From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
Hillary Clinton: A Peacetime Presidential Candidate for a Wartime America
Hillary’s announcement speech mentioned Russia twice. Once this generic ‘hurrah for us’ comment:
No other country is better equipped to meet traditional threats from countries like Russia, North Korea, and Iran – and to deal with the rise of new powers like China.
And then, a short while later, she made a reference to helping “pass a treaty to reduce the number of Russian nuclear warheads that could threaten our cities.”
It’s easy to understand why the Hillary Clinton of 2015-2016 doesn’t want to talk about Russia. We voters don’t have to imagine how Hillary Clinton would treat a Russian government with aggressive ulterior motives; we’ve already seen it.
There was one reference to ISIS:
No other country is better prepared to meet emerging threats from cyber attacks, transnational terror networks like ISIS, and diseases that spread across oceans and continents.
It’s particularly fascinating that she would claim that “no other country is better prepared to meet emerging threats from cyber attacks” just days after we learn that hackers stole sensitive information in the personnel files of as many as 14 million current and former government workers. This is not debatable. We weren’t prepared. We’re probably not going to be prepared for a long time, or ever. But she needs the applause line, so the line stays in there.
The one reference to extremism was, “I want to help Washington catch up. To do that, we need a political system that produces results by solving problems that hold us back, not one overwhelmed by extreme partisanship and inflexibility.”
Her only reference to the national debt was this:
Instead of a balanced budget with surpluses that could have eventually paid off our national debt, the Republicans twice cut taxes for the wealthiest, borrowed money from other countries to pay for two wars, and family incomes dropped.
The debt the day President George W. Bush took office was $5.7 trillion. The revenue surplus under Clinton topped out at $236 billion, so we would have needed twenty-four years of that peak surplus, year after year, with no spending increases, to “have eventually paid off our national debt” as Hillary envisions. Of course, once the dot-com bubble burst and tax revenue plummeted, the surpluses were certain to disappear anyway, and it would have taken a lot longer than a quarter century to pay off the debt.
Still, it’s nice to see a Democrat acknowledging that we ought to want to reduce our debt. The next step would be to acknowledge that under President Bush, we added $4.9 trillion in new debt. Under President Obama, we have added $7.5 trillion.
Russia, ISIS, hackers, home-grown extremists, the debt — these just aren’t really problems in the minds of the average Democratic voter. The real threat comes from, “the banks that are still too risky, courting future failures.” Yes, the woman who speaks for $200,000 a pop to Goldman Sachs, KKR, and the Carlyle Group bashed Wall Street.
There are public officials who know Americans need a better deal.
Business leaders who want higher pay for employees, equal pay for women and no discrimination against the LGBT community either.
There are leaders of finance who want less short-term trading and more long-term investing.
Who’s stopping these people? Who are these business leaders who want higher pay for their employees, but somehow aren’t giving them raises? Who are these financial leaders who want less short-term trading? Is someone holding a gun to their head?
She made the typically toothless Democratic pledge about “cutting red tape.” We’ve already seen how she runs a major government department – it’s remarkably politicized and secretive, with her personal staff blocking FOIA requests. If cutting red tape mattered to her, she could have done it at the State Department while she was running it.
At one point, she declared:
We Americans may differ, bicker, stumble, and fall; but we are at our best when we pick each other up, when we have each other’s back.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, who asked for additional security personnel in Libya on multiple occasions, could not be reached for comment on whether Hillary had his back.