Monday, October 08, 2007

Review of Hillary Clinton's Economic Plan

As Nomad has pointed out, we at Mod-Blog try to give a balanced point of view. As far as the team goes, I probably lean the furthest right. I saw a headline that caught my attention, "Clinton talks trade policy and mortgages". I was interested, but skeptical, as to what she had to say. Let me say, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Besides our views on abortion being different (which loses my vote right there, given that there are pro-life candidates), there are too many other issues that we disagree on. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that should she be elected president, there are some good things that she says she will do.

Anatomy of Hillary Clinton's economic plan based on the article above and her issues page.

1. Review Trade Deals every five years: This is a good thing. The first thing she wants to review is NAFTA, which Bill Clinton signed. By reviewing our trade agreements, we can help keep our economy in check.

2. Appoint a federal trade enforcement officer and double the size of the U.S. Trade Representative enforcement unit: I haven't heard of us having an enforcement problem, but I lean away from this as Democrats have a tendency to create more government for government's sake.

3. Allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to better help homeowners get off of the adjustable rate mortgages to fixed-rate mortgages: Losing a home must be a completely devastating experience. The mortgage companies played off of our debt-heavy minded society and the longing to own a home to lend money to people in quantities they couldn't afford. While I believe in personal responsibility, there is some fault to the mortgage lenders here as well. Owning a home, in my mind, is part of the American dream and the pursuit of happiness. If we can help people from losing their homes by converting their loan with little cost to the taxpayer, this will make for a more productive economy.

4. Expand the availability of health care: There is a problem with the health insurance system. Making it all a single payer system funded by tax dollars is not the answer.

5. Roll back President Bush's tax cuts: Taxing the rich more is the antithesis of the American dream. Work hard and make a better life for yourself, not work hard and get taxed more.

6. Promote stem-cell research: The only reason I can see for promoting stem-cell research by taking aborted babies is to cement abortion further in as law. Adult stem-cells are where the advances have been and can be taken without killing babies.

7. Bolster organized labor: There was a time and a place for organized labor. In some industries, it may still be the time and place. The problem is that now organized labor has too much power. The workers are enslaved to organized labor who tells them when they can't work because it's not in their "best interest".

8. $50-billion for alternative energy: This is to be provided by repealed tax cuts for the oil industry. Businesses are out to make money. They use that money to pay salaries, among other things. Still, the oil industry and the automotive industry have locked us into their solution and reaped the profits of it. You will find stories of products that have been invented that would cut the oil industry out that get bought up and then put on the shelf to gather dust. Since we can't just "take our money elsewhere", cutting back on the tax cuts of an established "monopoly" we can't get rid of could make sense, so long as the $50-billion was used for viable alternative energy. Nuclear energy works well and I've heard that with advances, it's not even that hard to dispose of anymore. The problem is that many who are anti-oil are also anti-nuclear. We need to realize that anything we do will have an effect, no matter how "green" it is. My favorite example is that if the U.S. went completely wind power, that act itself would cause a rise in temperatures.

9. Reduce the cost of energy and make us energy independent: This depends on point 8. If the money is used wisely, we may find something cheaper. Right now, there isn't a cheaper, viable alternative.

10. Expand access to affordable, high-quality child care: The government should not be raising our kids.

11. Make college more affordable: The one way I've heard that Clinton plans on doing this is by giving each child, when they are born, a $5,000 government bond. First, there's the tax cost of that. Second, we'll have even more people having kids just so they can get their "free" $5,000. Most people, if they work hard enough can at least go to a jr. college / community college. Yes, it's hard work, but that's the American dream: work hard and improve your life.

12. Protect families from predatory lenders and help them avoid foreclosures: This, along with people needing to get away from a heavy-debt mentality will help spur economic growth that we desperately need.

13. Increase the minimum wage / Create good jobs with good wages to expand the middle class: First, this is really a state or even a county issue. What is a good wage in rural Iowa would leave you homeless in San Francisco. Second, raising the minimum wage hurts employers, raises prices, and benefits teenagers more than it does working adults.

14. Balance the federal budget so we don't pass today's massive debts to the next generation: I don't typically associate this idea with the Democrats. I'm in favor of balancing the budget and working to pay it down.

15. Reward savings, protect pensions, and provide greater retirement security: Rewarding saving slows the economy, but protects the American dream. If we can reward saving without hurting the economy even more, I'm all for it.

1 comment:

"Nick" said...

Point 14 seems to be negated by all the other government spending she has in the plan. Even in if you raise taxes, there is no way to pay down the debt and do all the stuff she wants.

Great overview Wedge!