Gary Wisenbaker, Valdosta Today Editorial Director
So Hillary Clinton made her low key announcement for the Democratic presidential nomination a few days ago, unveiled her logo, and hopped in a van for a road trip to Iowa.
The former senator and former secretary of state’s announcement was not the Big Bang approach she used in 2008 but was made in deference, as so often happens in this day and age, to the predominance of social media.
“Everyday Americans need a champion,” Clinton declared, “And I want to be that champion.” All neatly packaged in a two minute video and released on the internet. Sorta like fresh cotton candy: warm and fuzzy but no substance.
Clinton then headed west on her tour bus “Scooby”, the same name used for her “listening tour” bus 15 years ago when she ran for US senate. Perhaps it’s short for “Scooby Doo”, the 1969 cartoon dog. If so, it’s consistent with the vintage liberalism she’s serving up. Brings back fond memories, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Or, one might recall, “It takes a village.” Right.
While the “Why Hillary?” is unknown, what is known is operatives in the Washington “think tank” Center for American Progress are entrenched in her campaign.
This group recently issued a “white paper” calling for more government infrastructure spending, universal preschool, closing corporate tax “loopholes”, eliminating family owned farms and businesses, telling businesses what they can pay their executives, and increasing FHA subsidies for risky loans.
Moreover, the CAP white paper, presumably the blue print for Hillareconomics, calls for an “Animal Farm” paradigm of American industry by making it easier for unions to organize and, where they are blocked, requiring “workers’ councils” to help run companies. And to underscore that “some are more equal than others”, small businesses that become worker participation ownership firms will receive more favorable tax treatment when the founders retire, in life or death, than those that don’t.
Clinton3 will be more of an Obama2: more eurosocialism.
On the Republican side, first term United States Senator Marco Rubio of Florida made his announcement in Miami the old school way: on a stage in front of an adoring crowd.
The somewhat stumbling delivery belied the content of his speech. Rubio gave concrete reasons for his candidacy, the “why” he is running. He spoke of tax restructuring to benefit the middle class, a muscular foreign policy and restoring the American Dream.
Yet at the same time he declared that “yesterday is over”, a clear jab at both Clinton and Jeb Bush, Rubio opposes lifting the failed 50 year old Cuban embargo. But it seems that since the embargo didn’t get rid of the thugs of the Castro regime, maybe free trade would. Rubio offered no plan. As for the student loan program, Rubio would cling to the equally failed policy of nationalization and try to fix it from the top. His tax reform measures are a rear view mirror look at child tax credits and marginal rate dickering from the 80s and 90s.
The presidential playing field now consists of 4 first or single term senators, none of whom have ever sat in a chief executive’s chair. The past six years have more than amply demonstrated the folly of putting such inexperience in the White House. The price is as high as the stakes.
Government in America is big business, and it takes persons of discernment and conviction—without being obstinate—to negotiate and make critical decisions; indeed, to make government work. Governors understand this. Reagan. Clinton. Bush.
And this is important because government is huge and powerful.
For example, from 2010-14 government at all levels spent the equivalent of 52.2 percent of total personal consumer outlays. The fact that it continues to grow underscores that government in our lives is evolving to a choking point. (An FYI just in case you didn’t notice on April 15).
This horrific footprint and impact on our economy is compounded by the estimated cost of business to comply with government regulations. And this figure reached $1.86 trillion in 2013 (the equivalent of 13 percent of national income), and that’s just the federal regs. This, quite frankly, amounts to legalized extortion.
And it is getting worse.
Obama’s EPA, just like his own administration, is defying recent Supreme Court rulings against it regarding its definitions of “navigable” and “interstate” waters. They are once again proposing job killing rules that would require construction companies, the vast majority of which are family owned, to obtain expensive, time consuming federal Clean Water Act permits not previously required.
Although the National Association of Homebuilders and 200 other groups have opposed the move, the EPA is moving forward without regard to the property rights or costs at risk.
Additionally, the current administration’s OSHA is ready to implement rules regarding crystalline silica, a substance found in sand, soil, granite and other natural substances contractors often work with. Rather than enforce rules already on the books, OSHA proposes rules that would vastly increase record keeping requirements and safeguards that will cost the industry an estimated $5 billion per year, an astounding $4.5 billion more than the government’s estimate. Yet another mugging.
Everyday Americans don’t need a champion so much as they simply need opportunity. Americans, by and large, are pretty good at taking care of themselves when given that opportunity and government gets out of the way.
Come January 2017 Americans need a president that will champion their cause against the other thugs in the Western Hemisphere: government bureaucracy.
Gary Wisenbaker, B.A., J.D. is a native of South Georgia where he practiced law in Valdosta and Savannah for 31 years. He has served as state chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans and Chairman of the Chatham County (Savannah) Republican Party. Gary is a past GOP nominee for State Senate, past delegate to the Republican National Convention and has consulted on numerous local Republican campaigns as well as chaired or co-chaired campaigns for President and US Senate on the county and district level. He is the principal and founder of Blackstone, LLC, a corporate communications and public relations concern as well as Wiregrass Mediation Services, LLC, a general civil litigation mediation firm.
Gary hosts his own blog at www.garywisenbaker.com and recently published his first fictional work, “How Great is His Mercy: The Plea”, on Amazon.com. His opinions are regularly published on ValdostaToday.com and Zpolitics.com.