Monday, October 5, 2015

Hillary Will be Alright


Yes, I can accept this woman as the Democratic party nominee for President in 2016. And as Paul Krugman explained last April, if she's the nominee, you've got to vote for her. On the issues "the differences between the parties are so clear and dramatic that it’s hard to see how anyone who has been paying attention could be undecided even now" as to which party should hold the office.

Brad DeLong has been on board from the beginning. :
[Hillary Clinton] has been a successful Secretary of State, ran an almost-good-enough presidential nomination campaign, and been an effective Senator. And she was an ineffective policy-development presidential assistant back in 1993-1994. That's more experience in more different roles with more success than Barack Obama had had, than George W. Bush had had, than Ronald Reagan had had, than Jimmy Carter had had, and than John F. Kennedy had had when they faced the electorate. That's successful experience in more different roles than Bill Clinton had had. And it's about equal in variety--and greater in success--than George H.W. Bush had had. And it's vastly more than the Republican candidate will have, whoever he [and now we need to add, "or she" ed.]  may be.
DeLong covered Hillary's economic policy speech on July 13, 2015 and was struck by how thorough and reflective of serious work her stated policies are:
"The policies enumerated, listed, and referred to have had serious work done on them: their likely effects have been estimated, and estimated honestly. Their potential implementation paths have been mapped out. [She] knows what she would do come January 2017. ....If you care about competence in government — or even about whether your government sets any form of technocratic competence as even one of its goals — you must vastly prefer Hillary Rodham Clinton to J.E.B. Bush.
That was back when one could still think that Jeb Bush would be the anointed Republican candidate. No more, of course. According to the latest Pew Research polling, Donald Trump (25%) and Ben Carson (16%) continue on top of the Republican heap, followed by Rubio (8%), Fiorina (8%), and Cruz (6%).  None of these are an improvement on Bush when it comes to "being Presidential."

Have you checked out Trump's statement on the issues? It's a caricature of a campaign website to rival his hair. Carson's statement isn't much better.

Here is Hillary Rodham Clinton on economic issues in July 2015; its worth a read (De Long's editing, my numbering and headings):
1.  No More Tax Cuts for the Wealthy: Every candidate talks about the middle class and the American Dream. The question is: how do we do it?... All of the Republicans running for President believe the answer can be found in what they used to call trickle down or supply-side economics.... Cut taxes for those at the top, loosen rules on the financial industry, roll back protections for workers and consumers, and reduce most public investments. Republicans have argued for decades that these steps will create more wealth at the top that will then trickle down to everyone else. And for decades they've been wrong. Their policies contributed to the financial crash that wrecked our economy, turned surpluses into deficits, and led to an unprecedented concentration of wealth and power for those who already have a lot of both.... 
2. Increase Investment in Research, Infrastructure, Clean Energy with Less Red Tape. Today is not 1992, before the Internet Revolution, or 2000, when we had not yet faced the full force of globalization.... Today is not 2008 or even 2012.... We're not yet running the way America should.... You may have heard Governor Bush say last week that Americans just need to work longer hours. Well, he must not have met very many American workers. Let him tell that to the nurse who stands on her feet all day or the trucker who drives all night. Let him tell that to the fast food workers marching in the streets for better pay. They don’t need a lecture--they need a raise.... 
Today I am proposing a different path.... 
If we can get closer to full employment, employers will have to compete with each other to hire workers....We need to... dramatically increase investments in the engines of growth... funding scientific and medical research... establishing an infrastructure bank... investing in faster broadband networks... making America the word's clean energy superpower... cutting unnecessary red tape... reviving the Export-Import Bank...
3. Preventing Exploitation by Monopolies; Making College Affordable. [P]reventing bigger businesses from exploiting market concentration and political influence... mak[ing] college more affordable and accessible... break[ing] down barriers so more Americans can join the workforce--especially women....

