Hillarynomics: Bill’s Third Term or Barack’s?


Hillary_clinton_reuters_031215New York Times reporter David Leonhardt asserts that “for all their similarities, Hillarynomics (the phrase “Clintonomics” is already taken) and Obamanomics will not be identical.”

Maybe not, but the piece makes me think they’ll be pretty darn similar. For instance: Like President Obama, Clinton may seek middle-class tax cuts and pay for them through higher taxes on the rich. Would those tax hikes come through higher rates or scaling back tax breaks? Obama has done both. Would Clinton want to take the top statutory income tax rate above the current 39.6%, the top rate during hubby Bill’s administration? Similarly, as Times reporter Josh Barro wonders, would she take the capital gains tax rate above 20%, the current rate (not counting the 3.8% Obamacare tax) and the top rate during Clinton I? Back during her 2008 presidential campaign she said she would not.

Leonhardt goes on to mention a recent report put forward by the Center for American Progress’s Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, “a group with close ties to Mrs. Clinton,” which contains a number of policy suggestions. It was co-written by Larry Summers, economic adviser to Obama and Bill Clinton, and focuses both on growing the economy faster and increasing labor’s share of the gains. (I would advise paying close attention to his writings for clues to how Hillarynomics might evolve.)

Among its suggestions (which I summarize broadly): (a) increase support for profit-sharing and employee stock ownership plans; (b) increase union power; (c) more infrastructure spending; (d) encourage home ownership through more Fannie and Freddie lending, plus principal reduction; (e) more public service jobs for young people; (f) “ensure a level playing field for global trade”; (g) raise effective tax rates on wealthier Americans; (h) more financial regulation; (i) “paid parental leave, paid caregiving leave, paid sick days, paid vacation, protections for part-time workers”; (j) more immigration at all skill levels; (k) more spending on early childhood education; and (l) executive pay reform.

Let’s say Clinton more or less adopts this “the era of big government is not over” agenda. Directionally, it seems in sync with Obamanomics, 2015 version, as seen in the president’s most recent State of the Union speech. That is to say, it would be to the left of Bill Clintonomics. It would be more skeptical of trade and Wall Street, more pro-union, and more redistributive. It would be where the Democratic Party is today, not where it was in 1999, even though candidate Clinton would surely recall the 1990s as a Clinton-led golden age. So Barack’s third term, not Bill’s, seems more likely. And the party’s slide to the left would continue.

There are 4 comments.

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  1. user_124695 Inactive

    Both Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton are Alinskyites, so what difference at this point does it make?

    The only difference is that Mrs Clinton was a pen pal of the great man (Alinsky, not Obama).

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  2. Belt Inactive

    I don’t think that ‘policy’ is the best term to describe the Left’s approach to economics.  Unless you define their policy to be the ever-expanding power of the government through regulations and legislation.  Really, for a Leftist, ‘economic policy’ is almost a contradiction in terms.  For Hillary (and Democrats in general), it seems to me that any economic policy is chosen either to gain political power by appealing to voters, or to expand government power in some way. (The effectiveness of a program meant to get votes is irrelevant, so long as it serves that purpose; they can twist it to get governmental power once they’re in charge.)

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  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    The majority of those things are in the “something for nothing” category.  And Democrats never have a problem with increasing taxes on “the rich”, even when they ARE the rich.  More union power?  Except, of course, when the employer is The Union!

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  4. TKC1101 Inactive

    A Clinton with the opposite party in Congress just might cut some deals. I am not sure Hillary wants to do much more than BE the president. She may be worried about having to clear up Obama’s wreckage. Once the goal is achieved, the fire just goes out sometimes…I am not detecting a lot of fire in her right now.

    • #4
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