When a major presidential candidate refuses to reveal the specifics of her campaign program, taking the position that she "won't answer hypothetical questions," how are we to gauge her candidacy and intentions?
There's only one way: We must become detectives, reading her statements - particularly between the lines - to figure out her ideas and likely governing philosophy. And we also need to examine the agenda being formulated in Congress by the left wing of the Democratic Party to help us to fill in the blanks in assessing Hillary's true intentions.
She'll never tell us.
The headline to this article is intentionally conditional ("what she'd do", not "what she'll do") because, despite her front runner status, she is, thankfully, not inevitable. But we can't ignore her commanding lead in the Democratic Primary (Rasmussen has her at 46% with Obama at a puny 18% and Edwards out of sight at 11%) and her strong showing in general election matchups (she beats everybody but Giuliani).
So it is definitely appropriate to read the tea leaves and project what President Hillary would do if elected.
The answer is not pretty. If she is elected, as it looks like she will, there is a very good likelihood that she will bring with her a heavily Democratic Senate. With four Republican incumbents endangered (Coleman, Minn; Sununu, N.H.; Smith, Ore; and Collins, Me) and four open seats likely to go from Republican to Democrat (Virginia, N.M., Colorado, and, possibly Nebraska), she could have 58 Democrats at her beck and call, making a filibuster unlikely.
That highly Democratic Congress and President Hillary would likely combine to enact legislation so far reaching and ideologically polarizing as to be a rare turning point in American history. One has to think of Woodrow Wilson's first two years, FDR's first term, Lyndon Johnson's first two years as president and, on the right, Reagan's revolution to find anything comparable in scope and extent.
It's a frightening thought.
Start with her tax policies.
Hillary makes no secret of her intention to roll back Bush's tax cuts on the 'wealthy.' But her definition of 'rich' is sufficiently inclusive so as to encompass everyone with a family or household income over $200,000 a year. Clearly she would include the following in the tax cuts she will repeal (or allow to sunset):
She'd raise the top bracket of the federal income tax, restoring it to 39.6% from its current 35% level.
She'd increase the capital gains tax, restoring it to 20% - or maybe even go higher. My bet is that she will increase it to 30% or even eliminate special treatment for capital gains altogether, taxing gains as ordinary income (at 40%).