It’s a common adage in politics that candidates veer to the partisan edges of their party’s ideology early to win over the die-hards and get the nomination, then tack to the middle for the general election to reap the moderates. Hillary Clinton seems to be getting an early jump on this strategy, but may have veered so far left that it will doom her come 2016.
It was during a stump speech for Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley last week that Hillary unleashed this jaw-dropping comment: “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” she said. “You know that old theory — trickle-down economics. That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”
Where to begin? It is beyond odd that someone who, along with her husband, fashioned herself in the 90’s as a pro-business, Third Way Democrat is now jumping on the workers-of-the-world-unite bandwagon. It is further evidence that the centrist Democratic Party of JFK is long gone. In order to secure the party’s nomination in the age of Obama, one must spew inanities such as these and pander to those who have been taught to believe that taxpayer-funded birth control is an unalienable right.
Hillary is obviously–or is it shamelessly?–trying to capture some of that socialist pixie dust that has made Elizabeth Warren a rock star to the Occupy Wall Street crowd. The problem is, Hillary has been the personification of the inside-the-Beltway, elitist one-percenter that the Warren acolytes despise. The former Madam Secretary can talk about income inequality ad nauseam, but it is hard to overlook her quarter-million-dollar speaking fees and multiple palatial estates while she’s doing it. This is the economic equivalent of the time she went into a black church and put on what Harry Reid might describe as a “negro dialect”: it comes off phony and calculating, and it will probably resonate with only the most ardent liberal zombies whose votes for the Democrats in 2016 were assured long ago anyway.
The attack on the role of private sector in creating jobs is a successor to Barack Obama’s now-infamous “you didn’t build that” line from the 2012 campaign. To paraphrase Hillary’s attack on Gen. David Petraeus, such thinking requires the willing suspension of disbelief.
Who exactly creates jobs if not corporations and businesses? Surely not the left’s beloved federal government, which has raised corporate taxes to the world’s highest and thrown every regulatory obstacle possible in the private sector’s way. Those with long memories can recall Obama’s endless prattling in his first term about the abundant shovel-ready jobs that would be created once his massive stimulus plan was implemented. Obama got the nearly billion dollars he wanted, but scant jobs materialized.
Dear Leader cynically joked later that “shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” At least in corporations CEOs are fired for this kind of incompetence. In Big Government they get re-elected and take endless taxpayer-funded vacations.
In what universe has trickle-down economics failed spectacularly? If the facts don’t fit the Democrat talking points nowadays, they simply repeat the talking points endlessly and hope most people believe them. During the Reagan era, the time the left closely associates with trickle-down, nearly 20 million more Americans were employed when he left than when the recession ended. Compare that to the stagnant, dreary economic performance under Obama, whose Big Government policies have been as far from trickle-down as possible.
Rather than enact laws to encourage job growth, the Obama White House instead decided to play funny math with the unemployment calculations to create the false impression of job growth.
The GDP growth in the Reagan years was more than double that of the Obama presidency. Median household income jumped more than 10 percent under Reagan. Obama’s policies have barely moved the needle on that metric. Despite the best efforts of the left, the unvarnished truth is that the Reagan policies were a success for most Americans and Obama’s have been a modern-day retelling of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
If she is indeed the Democrats’ nominee in 2016, Hillary will no doubt soften her positions to portray herself as a sensible leader committed to getting America back to work. One can only hope her Republican opponent will be smart enough hold her accountable for these radical comments and tie her at every opportunity to the wreckage of the Obama economy. The left can debate the economic results of the 80s, but the policies of hard left democratic socialism are on display presently in America, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to deny that this is what a spectacular failure looks like.