George W. Bush is Herbert Hoover. Or so Hillary Clinton and her Democratic cronies want you to think. "(The Republicans) have the most wrongheaded economic policies that we've seen since Herbert Hoover," Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) sneered to a group of rabid Connecticut Democrats at the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner on April 28.
Hillary must not remember Jimmy Carter's wonderful economic tenure during the late 1970s. She must also have forgotten that Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency watched the Great Depression remain Great for eight years.
But for the sake of argument, let us assume that Herbert Hoover's economic policy was indeed the worst of any president in the 20th century. He presided over the stock market collapse of October 1929. He could do nothing to reverse the downward spiral of the American economy. Billions of dollars disappeared, and unemployment skyrocketed. Poverty swept the nation.
Fair enough. But there's a small problem for Hillary -- Hoover's economic policy virtually mirrors her own. Hillary can try to link President Bush to President Hoover by pointing to the fact that both are Republicans, but the truth is that Hoover was an ardent Keynesian, and it was his insistence on federal solutions to the Depression that drove the economy into the ground.
Hoover's main focus immediately following the stock market crash was on the worker. "Refusing to accept the 'natural' economic cycle in which a market crash was followed by cuts in business investment, production and wages," the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Museum website explains, "Hoover summoned industrialists to the White House on Nov. 21, part of a round robin of conferences with business, labor and farm leaders, and secured a promise to hold the line on wages." Of course, employers could not afford to both maintain wages at current levels and continue to employ as many workers as before. The result was a dramatic increase in layoffs.
Yet Hillary advocates the same wage policy as Hoover. On Oct. 24, 1999, Hillary told a crowd in Queens, N.Y.: "If you study (minimum wage), you can clearly see it will not hurt the economy, it will not increase unemployment. There are those who have opposed an increase in the minimum wage, arguing that it will cost jobs, and there are some people who say we need more studies. They are wrong." If Hillary believes that jacking up the minimum wage is a way to stimulate the economy, then why does she bash Hoover?