Critics Claim Hillary Has an Income Inequality Problem

hillary-clinton-chill-cropped
Amy Chozick wrote at The New York Times on Saturday that “Economic Plan Is a Quandary for Hillary Clinton’s Campaign.” Of course, Benghazi was supposed to be a quandary for Hillary too, but she is still regularly trouncing all opposition in polls. To judge by Hillary’s groundwork, quandaries are something for the literal plethora of GOP candidates to worry about.

Yet, according to Chozick,

With advice from more than 200 policy experts, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to answer what has emerged as a central question of her early presidential strategy: how to address anger about income inequality without overly vilifying the wealthy.

This is an interesting statement, framed, perhaps, on false premises. Look at the problem of income inequality for a moment.

Nobody on the left is proposing to punish the rich for being rich. Nobody is demanding, after all, any extraordinary measures against the wealthy. Nobody is saying they have to give up their mansions or even their fancy vacation homes, or their yachts.

All that is being asked of the wealthy is that they pay their fair share of taxes.

Have we really reached the point where asking the wealthy to pay taxes is a form of vilification?

How is it that putting an unfair burden of taxation on the middle class is not class warfare, but asking the wealthy to pay even their fair share, is?

After all, as Chozick points out, Gallup just reported that 67 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way income and wealth are distributed, and “These attitudes are not new,” says Gallup.

Hillary Clinton, if she takes a stand against the right’s longstanding fantasy of “trickle down” economics, can go a long way. And guess what? “So-called trickle-down economics has failed,” Hillary said in October of last year.

No doubt she will support, as Obama has, the idea of a living wage. If she wants to run as a Democrat she can hardly do otherwise. Through his recent stances and resultant increases in public approval ratings, President Obama has established a certain baseline position any Democrat must support going forward.

Thus, there is – or should be – no risk of vilifying the wealthy for Hillary. No class warfare. Just pay taxes like the rest of us. The choice is a simple one, free of any moral quandary.

Ted Cruz blamed Bill Clinton and Obama for income inequality, and Boehner has been blaming Obama, but the numbers point the finger squarely at Bush. Republicans in Congress have been doing all in their power since to further the gap between rich and poor, while claiming to champion the middle class.

But that dog don’t hunt, as they say.

We saw Jeb Bush try that in Detroit. While Chozick takes Bush’s words – “If Americans are working harder than ever, earning less than they once did, our government and our leaders should step up, offer a plan, fix what’s wrong” – at face value, he actually attacked, as Keith Brekhus reported here, “the very programs that at least provide the poor with some measure of support.”

And nobody has seen Jeb propose raising taxes on the rich. No Republican will do that, just as no Republican will lower taxes on the middle class. Jeb Bush, like every other potential Republican candidate in 2016, is pushing the same nonsense that crashed the economy in 2008.

When you consider what today’s iteration of Republicans are offering, Hillary Clinton does not have to offer very much to be lionized on the left and at the same time sound like Karl Marx to the right. Look how vilified another centrist, Barack Obama, has been for governing, as many have pointed out, like a moderate Republican. Yes, vilification is a two-way street. Chozick doesn’t mention that either.

Yes, the Clintons are wealthy. Some say she has an income inequality problem of her own. Yes, some Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, say she has too many ties to Wall Street. But none of that, however politicized, has seemed to have hurt her at the polls. And you have to consider the opposition.

Lately, we have been seeing Scott Walker touted as a Republican frontrunner, but that is more pathetic than worrying. The man is a college dropout, has been under investigation, and is a habitual liar. We saw how habitual liars fair in 2012 when Mitt Romney lied himself out at the Oval Office. We’ve had one criminal empire in the White House. Americans are not eager for another.

The best remedy for what ails us is lifting up the middle class while ensuring the wealthy start paying their fair share. Hillary seems to understand that, saying all the right things in a populist speech in May of last year. I think Hillary Clinton understands that paying taxes is not an attack on the wealthy.

Barack Obama saved the economy. It will be up to the next Democratic president to save the middle class. The ideological groundwork has been laid. We will need a Democratic Congress, and it is to that our attention needs to be focused. There is no real quandary for Hillary beyond deciding whether to run or not.

26 Replies to “Critics Claim Hillary Has an Income Inequality Problem”

  1. They know they cant beat Hillary, they’re desperate. Next they will be saying shes an alien or something stupid they heard on rwnj tv(fox) & radio(jones,limpy)

  2. The town where she spent her childhood- the same one where I spent mine– had mostly middle class families and even some not so well off as that. Now, you can’t get in there unless you can afford a $400,000 house. That’s what happens with Reaganomics. I don’t suppose she’s failed to notice that.

