Hillary’s Sensible Hand and Invisible Plan

Posted: Aug 15, 2007 12:00 AM
Hillary’s Sensible Hand and Invisible Plan

Hillary Clinton wants to manage the economy, but she hasn’t disclosed how she would pay for a signature platform of her campaign, or what it would cost.

“I would be a steady, sensible hand in the economy, in the White House,” she said on a CNBC television program last week. In other words, if elected President in 2008, it would be Clinton’s “sensible” hand guiding the market, not Adam Smith’s invisible, economic hand.

At a July 27 campaign stop in New Hampshire, Clinton sounded downright eager to start seizing money from domestic oil producers to fund her $50 billion Strategy Energy Fund to give start-up money to alternative energy producers. “There will be all kinds of crocodile tears shed…I can hear the guys on TV saying I’m going after the oil companies,” she said. “Well, I am going after the oil companies!”

This follows her remarks last February at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting where she said: “The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to fund alternative, smart energy!”

Throughout her presidential campaign, Clinton has been forthright about raising taxes on the wealthy by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. She frames it as an issue of economic “fairness” and “tax policy is one of the instruments government uses” to achieve that fairness, she told CNBC’s Dylan Ratigan. She was on the show to discuss her new federally-funded billion dollar plan to insulate at-risk homeowners from foreclosure.

Later in the interview she gave her blunt version of ‘Clintonomics:’ “You raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to create tax relief for the less wealthy.”

Clinton would also double tax stock investment gains. “It offends our values as a nation when an investment banker making $50 million can pay a lower rate on her earned income than a teacher making $50,000 pays on her income,” she said at a July 13 New Hampshire campaign event.

No matter investment bankers paid regular income rates, as high as 35 percent, when they originally took the income in. She thinks they and their partners get off too easy paying only a rate of 15 percent when they cash the stocks out. To solve this alleged problem, Clinton would single out these high-earners with special tax treatment in the name of fairness.

In her latest demonstration of class-warfare, Clinton debuted a new television advertisement titled “Invisible” to ramp up support for her universal health care plan on Monday. It implies the low-income, uninsured have been “invisible” to President Bush.

The price tag for her presidential healthcare plan, however, remains “invisible.”

Barack Obama’s campaign has projected his universal healthcare plan would cost between $50 billion and $65 billion each year after deducting savings he hopes to incur along the way. John Edwards estimates his plan universal healthcare plan will cost between $90 billion and $120 billion annually. Both of them say repealing the Bush tax cuts and redirecting money for the war in Iraq would partially finance their plans.

Clinton has said she’ll come forth with cost estimates and funding proposals for her plan in due time. For now, sources of “economic fairness” are potential money pots.