Politics Aside, Does This Make Any Sense?

If Hillary has any hope of getting elected President of the United States, she better rethink her “economic vision.” From Yahoo!:

Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it’s time to replace an “on your own” society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an “ownership society” really is an “on your own” society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

“I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society,” she said. “I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

This coming from a woman who flies all over the country in private jets. There’s no “special privileges” there.

It bugs me when politicians (ALL POLITICIANS) have these grand visions but really have nothing substantial to present so that people can make an educated decision on what’s best. Nothing seems to be based in reality.

35 thoughts on “Politics Aside, Does This Make Any Sense?”

  1. BTW, wasn’t “we’re all in it together” the slogan for the former Soviet Union? Didn’t seem to work for them, why would we want it?

  2. Isn’t this the exact same thing Bush said about the war in Iraq? “We’re all in this together” or was it “you’re either with us or against us.”

    Keeping all politics aside of course.

  3. Ugh. It’s no wonder we end up with such lousy leaders with options like these. It would be nice if one of the two parties offered something of value. When it comes to economics, doing nothing is almost always the best course of action . . . but that doesn’t get one elected or re-relected.

  4. Jonathan,

    Bush did say “you’re either with us or against us” when he was talking about terrorism.

  5. From the article:
    “We have sent a message to our young people that if you don’t go to college … that you’re thought less of in America. We have to stop this”
    So now we going to have compulsory education through college? Gee that will do wonders for the value of a college degree.
    Now, I know for a fact that most plumbers and electricians make more per hour than I do, that’s fine I love what I do. It’s not the un-college educated I look down on, it’s the lazy, non-workers that get me. I mean heck when my breaker box started smelling like charred wood, I nearly kissed the feet of the gal that came out to fix it.

  6. Hmm, I see. So let’s move away from a “on your own” society as she calls it where individuals are rewarded for their hard work and instead we will just make it so that there is no value behind striving to improve yourself or work towards a better life.

    Without an incentive to be great and do great things through hard work and finding opportunities who would bother? Why not just sit on my ass if I knew I could get bailed out.

    I know that is a very dramatic answer but it is no different than the broad idealism that these politicians push, republican or democrat. They never provide real answers and instead use a broad brush to paint a picture that magically solves whatever problem they have against the opposite party.

  7. I was with her up until the special privileges part. I would like to hear every candidate for President from every party acknowledge the privilege they have enjoyed thus far.

    That said, she has a point about the “ownership society” that Bush is aiming for. What about those who can’t afford to buy in?

    Bush’s “ownership society” does nothing for the 47 million Americans who can’t afford peace of mind via health insurance. It’s clearly pandering towards his base: the “owners” who are capitalists in the original sense of the word. Everyone else, working or not, by choice or not, and who doesn’t “own” enough to have bought in the to the GOP’s vision of America, is left out.

    But a wealthy politician talking about special privileges rings nearly as hollow.

  8. A society based on shared responsibility and prosperity sounds quite nice and neither an ownership society nor an on your own society sound as good.

    But you’re right, there doesn’t seem to be much presented that back these things up. Anyone would think politicians said things just to win elections.

    As an aside, much as I abhor terrorism (the ends do not now and never will justify the means) that does not mean I have to be with Bush or anyone else. I get the point, but hate the wording.

  9. “shared responsibility and prosperity” isn’t that the definition of communism?

    It looks like this has failed to become a non-political discussion 🙂

  10. broke,

    I debated with myself as to whether or not I should even post this. I decided to because this has everything to do with personal finance.

    And yes, it does sound like communism or socialism.

    What gets me is that if Hillary really believed this stuff then why not give more to the poor in the first place? Why does she need the government to do it for her?

    This is purely a vote-getting mechanism.

  11. I have heard a lot of people say that we need some kind of rotating, mandatory service take the place of elected office. That sounds silly, of course. But at the same time, nearly all who have a desire for political office are actually unfit to hold it. It’s a self-defeating qualification.

    “purely a vote-getting mechanism.” Amen. All spending and budgeting is about vote-grabbing. They spend here or there to get votes from the beneficiaries, then when enough people are upset about the deficit, they play the blame game and the deficit reduction card. It works the same way with taxation. Politics and leadership are rarely seen in the same place at the same time.

  12. For many of the working poor, the American Dream is already an American Nightmare. I see all sorts of obstacles in my path placed by government.

  13. I actually have the exact opposite reaction of many posters here. I have no problem with her own wealth and privilege, and don’t think that has any bearing on her belief in redistribution. I have a huge, huge, huge problem with the collectivism she is implying.

  14. politics aside? your post is loaded with politics. even though i agree that clinton’s remarks are absurd, the least you can do is make it balanced – why not also point out bush’s economic track record, or the national debt….etc.

