Friday, July 8, 2016

Why Hillary Would Be a Dangerous President

By Thomas DiLorenzo

The problem with Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate is not that she is a corrupt and dishonest politician, as her critics have charged.  No, the problem with Hillary is that she is just as big a socialist as Bernie Sanders is.  “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good,” she announced to a San Francisco audience in 2004, echoing the Communist Manifesto mantra, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”  “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society,” she once proclaimed as First Lady.  Such statements are a defining characteristic of the socialist philosophy:  attacks on individualism in the name of the “common good” of “society” – always defined and enforced by politicians, never by society as a whole.  And like Sanders, she threatens “the rich” with even more onerous taxes to be used to subsidize the working class (“working families” in the neo-Marxist language of one of her television ads).

Hillary Clinton demonstrated her socialist credentials during the Democratic primary debates with the proud, self-described socialist Bernie Sanders.  Whenever Sanders would excite the audiences of Democrats with Santa Claus-like promises of “free” healthcare, education, housing, welfare payments, and much else, Hillary’s response was to agree with him, promising to increase federal spending by more than $1 trillion over the next ten years.  There was no disagreement over the principles of socialism, only the details.

A current fad among the socialists of Europe is to propose some kind of “basic” government-defined income for the entire population.  Switzerland just voted down this latest money-for-nothing scheme. Naturally, Hillary is all on board with it, having proposed giving every baby born in America a $5000 account that would be invested and given to the child upon reaching the voting age of eighteen.  George McGovern proposed a similar, $1000 “demogrant” in 1972, which was dismissed and ridiculed as socialistic nonsense and may well have caused him to lose the election to Richard Nixon.

In other words, Hillary is just as much a socialist as Bernie Sanders, only she doesn’t use the “S” word for marketing purposes.  She prefers “progressive Democrat” instead, but that is not very convincing, even to many of her supporters.  During a televised interview with Chris Mathews, she was asked repeatedly what the difference was between a Democrat and a socialist.  She refused to answer the question, implying to many that she probably believes that there is no significant difference.

In the early 1990s Hillary Clinton was the main architect of what came to be known as “Hillarycare” – the Clinton administration plan to impose Soviet-style central planning on America’s healthcare sector.  This gives us great insight into her vision of the role of government in the economy, and how she would like to see more and more American industries run – by dictates issued by thousands of anonymous bureaucrats paid for by the biggest tax increases in history and enforced by the heavy hand of the state.

Socialist central planning, as such, has always been a perfect recipe for the impoverishment of entire societies while at the same time enriching and empowering a small political ruling class elite. How else could the thirty-five-year-old daughter of the late Hugo Chavez, the onetime socialist ruler of Venezuela, become the wealthiest person in that country with a reported net worth of over $4 billion?

Hillarycare was a bureaucratic nightmare that would have forced most Americans to cancel their health insurance and obtain it from a government bureaucracy.  It would have forced everyone to purchase a full array of government-defined benefits; it would have been managed from Washington by a board of seven presidential appointees and thousands of bureaucrats; access to physicians would have been restricted and controlled by bureaucrats, not patients; and all outside insurance plans would have been illegal.

Price controls on everything from doctors’ salaries to MRI machines would have caused pervasive shortages; the plan would have required massive tax increases, mostly on the lower and middle classes, causing huge job losses (600,000 in the first few years alone according to the Clinton administration itself at the time); 59 new federal bureaucracies would have been created with 20 others expanded; and hundreds of new regulatory mandates would have been imposed on healthcare providers.

Insurers would have been required to charge the same rates to everyone regardless of age or health, making a mockery of the very word “insurance.”  Costly employer mandates would have forced employers to lower wages and benefits and/or lay off workers; and state governments would have been forced to become “purchasing alliances” for the federal bureaucracy’s central planning scheme.

Members of Congress and all federal employees were to be exempted from Hillarycare, however.  Only the little people (i.e., everyone else) were to be corralled into socialized medicine.

The bizarre thing about “Hillarycare” is that it was an absurdly bureaucratic, Soviet-style central planning program that was promoted by the Clintons barely three years after the final collapse of socialism in the Soviet empire – a collapse caused primarily by the futility of attempting to centrally plan an economy through government “planning” instead of markets – just like “Hillarycare.”

Perhaps “Obamacare,” which has resurrected parts of “Hillarycare,” has been imposed on the American public because so much of it – primarily the younger generation – is unaware of the grotesque failures of twentieth-century socialism.  They should look at the current economic implosion of Venezuela – the latest darling-of-the-Left  “socialist paradise” – to learn some important lessons.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland and author of The Problem with Socialism.

The above originally appeared at


  1. ...but really who's truly driving to these decisions?...seems like big $

    The Democrats Ignore the 500-Pound Lobbyist in the Room As party members meet to approve a new platform, they pay little attention to the industry that's destroying government and politics

    All fine and dandy, and sure, language may change as the committee meets in Orlando this weekend to approve a final draft that will be sent to the convention later this month. But so far, there’s zero about the billions of dollars spent to lobby Congress, the White House and the other federal regulatory agencies — $3.22 billion last year alone.

    Nothing about how lobbyists bundle masses of cash for candidates and bankroll lavish lunches and soirees at the party conventions. Nothing about the thousands employed along K Street to woo politicians and government officials on behalf of their fat-cat clients. Nothing about the trickle down of the lobby industry from DC into our states, counties and municipalities. Just the other day, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that since 2002, lobbyists in Minnesota alone have spent nearly $800 million buying influence: “The amount spent per year has doubled, and the number of new lobbying clients seeking to make themselves heard has tripled.”

    Funny kind of democracy where you have to shell out big bucks to get any attention paid, emphasis on the “paid.” It reminds me of my late friend, humorist Henry Morgan, who used to say that the word democracy was derived from the Greek — demos, meaning “people,” and cracy, meaning “crazy.”

    But the Democrats’ failure to sound the alarm on lobbying isn’t surprising, really. No one in either of the two party establishments wants to upset the cart that delivers all them golden apples. Besides, as journalist Thomas Frank writes, Washington and the lobbyists that the city nurtures have bonded as “a community – a community of corruption, perhaps, but a community nevertheless: happy, prosperous and joyfully oblivious to the plight of the country once known as the land of the middle class.”

    Lobbying remains one of the nation’s “persistently prosperous industries,” Thomas Frank notes, with a “curiously bipartisan nature… After all, for this part of Washington, the only real ideology around is based on money – how much and how quickly you get paid.”

    Look on their works, ye Mighty, and despair! Or better yet, take a look at a recent article in Politico, the publication which is to Washington gossip and dealmaking what Variety is to Hollywood gossip and dealmaking.

    Isaac Arnsdorf of Politico writes, “Not only did the lobbying reform bill fail to slow the revolving door, it created an entire class of professional influencers who operate in the shadows, out of the public eye and unaccountable.”

  2. The Soviet Communist Party did not dissolve in 1990 as many believe. It simply migrated to Washington DC.