Hillary Clinton has taken to the editorial pages of the New York Times to put forth "My Plan for Helping America's Poor." It begins:
The true measure of any society is how we take care of our children. With all of our country’s resources, no child should ever have to grow up in poverty. Yet every single night, all across America, kids go to sleep hungry or without a place to call home.
We have to do better. Advocating for children and families has been the cause of my life, starting with my first job as a young attorney at the Children’s Defense Fund, and if I have the honor of serving as president, it will be the driving mission of my administration.
First off, William Hogarth couldn't have done a better job of painting a bleak and unjust society.
And, second, Mrs. Clinton is concerned with how "we" treat children. She believes that the fate of children depends on government action and liberal-left organizations such as the Children's Defense Fund. It is possible to care deeply about children and not believe either of these things.
Yes, too many children do face homelessness, but that tends to be the result of families that have fallen apart. What children need is not a Clinton presidency and more government but policies that support families and charities to help when families can't make it on their own. Children's fates do not depend on some faceless "we" of bureaucrats but on mothers and fathers. Societies must do everything possible to ensure that the two "we's" who really matter to kids have as much opportunity as possible.
Of course, as one reads, one begins to ask: if things are so damned dark, who's been in charge for the last eight years?
Mrs. Clinton seems to recollect herself a few paragraphs into the article realize that that very question might have occurred to her reader:
The good news is that we’re making progress, thanks to the hard work of the American people and President Obama. The global poverty rate has been cut in half in recent decades. In the United States, a new report from the Census Bureau found that there were 3.5 million fewer people living in poverty in 2015 than just a year before.
Median incomes rose by 5.2 percent, the fastest growth on record. Households at all income levels saw gains, with the largest going to those struggling the most. The census report makes clear that when hard-working Americans get a small boost — like food stamps and health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act — they can climb out of poverty.
But make no mistake: We still have work to do. Families across the country were devastated by the Great Recession.
My bolding–or as the president himself recently said, Thanks, Obama.
Note that what Mrs. Clinton considers "a small boost" for working families–food stamps–most of us consider bad news rather than good news. Receiving food stamps is not a good thing, Mrs. Clinton. I love it that the Affordable Care Act, the biggest job killer in American history, is lumped in with food stamps as a "boost."
It should also be noted that the Great Recession was eight years ago–you know, like a previous president ago–and that traditionally American society had climbed out of recessions, reaching new level or prosperity in their wake, in the past. But this hasn't happened this time. Here's why: crummy policies adopted by the Obama administration.
Mrs. Clinton is correct that jobs are the key to everything. Want to help kids? Create an economy in which their parents can find jobs. But she is clueless as to how to do this:
I will work with Democrats and Republicans to make a historic investment in good-paying jobs — jobs in infrastructure and manufacturing, technology and innovation, small businesses and clean energy. And we need to make sure that hard work is rewarded by raising the minimum wage and finally guaranteeing equal pay for women.
Mrs. Clinton thinks you create jobs by "working with Democrats and Republicans." Actually, you create them by getting Democrats and Republicans out of the way and letting businesses and entrepreneurs go to work.
Raising the minimum wage historically reduces the number of jobs available and furthermore prevents people whose labors are not yet worth $15 an hour to an employer from getting that all-important entry level job.
We're all for equal pay for women and glad that, seemingly unbeknownst to Mrs. Clinton, pay discrimination against women has been illegal for decades. Mrs. Clinton doesn't mention creating jobs for the one group for whom her policies would be an employment bonanza: torte lawyers. Some of the equal pay provisions she loves do absolutely nada for women, unless those women are torte lawyers.
Mrs. Clinton returns to the children:
As president, I will continue my life’s work focused on creating opportunities for children and fairness for families. We need to expand access to high-quality child care and guarantee paid leave so parents at all income levels can balance their jobs and lives. And we will work to double investments in Early Head Start and make preschool available to every 4-year-old because our children deserve the best possible start in life.
Head Start is great–except that there is no evidence whatsoever that it produces any long-term benefits for the kids.
The best way to expand access to high-quality child care is to reduce the needless regulations that make child care prohibitively expensive. Instead, Clinton proposes a complicated system by which a family's spending on child care would be limited to ten percent of its income and government subsidies would be provided to cover the rest.
Donald Trump's plan of reducing unnecessary regulation and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit would provide a straight-forward fix that might actually put some money in parents' pockets and let them make their own decisions about the care of their children.
We're also in favor of parents taking off and having paid leave for family emergencies, but, unlike Mrs. Clinton, we don't want to create yet another government entitlement. We also know that some businesses can afford to do this. But we do have a plan for paid leave that doesn't involve entitlements or making businesses insolvent.
The rest of the column is devoted to proposing more tried and failed liberal policies of the sort we have seen for the last eight years.
What can you say about a woman who views food stamps and the Affordable Care Act as good news?