Poor Hillary Clinton. She's trying so fervently to come up with at least one new and inspiring idea to jump-start a moribund economy and help the financially stressed middle class. But the left's idea cupboard is empty. They have nothing to offer except: tax; spend; spin; hit the button again.
So in her speech on Thursday on the economy, she proposed last week's leftover cold porridge. And it doesn't taste any better today than when President Obama first served it up.
Clinton touted her proposed jobs program, which she has said she will launch "in (her) first 100 days (in office)." Sure. But her former boss Barack Obama has had not 100 but close to 3,000 days to come up with a jobs program. Where are the jobs? Where are the pay raises? Where is the growth?
Clinton is in the awkward position of having to praise the Obama recovery, which has flatlined paychecks; left 94 million Americans outside the labor force; created the biggest deficits and national debt in world history; and has almost half of Americans thinking we are still in a recession or headed into a new one. More than half of Americans think the American dream is no longer attainable. Yet Clinton, with a straight face, complains that Obama doesn't "get the credit he deserves" for the condition of the U.S. economy.
Of course, these actually are good economic times if you are one of those lucky few who can leverage political connections to give $250,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs. Then everything looks peachy.
What is the Clinton agenda exactly? She's touting "bold ideas" such as raising the minimum wage, making rich people pay more taxes and $250 billion more government spending on public works projects to featherbed her union pals.
We've had three minimum wage increases this past decade and countless state and municipalities have gone to as high as $10, $12 or even $15 an hour. This isn't new. Obama has raised income taxes, estate taxes, dividend taxes, capital gains taxes, Medicare taxes, drug and vaccine taxes — all aimed at the rich. Income inequality has gotten worse under Obama.
She also wants free college tuition for the middle class — which just means people will pay for college through their taxes, not their tuition payments. That will obviously drive up college costs, just as the student loans have triggered dollar-for-dollar tuition hikes at major universities. (Donald Trump should declare no more federal aid to any college that has more than a $500 million endowment. The universities have become storehouses of wealth, and it is time they use that money to make their schools affordable.)
On Obamacare she promises to "double-down." Wow. Nearly every single day we get more bad news on Obamacare. It's the Hindenburg of health care. Costs and premiums are rising in many states by double digits. The health care exchanges are going bankrupt. Businesses are restricting hiring and hours worked to get around the law, and insurance companies are dropping out. Just last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that premiums are rising by as much as 18 to 23 percent across the country. This was double the expected 8 percent rise. Other than that, the Affordable Care Act has been a glorious success.
Clinton wants to raise the tax on pass-through small and medium businesses to 45 percent, as well as raising the capital gains tax. These are direct taxes on American employers and the risk-takers who invest in them. And if people are really successful in business and they dare get rich, the government will snatch almost half of their lifetimes' savings in taxes when they die, under Clinton's plan.
What kind of upside-down economic theory tells you that the way to get more jobs is to place higher taxes on the businesses that create the jobs? I have invented a term for this: economic bimbo-ism. Trump needs to make this point over and over: He wants to tax businesses at 15 percent. She wants to tax them at 47 percent. Then ask the American people: Which plan will bring more jobs to America?
The Tax Foundation says that the Clinton tax and economic plan will actually reduce jobs by 300,000 and subtract from our already weakling economic growth rate.
In short: Clinton's economic policies would have us flirting with recession.
Stephen Moore is an economic consultant with Freedom Works and a senior economic adviser to the Donald Trump campaign. To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.