Hillarynomics = Socialism?

By Sun Chenghao, assistant research fellow, Institute of American Studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations

Hillary Clinton is seeking the Democrat Party’s nomination for US President in 2016. She unveiled her economic plan on July 13 at the New School in New York City. To the surprise of no one, there was nothing impressive in the speech. Nevertheless despite stumbling on the campaign trail, she could still win the White House. Yet, she will just be the female version of Obama, making promises of ‘hope and change,’ but never delivering on them. She is claiming that if elected, she would resolve the rising income inequality gap, which millions of Americans care about, although she lives in a huge mansion and her neighbors are Wall Street bankers. Clinton called it, the “defining economic challenge of our time”. A report released by the Brookings Institution in March 2015 concluded that from 2002 to 2013, the incomes of most households in the U.S. stagnated or declined. The median U.S. household earned $51,939 in 2013, 9 percent drop from $56,900 in 1999. Yes, the income inequality gap has widened under a Democrat Party president in the White House.

Clinton pledges to raise the minimum wage when she said “If you work hard, you ought to be paid fairly. So we have to raise the minimum wage and implement President Obama’s new rules on overtime.” However, she rakes in hundreds of millions of US dollars in campaign donations, but forces most of her staff to work for free or significantly below the current minimum wage scale. The other measures she mentioned include encouraging employers to offer higher wages, better benefits and share profits with workers, protecting the Affordable Care Act to lower out-of-pocket health care costs and to make prescription drugs more affordable, defending and enhancing Social Security to make it easier to save for the future, reforming tax code to give hard-working families tax relief and simplification and making sure millionaires, such as herself, pay appropriate rates, and supporting a bigger role played by unions to boost wages.

Meanwhile, Clinton offers no innovative answers to create more American jobs. She had simply copied-and-pasted Obama’s jobs platform by encouraging new businesses to invest in clean energy. Small business, which is creating more than 60 percent of new American jobs, should be offered easier access to capital, tax relief and simplification. Just like Obama, she pledged to cut taxes, but if elected she is likely to raise taxes just as Obama had done after entering the White House.

Despite her deep ties with big Wall Street donors, Clinton said, “I will offer plans to rein in excessive risks on Wall Street and to ensure that stock markets work for everyday investors, not just high frequency traders and those with the best – or fastest – connections.” Tackling the excesses of Wall Street, appear laughable considering that she lives a luxurious lifestyle, even though she claimed she was ‘dead broke.’. She targeted HSBC, for “allowing drug cartels to launder money” and “there can be no justification or tolerance for this kind of criminal behavior”. Yet the rhetoric is not convincing at all, if we take the financial connections between HSBC and the Clinton Foundation into consideration. The bank has donated between $500, 000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to reliable sources.

Hillarynomics is just Socialism, endorsed by the Far-Left members of the Democratic Party, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It’s only a continuation of the Obama administration’s economic policies.

The political significance of the speech outweighs its economic implications, because low information voters in the US are enamored with celebrities. Clinton mocked former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who argued Americans needed to work longer hours to increase wages, by saying that “he must not have met very many American workers … They don’t need a lecture, they need a raise.” She also criticized Senator Marco Rubio’s tax plan and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who had just announced his run on Monday, for stomping on workers’ rights.

Hillarynomics provides few details and novelties It merely depicts a general economic plan to draw contrasts with her campaign rivals, both right and left, as well as her former boss, Obama. “We can’t go back to the old policies that failed us before. Nor can we just replay previous successes. Today is not 1993 or 2009.” In other words, she just told the world that her husband, Bill Clinton, who entered the White House in 1993, had “failed” the American people. Perhaps, this would explain why her husband no longer accompanies her at campaign events.