Alexander's Column

Hilrya Rodhamovich Clintonov's economic plan

By Mark Alexander · Jun. 1, 2007

(See the Clinton “Civics 101” lesson appended below this essay…)

“It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people….” –Adam Smith

Demo-gogue presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave a little-noticed stump speech in Manchester, New Hampshire, this week. It received little media attention but should've sent up countless red flags.

By now, all of us know about Clinton's re-warmed plans for socializing medicine, regulating healthcare services and providers and centralizing government control of about ten percent of the U.S. economy.

This week, however, Clinton went national with her classist “it takes a village” model, claiming that free-enterprise Capitalism is the root of all evil.

In a speech on “shared prosperity,” she proclaimed that it's time to replace the conservative notion of an “ownership society” and economy with one based on communal responsibility and prosperity, alleging that the current system is really an “on your own” society that increases the income gap between “poor” and “rich” Americans.

Now, if Clinton is implying that individual initiative, self-reliance, responsibility and ingenuity – the very foundation of free enterprise – are the keys to creating wealth, then she is right. If she is implying that dependence upon the state and redistribution of income creates poverty, then she is right here, too – but that was not her message.

“I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society,” she went on. “I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

In a quintessential example of Clintonista doublespeak, Hillary outlined her economic fairness doctrine: “There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets, but markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed. Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies.”

So, according to Ms. Clinton, free markets work best when they're constrained by the right government policies. In other words, free markets work best when they're not free.

Apparently Hillary has also been smoking Fidel's hand-rolled cigars. How else are we to account for her failure to recall that centralized economies, like that of the former Soviet Union, are doomed to fail and have cost millions of lives along the way?

Of course, Clinton's allusion to “rules” is Demo-code for taxation, which, as we know, is often the forcible transfer of wealth from one group to another. This taxation, in turn, creates reliable political constituencies for Democrats. As George Bernard Shaw once noted, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.”

Clinton's economic plan is nothing more than a contemporary remake of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's class-warfare proclamation: “Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.”

In fact, Roosevelt's “principle” was no more American than Clinton's. It was a paraphrase of Karl Marx's Communist maxim, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev said of Roosevelt's “New Deal” paradigm shift, “We can't expect the American people to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.”

Echoing that sentiment was perennial Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas (the grandfather, incidentally, of Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas): “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

No irony was spared in another interview this week, when Hillary Clinton was asked about the enormous wealth that she and Bill have amassed since their co-presidency. Clinton replied, “My husband and I never had any money. Now suddenly we're rich. I have nothing against rich people.”

Never had any money”? Spare me. She and Bill were long ago cashing in on commodity futures and real-estate deals. Still, the wealth they have accumulated in recent years must make those good ol' days seem Spartan by comparison.

Hillary claims that if elected, she will “hit the restart button on the 21st century and redo it the right way.” I checked, and the Clintons were in the White House the first year of the 21st Century. Did they push the wrong button then?

Only when the Clintons voluntarily surrender for redistribution all their assets to the U.S. Treasury will I then consider her economic views with at least the sincerity afforded one who is not a complete hypocrite. In the eternal interim, her Socialist “we're all in it together” claptrap should be considered a perilous hazard to prosperity for all.

Civics 101 (Correct Answers Below)

1) “We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

A. Karl Marx B. Adolph Hitler C. Joseph Stalin D. None of the above

2) “It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few…and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.”

A. Lenin B. Mussolini C. Idi Amin D. None of the Above

3) “(We)…can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”

A. Nikita Khrushev B. Jose f Goebbels C. Boris Yeltsin D. None of the above

4) “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own…in order to create this common ground.”

A. Mao Tse Dung B. Hugo Chavez C. Kim Jong Il D. None of the above

5) “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”

A. Karl Marx B. Lenin C. Molotov D. None of the above

6) “I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched.”

A. Pinochet B. Milosevic C. Saddam Hussein D. None of the above

Answers:

(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004 (2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007 (3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007 (4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007 (5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007 (6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005