness for Barack Obama. His speech after the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday night doesn’t show any willingness to add substance to his pretty rhetoric. His risk is that voters may — just may — insist he say more than just chant the word “change” and the “yes we can” slogan cribbed from Hispanic activists.
It is no surprise that volunteer supporters of Barack Obama have a Che Guevara flag in Obama’s Houston office. That only proves that the Democratic candidate’s economic positions appeal to people who long for an economy as good as Cuba’s worker’s paradise.
The task for John McCain will be to prove to the majority of Americans that the Democrats’ positions are antithetical to everything that has made America an economic powerhouse, fueled by the energy of free people and free markets.