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December 13th, 2017

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Should Hillary Clinton find a new song?

Jay Ambrose

By Jay Ambrose (TNS)

Published June 15, 2015

Should Hillary Clinton find a new song?
In their policy views, Republicans keep singing the same old song, one that spells disaster. That’s what Hillary Clinton said during her presidential announcement speech the other day, and then she warbled on about such issues as the minimum wage, unfairness to women, climate change, speech restrictions, the need for more new programs and income inequality — all tunes brand new for Democrats, right?

Wrong. While incredibly ignoring a potential debt crisis knocking thunderously on the door, Democrats are forever pronouncing on these issues, sometimes in a fundamentally misleading way. They then proffer solutions likely to win votes but also to make things worse.

Consider some Clinton-speech examples:

Minimum wage. Clinton wants more jobs for Americans, and who doesn’t? But she also wants a new minimum wage that, if it ended up as high as many are now arguing for, could easily cost millions of people their jobs pretty quickly and then more millions jobs as the years went on; entrepreneurs would find the new businesses they had in mind could not get under way with the costs the government had in mind. There would be benefits to a minimum wage hike, but they would be unimpressive next to the varied costs.

Equal pay for men and women. The progressive line on this is essentially a lie. It would have you think that women make something like 23 percent less than men in the same jobs for the same number of hours worked with the same years of experience. The fact is that men and women are mostly paid differently for freely chosen different jobs and different circumstances. If some company does pay women less for the same work as men, the women can sue. Clinton says differences in pay are an “outrage.” Her demagoguery is the outrage.

Climate change. To hold down greenhouse gas emissions warming the planet, Clinton wants more government-enabled renewable power, which, in some cases in the Obama administration has looked an awful lot like highly expensive crony capitalism as subsidies passed on to big contributors. How about glancing at the free market, which has done a ton more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through natural gas fracking operations than government programs in total? Political fumbles on the climate change issue could do more harm than climate change itself.

Speech restrictions. Clinton worries about big donors “distorting” elections with big money when both sides in fact have their billionaires and research shows that, after a certain threshold is achieved, spending on candidates has little effect on outcomes. The Citizens United Supreme Court case allowing more corporate spending was specifically rebuking a law disallowing a film criticizing Clinton. She is now ready to back a constitutional amendment that could well give Congress power to shut up mouths all over the place. This is an outlandish affront to basic democratic principles.

New programs. Clinton wants the government to do lots and lots of stuff that would cost lots and lots of money, vastly increasing debt that could ultimately crush generations to come if something is not done about it. For instance, she wants an infrastructure bank that would heap debt on the debt we already have. Maybe her proposed tax code rewrite would raise more money, but there’s no tax solution to the debt problem short of economy-wrecking confiscation. What’s needed is what she did not even mention, and that’s slowing down growth of entitlement programs (including Obamacare) already limiting what’s available for other needs, including infrastructure.

Clinton portrayed herself in her speech as a sweet grandma who would nevertheless fight fiercely for the American good. In her estimation, that means taking on the interests of the rich — such as the interests of people like Clinton herself, maybe? She and her famous mate made $25 million last year, but she should not worry that lower economic groups therefore suffered. Income inequality does not make people poorer, as various studies attest. An unanswered debt will.

Clinton should sing a new song.

Jay Ambrose
(TNS)

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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.

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