The Dilemma Faced By Hillary Supporters
What Do Hillary Clinton Speeches Reaveal abut her goals as President?
Though the Democrats have not yet officially chosen who will run on the top of their ticket in presidential election 2008, there is absolutely no doubt Hillary Clinton will get the nod at the Democratic National Convention late next August in Denver, Colorado.
The boring and meaningless primary between John Edwards, Barrack Obama and Mrs. Clinton continues to slog on, gathering about as much interest as a "My Mother the Car" marathon at a MENSA meeting. Having been a foregone conclusion for 8 years, the only miniscule bit of suspense left for the Democrats lies not in who the presidential candidate will be, but if the former First Lady will pick Senator Obama as her running mate.
Once the junior senator from New York officially becomes the Democrat's candidate, the voters who are normally inclined to vote Democrat will be faced with the dilemma of choosing between the policies Mrs. Clinton is running on and the policies Mr. Clinton helped implement during his presidency.
Bill Clinton and Free Trade
Chief amongst these policies would be the issue of free trade. President Clinton was a great champion for free trade. He and Vice President Albert Gore Jr. were brilliant in selling the virtues of the NAFTA and GATT free trade agreements to the American people. Then, they were resolute when they stood up against most of their party in getting these agreements made into law.
Who could ever forget Al Gore annihilating Ross Perot in a much-ballyhooed debate on the Larry King Show? Gore understood the importance of breaking down trade barriers in order to strengthen the economy while Perot waxed, not so elegantly about the giant flushing sound that would be America's economy going down the toilet if these agreements were made.
Of course, time has proven free trade to be a big winner for our economy as we have had sustained growth in all but just a few quarters since NAFTA and GATT have been implemented.
Indeed, free trade has been very important to the steady growth the U.S. has enjoyed since the late 1930's. Before that time, isolationism had thrown our country into a deep depression and most analysts agree re-erecting trade barriers would bring another depression or at least, a very deep recession.
NAFTA and GATT were not the only trade agreements the Clinton-Gore administration initiated. They put many other successful free trade agreements into motion.
President Bill Clinton was so impressive in drawing up these trade agreements, the Republicans, which was his opposition party, worked hard to grant him fast track authority. Fast track authority allows presidents to make free trade agreements with other countries without worrying congress could filibuster or alter them.
Free Trade and Tax Cuts
When a country reduces tariffs on goods entering its shores, the effect is the same as a tax cut. Reduced tariffs means goods will be purchased at lower prices. A tax cut means a larger part of people's paychecks will be disposable. In either case, the spenders can buy more, the savers can save more and the creators can turn more of their ideas into enterprises. All of these things are vital to growing an economy.
All recent United States Presidents, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush have presided over strong economies for most of their presidencies. Bush-41 would have to get high marks for opening the doors to trade with China. Then, receive an F for being talked into a tax increase by a Democrat congress in 1990. This, as tax increases always do, threw the country into a recession.
The only other recession since that time was a relatively mild one started at the end the Clinton Presidency when the tech stock bubble burst. This recession may have gone on longer and gotten worse, especially since terrorist destroyed our financial center and attempted to ruin us altogether. However, as most economists agree, the George W. Bush led tax cut of 2001 put a halt to the recession and put the economy back on track.
Hillary's Campaign Promises
The problem for Democrats is Hillary Clinton is campaigning against free trade and low taxes. It is her contention free trade exports jobs. This is the pro union rally cry. It is one that is exciting and contagious but not at all well thought out since the unemployment rate was around 7% before the NAFTA and GATT agreements and is now 4.4%.
Mrs. Clinton wants to end the Bush tax cuts as well. This, of course, would be a tax increase. She wants to do this as a way to help balance the budget. She obviously wasn't paying attention when the elder George Bush tried the same maneuver only to have it blow up in his and the country's face.
She also must not have been paying attention to President John Kennedy. When he stumped for tax cuts during his presidency, he noted that the taxes had been increased in order to stifle the runaway growth caused by World War II. He noted that at the time, this was 1961, the country needed to decrease the rate of tax in order to increase the amount of money flowing into the Federal government's coffers.
Perhaps one may forgive Senator Clinton for not having observed the John Kennedy presidency or the elder George Bush presidency or the George W. Bush presidency, but at least, you would think she would have observed her husband's.
Now, Democrats and swing voters alike must decide what they think of Bill Clinton's years in office. Do they approve, or do they completely repudiate them? If their choice falls on the side of repudiation, it will be wise for them to vote for Hillary. However, if they look at the Bill Clinton presidency with fondness, at least when it comes to the economy he presided over, with sound and sober mind, there is no way possible they will be able to pull the Democrat lever.