Is Hillary Clinton the Adult in the Room?

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump seem to have achieved the impossible: together they have made Mrs. Clinton appear to be responsible–at least in relative terms. That is no mean feat. After all, she has been an unabashed opportunist in her policy pronouncements, including those involving national security.   For example, Robert Gates writes that “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary…”. Moreover, she is an inveterate liar. The rapidly dwindling minority of people in the world who still resist that description should read Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker on the subject in which she references a new You Tube video. Then watch the video (below).

So it must be said that Hillary Clinton is drenched in sleaze and has almost certainly engaged in criminal behavior (for instance with her e-mail set up while at the State Department). But when it comes to policy idiocy, both Trump and Sanders leave Clinton in the dust. Consider a few examples (and there are many, many more). Both Trump and Sanders are outspoken opponents of NAFTA and free trade generally, which have not only been instrumental in raising billions of people around the world out of dire poverty, but they have also raised American living standards to boot. Both Trump and Sanders promise to maintain Social Security in its current form even though it is insolvent. For instance, the most conservative estimates of the present value of unfunded Social Security liabilities are in the neighborhood of $10 trillion under current law. That is on top of the $19 trillion or so in outstanding publicly held debt we already owe.

For his part, Senator Sanders has actually proposed additional massive increases in spending (on the order of $18 trillion) and taxes (the number is hotly disputed), despite the ongoing build-up of the existing debt. To almost nobody’s surprise the Senator’s numbers don’t add up, as the NY Times has reported. See for instance, “Uncovering the Bad Math…” published by the Times on February 26 of this year. Sanders demonstrates his utter cluelessness by asserting that he will pay for all this by taxing “the rich” (who already pay the lion’s share of taxes) and by taxing Wall Street “speculation”.

Naturally enough this attempt would result in massive capital flight from the U.S. worthy of Venezuela where Sanders style economic policies have created shortages of food and medicine.

Not to be outdone, Donald Trump, who has plenty of experience in bankruptcy courts, has suggested asking our current creditors to accept “ a little less…”. Incredibly enough, among other things he said, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal”. It apparently has not occurred to Donald Trump that creditors do not take kindly to debtors hinting at default. Nor does it seem to have occurred to him that “crashing” the world’s biggest economy is not exactly like one his many trips to the bankruptcy courts. It would be a global catastrophe.

And so by default, so to speak, Hillary Clinton looks vaguely responsible, which is a sad commentary on the current state of affairs. And as yet we have hardly even touched on foreign policy.


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