Hillary Lays Out Her Economic Agenda
by Deacon Blues
Our friends at MSNBC tell us that Hillary is worried about Bernie Sanders, and that he poses a threat to her in the early states. Yet Sanders is doing a service to the Democratic Party, to progressives, and yes, to Hillary Clinton by running a passionate and leftward campaign. But that doesn't mean Hillary needs to parrot Sanders' rhetoric, his tone, or his focus on income redistribution to be an effective and winning candidate in November 2016.
To that end, Hillary gave her answer to Sanders today in a major speech at the New School University in New York City. And what she laid out is a textbook case on how to get where Sanders wants to go without buring down the house, or losing a general election. Unlike Sanders, Hillary focused on women, didn't demonize Wall Street, placed facts and pragmatism ahead of ideological fights, and focused on fairness and growth rather than overt income redistribution. She also mentioned the GOP opponents by name and went after their failings, which always helps, and correctly pointed out that Democrats always seem to be cleaning up after trickle-down economics.
But before her MSNBC critics and other Bernie supporters trash her speech today for not being enough like Sanders' white-hot approach, they should pay attention to what she's saying rather than how she's saying it.
--Rather than focus on income redistribution, she focuses on the need for a "growth and fairness economy";
--She wants "less red tape, easier access to capital, tax relief and simplification" for small businesses;
--She wants to redirect tax incentives from offshoring jobs towards job creation back home;
--She called for comprehensive immigration reform as an engine of growth;
--She once again called for a public/private infrastructure bank;
--She called for greater investments in R&D and renewable energy;
--She insisted on more family-friendly policies so women can participate more in the economy;
--She supported "defending and enhancing Social Security", and increasing the minimum wage;
--As for trade, she supports agreements that "create jobs, raise wages and advance our national security."
--She wants to find "ways to encourage companies to share profits with their employees";
--She wants to make "sure millionaires do not pay lower rates than their secretaries";
--She wants to stop American companies from reincorporating overseas to escape US taxation;
--She argued that strong unions and collective bargaining could reduce income inequality for white males, a smart move;
--She wants economic incentives shifted from short-term gains towards long-term growth, disdaining "quarterly capitalism";
--She openly pokes Obama's DOJ by wanting to criminalize financial misdeeds;
--She wants to go beyond Dodd-Frank with more regulatory oversight of the "shadow banking system";
--She wants the federal government to "be a better partner to cities, states and the private sector':
And she closed with a call for the federal government to be more focused on long-term investments than short-term politics. Yet even after this long list of items in her agenda, some still chose to overlook most of it for being without detail.
The truth is that Sanders’ passion and crowds are actually helping Hillary. He is the energizer of the base, but doesn't have the burden of actually being electable. She nonetheless needs to anchor her appeal to the millions who agree with Sanders' message that they've been left behind by four decades of a "me first" economy, but she's showing him and the rest of the electorate how to do so without pitchforks.