4. Quality Day Care. Nearly half of all working parents with young children in this country have passed up a job because it conflicted with family obligations. They also show that the expansion of family-friendly policies in other countries, including paid leave, explains nearly one-third of our comparative decline in women's labor force participation. We can't afford to leave talent on the sidelines, but that's exactly what we're doing. So it's time to make quality, affordable childcare more available to families... earned sick days and fair scheduling.... 
5. Promote Fairer Growth. Beyond stronger growth, we also need fairer growth.... The reason everyday Americans aren't being rewarded the way they should isn't because they aren't working hard enough or long enough.... Expanded profit sharing would put more money directly into the pockets of workers, boost bottom lines, and give everyone a stake in the company's success.... We also have to raise the minimum wage and implement President Obama's new rules on overtime. Crack down on wage theft and misclassification.... 
Senior executives or hedge-fund managers shouldn't ever pay a lower tax rate than any nurse or a teacher... closing the carried interest loophole... support[ing] the so-called Buffett Rule... strengthening the hand of employees to organize and bargain collectively.... Republicans like Scott Walker and Chris Christie have made their names stomping on workers' rights... I'll fight back against these mean-spirited, misguided attacks, and defend Americans' right to organize.... 
6. Reward Long Term Investment. Too much of our economy has become focused on making a quick buck instead of building real value. You actually hear this from a lot of frustrated CEOs... desperate to escape the tyranny of the quarterly earnings report.... I will propose a plan to reform capital gains taxes to reward longer-term investments that create jobs rather than short-term trading.... Companies like Trader Joe's and QuikTrip have prospered by paying higher wages that yield higher productivity and better service....

7. Tackle Financial Reform. Nowhere will the shift from short-term to long-term be more important than on Wall Street.... Republicans in Congress... have slipped deregulatory provisions into must-pass bills, allowing the biggest banks once again to engage in risky activities with complex financial instruments. And they have committed to defunding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.... As President, I will fight back against these attacks and defend the reforms we've made.... Too many financial institutions are still too big, too complex, and too risky. And the problems aren't limited to the big banks that get all the headlines.... 
8. Tackle Rising Health Care Costs. I will propose ways that we can get rising health costs under control, which is one of the key drivers of our long-term deficits, so that our fiscal outlook is sustainable...
So she gets it on the economy. There is the matter of implementing policy, which is easier said than done. Just ask Obama. But (1) no more tax cuts for the rich--as the Republican candidates are advocating--is doable with a veto; (2) increased investment in infrastructure, basic research, and clean energy is a sustained ongoing task, but a president who can forcefully and clearly articulate the issues, is well connected, and has lots of experience, will be in the best position to push Congress in the right direction; I'll put my money on Hillary for this; (3) fighting monopoly power and making college affordable requires Congress and Hillary can put pressure on Congress for this as well as anyone; (4) quality and affordable child care will need Congress to act, but Hillary is as  good a champion on this as we'll find; (5) promoting fairer growth is not something a President can snap her fingers and get done, but I think Hillary gets the importance of it; give her a grass roots movement and she can run with it; (6) changing tax rules to reward longer term investing is another issue that requires a grass roots movement to motivate Congress; if we can build that movement, I think Hillary will help; (7) same with financial reform; I see no other candidate who would be more effective carrying this issue forward; (8) Hillary has been around the block on health care: as an unsuccessful presidential advisor, as a senator, and from inside the Obama administration; she has more experience  how best to keep Congress working to improve our healthcare system than anyone.

Hillary makes me nervous on foreign policy. I think her instincts are too hawkish as reflected in her vote in support of the second Iraq war, and her advocacy of more forceful action in Syria. Conor Friedensdorf, writing in the Atlantic, wonders whether Clinton's sharp rhetoric on foreign policy is primarily a difference in verbal temperament, or a harbinger of more unpleasant, destrucive, and expensive foreign entanglements if she becomes president.

There is no doubt, however, that Hillary is far more experienced (and knowledgeable) on foreign policy than anyone else running for president. She seems to believe that the U.S. is an indispensable nation to the world order, but unlike the neoconservatives of the George W. Bush administration, she does believe in diplomacy.

I'm betting Hillary Clinton will be alright. She has my support.

You can Read DeLong's explanation HERE. You can follow me on Twitter HERE.

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