  3. Simple. Point out how the tax policies of the repubs since Reagan have destroyed what “we the people” support. I don’t know who or how, but I wish someone would point out that just because you want to be rich one day, does not mean you should support the policies that are there to give others a leg up. It’s been pointed out that non-rich repubs vote repub because they hope to be rich one day. For many it will never happen which are the ones I wish we could reach. Somehow it needs to be pointed out that not all of those in need are slackers and users. This is one of the biggest lies the repubs have pushed for the last 30+ years. Sad.

  4. Why should Clinton have any more of a problem of income inequality than, say, Jeb Bush?

    After all, brother George squandered a fairly healthy surplus (left by Bill Clinton, a Democrat) by cutting taxes on the already wealthy, running two unfunded wars and precipitated the worst financial meltdown this country has seen since the Great Depression.

    How does Jeb differ from his brother? He doesn’t and THAT is where the real problem with income equality resides.

  5. Democrat policies of making people comfortable enough with welfare to remove any ambitions they have to move up in the world has created the inequality. The income gap has gotten much worse since Obama has been President. While he rubs elbows with Wall Street at $30,000 per plate dinners, he comes back to promise more and more handouts to those who don’t want to lose their benefits by getting an actual job which is the only thing that would pull them out of poverty.

  6. Its idiocy like this that just makes me want to holler “OH FOR FUKS SAKES”
    Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
    http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/

    Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years. – See more at: http://inequality.org/income-inequality/#sthash.wAMnm2va.dpuf

    Forgive my ignorance but I don’t think President Obama has been in office for the past 30 years.

    The President of the United States Does Not Control the Economy

    A newly updated paper shows that the economy has reliably grown faster under Democratic presidents than Republicans. But what does that really tell us?

    The juiciest discovery from the paper is that in the last 70 years, the US economy has been better, across many metrics, when a Democrat has been the president. Here’s a quick look at GDP growth by president going back to the second Truman administration …
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/why-the-economy-grows-faster-under-democrats-than-republicans/375180/

  7. “Democrat policies of making people comfortable enough with welfare to remove any ambitions they have to move up in the world has created the inequality.”

    Uhh.. it ain’t the 80’s any more and Reagan BS doesn’t cut it today. The Democrats are the people asking for REAL jobs that pay a living wage. You know, more than bare subsistence. That isn’t welfare, Bub. That’s forwarding policies that are a hand up not a hand out.

    To be sure, there are those who would prefer the handout and are willing to game any system offered, but don’t look at a grain of sand and call it a beach.

  8. To be sure, there are those who would prefer the handout and are willing to game any system offered
    ——————————————

    They are called the kochs and the rest of the vampire vultures that call them selves the makers

  9. …I am a partially disabled US Navy veteran…living in a mid-sized Midwestern American city…there are about 9 applicants for every job, and someone like me has no chance to get a decent job at all…I’m already severely depressed with suicidal tenancies, what should I do???
    End it and leave my handicapped wife to fend for herself??? Kill her then myself???{not a chance in Hell of me harming her}
    The prob is Republicans shoving thier heads up thier own asses and denying anything that does not agree with thier screed…EVERYTHING is ideology, facts mean nothing, and they project what THEY are doing onto thier opponents.{read that as “Enemies”} I no longer recognize the country of my birth, it has changed so much since the ’60s, I’ve seen further changes when I was in the Navy in the ’80s, but didn’t see the trend til later
    …and now the fvcking teahadists trolls are sayin’ how hunky-dory things are becoming with the polymorphrodite Kochs taking over everything???

  10. …lemme explain something to all fvcking trolls;the only “Laws” the billionaires club recognizes is the Law of the Jungle…
    …here’s how it works…they first subjugate the poor…then the middle class,{all the while suckering folks like you into thinking that as their stooge, you’ll be untouched} then they take the modestly rich and absorb them…working their way up the ladder until the Billionaires attack each other…{There can only be One???}
    THIS is the Republican Dream…not realizing they will be liquidated as soon as thier usefulness to them ends…
    Welcome to the end of the USA…

  11. I would have asked you if you were born a specious cretin, or if you studied to be one, but probably you are a natural-born cretin who studied to be specious.

