Quote of the Day:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. –famous definition, variously attributed
In an editorial headlined “Hope without Change,” the Wall Street Journal makes it clear that Mrs. Clinton intends to do the same thing that Barack Obama has done but that somehow the results will be different.
Given the report the morning after the Democratic convention that the economy grew by only 1.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, it’s easy to understand why she might want different results.
And how does Clinton propose to make economic growth better? Why to do the same thing President Obama has been doing:
The Democratic establishment has responded [to slow economic growth] by amplifying the same preoccupation with inequality that contributed to the inertia. Rather than the growth that allows everyone to rise, Democrats have doubled down on redistribution economics, high taxation and heavy regulation.
Mrs. Clinton’s project is even more progressive than Mr. Obama’s. Believe it or not, there are still subsidy gaps in the cradle-to-grave entitlement state, and this is a candidate who regularly talks about the programs she wants to create for “ages 0 to 5.”
A partial list includes another burst of spending allegedly earmarked for public works; wage controls for higher federal minimum, overtime, family leave and “equal” pay; a right to child care; “free” college; a Medicare-like public health insurance option and administrative prices for new drugs; and nearly doubling the top tax rate on long-term capital gains to 43.4% from 23.8%. Anyone who thinks these policies will get better results than 2007-2016 hasn’t paid attention.
Much of this could be blocked if the GOP holds the House. But Congress would matter less than it once did because Mrs. Clinton will attempt to govern through executive fiat as Mr. Obama has. In May she promised to extend the President’s partial suspension of immigration law—blocked by the Supreme Court—to all illegal aliens “with sympathetic cases if Congress refuses to act.”
The courts could stop some of this lawlessness, though they are increasingly stocked with progressive jurists who vote their political preferences. The Supreme Court will soon follow if Mrs. Clinton takes the White House.
Some of Mrs. Clinton’s centrist supporters, and those who flinch from Mr. Trump, have convinced themselves she’d lead pragmatically, whatever her liberal campaign promises. Shrewdly, Mrs. Clinton is evoking the prosperity of the 1990s to win over such hope-over-experience voters.
But Bill Clinton ran as a centrist after the left had been chastened by three straight presidential defeats. Yet even then, in his first two years, Mr. Clinton raised income taxes and tried to impose a fossil fuels BTU tax and HillaryCare that Mrs. Clinton managed as “co-President.” Her core political beliefs run closer to Mr. Obama’s than to the New Democrats of the 1990s.
. . .
Notwithstanding her invocation of optimism Thursday night, the sour public mood and Mrs. Clinton’s unpopularity mean that to win she will have to run an unremittingly negative campaign that disqualifies Mr. Trump as unfit for the Oval Office. Americans may well decide that he isn’t worth the risk. But though false hope springs eternal, they shouldn’t underestimate the risks of a third Obama-Clinton term.
Politico has an interesting analysis on how Clinton must straddle the divide between “change maker” and Obama heir. It will be challenging.