With her intimidating lead in the polls, Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid looks increasingly unstoppable. This may have emboldened the New York Democrat to stop masquerading as a moderate and instead flaunt her full-throated, left-wing radicalism.
With a September 27-30 ABC News/Washington Post poll showing her eclipsing Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.) 53 percent to his 20, the ever-calculating Clinton now may feel free to peddle higher-octane liberalism.
Consider her pitch to a September 28 Congressional Black Caucus symposium.
“I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they [sic] have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home.” She added that “we want to make an investment in America’s young people.”
CBC member Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D., Ohio), gushed to the Associated Press’ Devlin Barrett: “Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt. Why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until they’re 18?”
Jones inadvertently pinpoints Clinton’s lunacy. To escape a hole, first stop digging. Given roughly 4 million annual births, Clinton’s proposal would cost taxpayers some $20 billion each year.
In 1972, then-Senator George McGovern similarly offered every American a $1,000 “Demogrant.” Rather than be bribed with their own money, voters overwhelmingly re-elected the South Dakota Democrat’s opponent, Richard Milhous Nixon.
Now, Clinton has resurrected McGovern’s Vietnam-era brainstorm and retooled it for the ’00s. Today, it’s for — all together now — “the children.” She also inflated McGovern’s concept, almost perfectly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ on-line inflation calculator indicates that $1,000 in 1972 now equals $4,974.09. At least concerning “the children,” Clinton is 100.52 percent for George McGovern’s promise.
GOP contender Rudolph W. Giuliani excoriated Team Clinton’s idea. On Sean Hannity’s radio program, Giuliani said it is “based on pandering to the point where I think they think the American people are stupid.”
Clinton’s Swedish-style idea lacks affluence testing. Every infant would score a $5,000 baby bond — from East L.A. to East Hampton. Fittingly, Clinton has said: “I am a fan of a lot of the social policies that you find in Europe.”
Clinton’s SCHIP reform also would air-raid cash on Americans as if from B-52s. While senators extended the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to families of four earning thrice the poverty line ($61,950), she advocated eligibility at quadruple that threshold — a scandalous $82,600.
It now transpires that an SCHIP concept was among Clinton’s fallbacks if HillaryCare crashed, which it stunningly did. Tuesday’s Politico.com revealed a 1993 memo in which White House staffers outlined “Kids First.”
“This proposal phases in universal coverage,” the draft states. “Under this approach, health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children.”
Clinton’s spend-o-rama accelerated with her latest government-medicine scheme unveiled September 17. This mandate-rich program would cost taxpayers $110 billion annually.
Indeed, the National Taxpayers Union reports that during the 109th Congress, Clinton proposed $170.8 billion in net expenditure hikes. She is the Senate’s seventh biggest spender, far behind outlay champ Ted Kennedy’s (D., Mass.) $813.7 billion, but comfortably ahead of gravy boats like Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) at $152.6 billion and majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) at $119.2 billion.
Clinton, however, was the Senate’s second busiest spender. While sponsoring just five spending cuts, she offered 190 spending-hike bills, just shy of Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin’s 193 increases. Among the Duchess of Chappaqua’s big ideas:
$15 million for the University of Hawaii’s Henry Kuualoha Giugni Kuopuna Memorial Archives.
$100 million for an Agriculture Department Office of Rural Broadband Initiatives.
$3.47 billion to continue the Spark M. Matsunaga Hydrogen Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1990.
A $19.11 billion national innovation initiative.
$40 billion for a new Office of Personnel Management health program for non-federal employees.
Clinton spurned Senator John Cornyn’s affirmation that America’s Iraq commander, General David Petraeus, “deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn[s] personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.” The Texas Republican’s amendment rebuffed the notorious “General Petraeus or General Betray Us” ad MoveOn.org purchased at the New York Times’ apparently illegal discount price.
Cornyn’s measure passed September 20, 72-25, with ample Democratic support. However, Clinton broke Left of such liberal stalwarts as California’s Dianne Feinstein, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy, and Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski, all of whom backed Petraeus and America’s troops. Clinton showed them the back of her hand.
The ever-cautious Clinton occasionally exposes her true ideological core. “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good,” she told San Franciscans in June 2004. As First Lady, she said: “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.”
Hillary Clinton is a hardened socialist, despite the mainstream media’s efforts to portray her as a “centrist” merely because she is not as over-a-cliff-Left as Michael Moore or MoveOn.org’s patron, George Soros. Worse, her ethical corner-cutting routinely attracts dodgy, cash-rich rogues like recently captured fugitive fundraiser Norman Hsu and Keith Raniere. As the October 1 New York Post explained, Raniere is an alleged pyramid-scam operator who now runs NXVIM — a reputed, Albany-based cult whose members last spring gave Clinton’s campaign $29,900.
With their worst possible nightmare lurking around the corner, Republicans urgently must coalesce around the GOP contender best prepared to shear Hillary Clinton’s blonde ambition.
– Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a Media Fellow with the Hoover Institution.