  12. I’m already severely depressed with suicidal tenancies, what should I do???
    ——————————
    Stay strong and maybe they can help you
    The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

  13. You really need to educate yourself, Ronny began the income inequality with his “trickle down” BS.

    The Irony and the Ecstasy
    Every serious G.O.P. presidential aspirant invokes the glorious era of Ronald Reagan, to which the country must return. Ignore the fact that, for the likes of Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, Reagan’s actual record—from increased bureaucracy to higher deficits—should be seen as a complete failure.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2015/01/ronald-reagan-policy-political-failure
    GOP Presidents Have Been the Worst Contributors to the Federal Debt
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/gop-presidents-have-been-the-worst-contributors-to-the-federal-debt/264193/
    The economy has done better under Democratic presidents
    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/29/5945583/the-us-economy-grows-faster-under-democratic-presidents-is-that-just

  14. do you know many on welfare are on it for a short time?
    Do you know many are women and children?
    do you know it’s humilitating to be on welfare and they want to get off of it as soon as possible?
    You’ve fallin into the ReaGUN “welfare queen” lie

    You seem to be very concerned with $$$, so how about your KOCH bros and their enormous wealth?
    Koch Brothers’ Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties’ Spending
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/us/politics/kochs-plan-to-spend-900-million-on-2016-campaign.html?_r=0

  15. Aside from beating them with a baseball bat, we just can’t get through to the ignorant who don’t understand anything.
    Or who fail to read and comprehand with reality. None of them realize when you lower taxes on the wealthy, but we still have $$ for corporate welfare..where does this $$ come from..DEBT, DEBT, DEBT.
    You get the same inaccurate statements from the same people over and over and you keep giving them FACTS and they believe it.

  16. In Pikketty’s “Capital” he shows how capital accumulation…ie wealth, has out run what should be a corresponding increase in wages. Certainly the expansion of Capitalism has increased living standards, but even at the start of the industrial revolution, 1850 to the 1920s, wages did increase, with alot of help from the labor movement, but it also was the gilded age where wealth was terrifically concentrated at the top. Not so much different today, but I think there’s another possible culprit that might need looking at, and that’s monetary policy from the Fed. The really big expansion in the money supply, and the lowering of interest rates by Greenspan after the dot-com bust helped set the stage for the housing bubble. Bernanke not only carried through with Greenspan’s low rates and expansion of the money supply, he went into uncharted territory with the size of the exponential “pump priming”. The massive amount of “liquidity” or “fiat money”, whatever you want to call it…

  17. went to the banks at the discount window, where they basically got money for almost zero interest and of course, having their “troubled assets” purchased by the Fed, they plied the easy money right back into the market, which of course rocketed Wallstreet right back on top again. The market is at the highest levels ever BTW. I think Cruz is wrong about Obama’s policies being central to income-inequality, as the fiscal policy, the President and Congress actions of late…ie taxes and budgets…simply don’t compare in size to what I see as a bonanza for the banks initiated by monetary policy of the Fed. (Cruz’s wife is a Goldman Sacs VP, curiously.) The stock market is predominantly owned by the rich and I simply don’t see it as a mystery as to why the income-gap keeps widening.

  18. I think you are correct, well maybe not about the baseball bat. I liked Reagan, but not so stupid to understand that his “across the board” tax cuts become a little lopsided towards somebody who makes millions compared to somebody who makes thousands. I can see Reagan’s good speeches and pro-America stuff as a positive, but have read enough of Stockman’s stuff to get that placing a halo on his head is kind of silly. I would recommend reading David Stockman, some Robert Reich, or Stiglets with a little Hayek or Mises on the side for a balanced diet.

  19. Have we no collective memory. What Hillary needs to do is explain how we must undo what Regan started and Bush Jr. made far worse: The systemic redistribution of income from the 99% to the 1%. The Randian trickle down theory of economics is not new. It is the same justification that those who possess a disproportionate amount of the worlds power and wealth have always used to justify selfishness and greed.

  20. With advice from more than 200 policy experts, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to answer what has emerged as a central question of her early presidential strategy: how to address anger about income inequality without overly vilifying the wealthy.

    Not sure why that’s the “central question” of her campaign strategy, or why only she has to answer it . . .

    I don’t recall anyone asking that same question of John McCain (who, like Hillary, is firmly entrenched in the 1%) in 2008, when he 1) replied “I don’t know — maybe less than 5 million?” when asked what income level constituted the Middle Class, and 2) replied “I don’t know” when asked how many properties he owned . . .

    .

  21. No matter how low you think the teahadist can go in denying peoples basic rights they will come up with something else

    Republicans seek to use voter suppression tactics to keep people hungry

    Republicans have come up with another exciting new way to make it difficult for people to use food stamps. Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana are pushing similar bills that would require people to produce photo identification to get their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/09/food-stamps-photo-id_n_6645380.html?1423504038

  22. I really hope that the 2016 election is similar to the giant wins during the FDR era. Winning the house and the senate is very important to pass an infrastructure bill, immigration reform, medicaid expansion for the remaining states, minimum wage increase, equal pay, protection for the lgbt community, strengthening the voting rights act, campaign finance reform, and so forth. The republicans are an extremist right wing party that just wants to hurt this country.

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