If you watched Hillary’s performance on “This Week with George Stephanoplous” today you may have caught her continued insistance re: three key themes she’s been pressing this week:
1. She will stop or slow the movement of manufacturing jobs out of the U.S.
2. The gas tax holiday will provide “billions” of savings to truckers and not affect the funding of needed transportation projects by creating a “wind fall tax” on the oil companies
3. She continues to have the lead in the popular vote over Barack Obama, if you count Michigan and Florida.
Sounds good – as any pandering should. Let’s take a look at these claims one at a time:
1. Stop the movement of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas: she wants to take away tax incentives for companies moving those jobs overseas and offer more incentives to those who keep jobs here in the U.S., all of which sounds reasonable. But these simple fixes aren’t going to solve the problem. Companies are moving those jobs overseas so they can continue to compete in a global market, not to mention to keep their costs down in this era of supercapitalism that requires that they offer “Walmart” pricing of most consumer goods. What George failed to ask her in a follow-up question is this: if we “force” companies to keep manufacturing jobs here, do we run the risk of putting them out of business? The net affect would be less jobs in the U.S. and more foreign-based companies to fill that product/service niche.
It’s easy to blame “greedy” executives for the continued salary gap between those at the top and the eroding wages of the average worker. The solutions to these problems are a lot more complex and require a serious debate, starting with the question of corporate influence in Washington. But you won’t hear about that in Indiana or North Carolina, at least not from this candidate who gets much of her support from the same lobbyists that are part of the problem.
2. Wind fall profits tax on oil companies – does Hillary think that this oil-friendly adminstration will pass a bill that forces oil companies to give up their profits? Most experts don’t think so. And speaking of experts, when asked on the show to name one economist who agrees with her that the gas tax holiday is a good idea, she couldn’t name one, saying instead that “we’ve seen a tremendous amount of … elite opinion behind policies that haven’t worked well for the middle class and hard working Americans.” She is equating independent economic analysis from respected experts (including some of her current and past supporters) with the past eight years of Bush policy in one stroke. Gee, I wonder if those same hard working Americans she is pandering to would rather go to a well meaning amateur next time they require some major heart of brain surgery instead of hiring an “elitist” doctor perform the job.
3. The lead in the popular vote: as most people know by now this is a strange fiction dreamed up by her high paid consultants to spin her 2nd place showing in the race against Obama. It’s kind of sad that she would think the superdelegates that foolish.
At one point in the interview, Stephanopolous asked her why a majority of voters distrust her, according to a recent poll. Rather than focusing on current events she instead emphasized her two senate victories in NY state as proof of the electorate’s confidence in her trustworthiness. We at the PW were glad to support her in those races, but something’s changed in her character since her realization that voters weren’t going to just hand her this nomination on a shiny blue Democratic platter. Or maybe this is the real HIllary and she was just trying on a new persona for NY voters.
Her past supporters and the rest of the country should expect more.