On Hillary's "Economic Plan"

Just over a month ago on July 6 I had a post on "The Most Important Thing Disqualifying Hillary From The Presidency."   After reviewing Hillary's demonstrated willingness to undermine national security to evade public records laws, I nevertheless concluded that there was something even more disqualifying her from office than abuse of national security, namely that she "has literally no idea how the economy works."

But that was early last month, when we still had to search around for tidbits from one speech or another to try to get an overall picture of what Hillary's economic plan might be.  On Thursday Hillary went to Michigan to deliver her big economic address to lay it all out in one place.  Here is a transcript of the address.  You will not be surprised to learn that the lead New York Times editorial on Friday was an excited paean to the brilliance of Hillary's economic ideas ("Mrs. Clinton's Plan for a Fair Economy").  (Doesn't that really tell you all you need to know?)

So, was I right?  Of course I was right.  The speech is devoid of any recognition that the wealth of society comes from the hard work of free people in the private sector, or that the private sector needs freedom from oppressive government taxation and other meddling in order to do its job.  Instead, in this vision, wealth either magically pre-exists or comes from government initiative, and then the government brings about perfect fairness and justice by an ever-expanding list of handouts and programs that will always work perfectly and never have any downsides.

So let's look at a few specifics.  Like most everyone running for president, Hillary says that her first priority is "creating jobs."  That's up to the private sector, right?  Wrong!

First, which candidate has a real plan to create good-paying jobs? . . .  So let me tell you how we would do that.  I believe every American willing to work hard should be able to find a job that provides dignity, pride and decent pay that can support a family.  So starting on Day One, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.  We will put Americans to work building and modernizing our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our railways, our ports, our airports. . . .  We will also help cities like Detroit and Flint connect underserved neighborhoods to opportunity, expanding affordable housing, and we will repair schools and failing water systems as well. You know, I happen to think we should be ambitious: while we’re at it, let’s connect every household in America to broadband by the year 2020.

So the bulk of "job creation" will come from the government directly hiring people on its own payroll to build things.  Stalin would be proud.  But can't the private sector do anything?  The answer is, maybe a little, as long as it takes its direction from my pals in Washington:

And here’s something that you don’t always hear enough of from Democrats: a big part of our plan will be unleashing the power of the private sector to create more jobs at higher pay. And that means for us, creating an infrastructure bank to get private funds off the sidelines and complement our private investments.

An "infrastructure bank" sure sounds like a taxpayer-backed mechanism for the government to pick the economy's winners and losers.  Or, to put it another way, the private sector will be restricted to crony capitalism.  A government investment bank gets to pick which projects get funding and which do not, and maybe you can get funding if you can win the insiders' favor.  Can there be any doubt that contributions to the Clinton Foundation will have a lot to do with it?  And there are all those wonderful loser operations that could never get off the ground at all without massive government handouts.  "Renewable energy" anyone?

And let’s build a cleaner, more resilient power grid with enough renewable energy to power every home in our country as well. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century and create millions of jobs and businesses. It’s probably going to be either China, Germany, or America. I want it to be us!

But don't businesses that can only exist on government handouts destroy wealth and make the people poorer?  You would think that that would be the first principle that every politician would need to know as the basic qualification for the job.  Well, Hillary hasn't figured it out.

Of course, raising taxes is another central feature of the Hillary program.  Don't worry, none of her proposed tax increases will hit you; these are only for the official bogeymen -- Wall Street, the "corporations," and the "super-rich":

And Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich, should finally pay their fair share of taxes. That’s why I support the so-called ‘Buffett Rule,’ because multi-millionaires should not be able to pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries.  We should also add a new tax on multi-millionaires, crack down on tax gaming by corporations and close the carried interest loophole – something I’ve advocated for years.

I love the part about the "Buffett Rule."  If you have any critical thinking ability at all, do you really think that Hillary will propose a tax that will hit Warren Buffett?  Buffett makes almost all of his money in the form of unrealized capital gains.  Currently those are not taxed at all, and nothing Hillary proposes would tax them.  These are just empty words to deceive the suckers.

And finally, there's the laundry list of programs spending the free money from the infinite government credit card.  Free college!  Student loan forgiveness!  Handouts to everyone for childcare!  Sure, Hillary.

At National Review, Larry Kudlow calls Hillary's plan "insanity."  I'd call that charitable.  The sad news is that Donald Trump's proposals aren't a whole lot better.  But Trump has recently taken on Stephen Moore as his economic advisor, so maybe there is some hope.