In the spring of 1930, Hoover decided that the United States needed to prevent job loss by raising tariffs, so the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff was signed into law. It crippled world trade. Unemployment jumped from 5 million in 1930 to over 11 million in 1931.
Yet Hillary voted against giving President Bush trade promotion authority in August 2002. Trade promotion authority allows the president to negotiate trade agreements that lower tariffs; the trade agreements are then voted on as a package in an up-or-down congressional vote. If Hillary believes that protectionism is a good way to help the economy, then why does she blast Hoover?
After his other policy measures failed to revive the ailing economy, Herbert Hoover turned to tax increases. In June 1932, Hoover raised the income tax rate from 24 percent to 48 percent. "We cannot maintain public confidence nor stability of the federal government without undertaking some temporary tax increases," he rationalized. These tax hikes sent the economy into an even more dramatic nosedive.
Yet every time that President Bush calls for tax cuts, Hillary opposes him. After the 2001 round of Bush tax cuts went through, Hillary lobbied for delaying the cuts based on the recession, in effect re-raising taxes. "Given where we are now with the recession, with the war on terrorism, I just don't think it's in our best interest to go forward with the tax cuts," she asserted on "Meet the Press" on Dec. 9, 2001. If Hillary believes that raising taxes during a recession is the needed remedy for economic woes, then why does she knock Hoover?
Hillary and the Democrats blast Hoover because he was a Republican. But Hoover, like FDR and like Hillary Clinton, was a big-government economic policy-maker. As economist Thomas Sowell of Stanford University's Hoover Institution explains in his book, "Basic Economics," "Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt both tried to use the powers of the federal government to restore the economy." The Hoover economic ideology of yesterday is almost identical to the Hillary economic ideology of today.
George W. Bush isn't Herbert Hoover, but Hillary Clinton might be.
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