  15. FMF…it’s a frugal thing. It is MUCH cheaper to reuse an old , worn-out slogan than to go out and get a new one.


  16. Have you ever considered the huge redistribution to the middle class?

    I can start with the billions and billions of subsidy dollars for homeowners, off the top of my head I can rattle off the mortgage interest deduction, the property tax deduction, the preferential tax rates for homeowners in most states (e.g. in Michigan, the school property tax on rentals is four times the rate on owner-occ primary residences), the tax advantages homeowners enjoy due to tax and/or assessment caps, the property tax deferrals for some homeowners in some states (poor homeowner? here, have a prop tax deferral…poor renter? you can go live in the gutter!), the ability of homeowners to convert nondeductible consumer debt interest to deductible home loan interest, the up-to-$500K capital gain exclusion…this list doesn’t include any I have missed…WHEW!)

  17. The article was a bit short on specifics. She says she wants to expand alternative educational opportunities. OK. Wants to eliminate special tax breaks for corporations. I would eliminate corporate taxation entirely, but if there is going to be one, I would not have any special tax breaks. She proposes “affordable health care”, which I assume is her version of government health care, which would be a great disaster. Not much of substance there. The most substantial proposal regarding health care would be very bad.

  18. I’m eagerly awaiting her new book “It Takes a Politburo”, which expounds on her collectivist philosophy, led by comrades who are completely equal in all senses. Except for those who are a bit more equal since they represent the vanguard of society.

    I have no problem with the rich and famous, unless they’re pretending to be ordinary. That’s when you better keep your eyes on them…

  19. Let’s see if I can summarize the conservative politics spouted here:

    -The lowest 10? 20? 40? 90? % of society should be left on the streets with no government support, since they’re not as educated and motivated others. When they come looking for food and shelter, I’ll build bigger walls and buy more ammo, which is good for the economy! (Okay, that last bit is a stretch, I admit it.)

    -Taking care of the least well off is equivalent to total government control of everything, like shipping industrious small businessmen to the gulag

    -Hey, the conversative talking points are connecting Hillary with Communism and Soviet Union. We’d better do it, too!

    Didn’t she succeed through education and hard work? Isn’t that what you support? And she believes in helping those who aren’t as successful. Do you really think it’s wrong to help others? Isn’t the AFM blog to help those who don’t know as much as you? No, wait, it’s probably just for making money.

  20. Daniel,

    I think you’re being a bit dramatic. None of the comments were that cold and heartless yet you make them out to be that way.

    My big problem with Hillary is that she doesn’t mean what she is saying. If she truly believed in her message she would be giving a lot more than she does. Her motives are to get votes, not to help people.

  21. Daniel,

    You’re well acquainted with the straw man, I see. Wildly exaggerate or alter the views of your opponent, then attack the caricature you have created. Nice!

    You may not agree with the viewpoints in this thread but you do yourself no good by ridiculing them and the very informative blog JLP allows us to read and comment on. It shows a lack of respect, at the very least.

  22. Daniel,

    I agree with you that I want to live in the kind of world in which people do help others. Where I take issue with Hillary Clinton and other liberal politicians is with whether using the government to accomplish that end is ethical, efficient or even successful. I don’t believe for a minute that government programs work. I don’t limit that to entitlement programs either. Corporate bail-outs don’t work either in the long run. They encourage some terribly short-sighted behavior on the part of the industries they are trying to save.

    The concept of tithing is an interesting one, and I think it is broader than just supporting your church. To me, tithing is about spending a portion of your income supporting your community. It is about making the world around you a better place. I strongly believe that it should involve more than putting money in the collection plate on Sunday or writing a check to your favorite charity, although there is nothing wrong with doing either of those things. Give some of your time. Learn what a charity is actually doing with the donations it receives.

    The other problem I have with most politicians, on the left or the right, is that I object to the expansion of government, both in size and power. Eventually, every law, every power, and every government program will be in the hands of someone I don’t trust, whose goals I disagree with. If you are a liberal, think of government in the hands of George W. Bush. For the conservatives here, think back to the Clinton years. Never create a power that you wouldn’t be willing to see wielded by your enemies. It will be some day.

  23. hmm…..there must be two daniel’s posting. not sure which “daniel” people were referring to when replying, but i was merely suggesting that examples be given, from both ends of the political spectrum, if you are indeed targeting all politicians.

    i’m not a fan of targeting one side – conservative or liberal. i can get that from cnn and fox news.

    and to jlp – no idea if the accusation was directed at me, but just in case – no disrespect meant. you have an excellent site.

  24. I love all of the ridiculous platitudes everyone’s posted in these comments.

    “She proposes “affordable health care”, which I assume is her version of government health care, which would be a great disaster.” – pauld

    How so, pauld?

    “My big problem with Hillary is that she doesn’t mean what she is saying. If she truly believed in her message she would be giving a lot more than she does.” – JLP

    So, Hilary Clinton has to become an ascetic and donate all of her wealth before she can do this sort of work through the government? That’s ridiculous. Do you even know how much she donates now? I bet no one on this site does (including myself) You can’t quantify how much charitable contributions are acceptable; that’s each person’s own prerogative.

    I’m disappointed because this blog usually has very well thought out posts that explore multiple sides of an issue; this post lacks that entirely.

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