Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

#ThingsHillaryNeverSaid: Talking Points from a Progressive Nobody (“Before I Take Your Questions…”)

Before I take your questions, I would like to address the press who are gathered here, as well as those who are not.

I know that you are here to do your job – a job that supports and provides for you, and those who rely on you. I respect that utterly.

I choose to believe that you also are here practicing your profession, and that you wish to uphold its highest standards. I am also aware that, like many American workers, you may be feeling insecure about your future in the evolving media landscape. You may be feeling pressured by imperatives that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with why you chose journalism as your career, or how you personally feel you should best practice your profession.

I believe that you chose your career path because you believed – as I believe – that The Press is central to American democracy, that journalists are not only essential, but that the enormous power you wield to shape the content and direction of our national discussions – and to provide the factual basis for those conversations to be honest and informed – can make our nation better, stronger, and more just.

As you cover my campaign, and every other campaign for the Presidency or any other elected office, I rely on you to appreciate the role you fulfill not only for us candidates, but for every American who counts on you.

We talk about what you want to talk about.
We answer the questions you want answered.
We debate the issues you find important.
We dance to your tune.

When you are at your best, it’s a great song. When you are at your worst, it makes Americans turn away from you, from us, and most tragically, from the ballot box that is their most precious right… Their right to rule.

“Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The voice of The People is The Voice of God.

We need to hear that voice. We need you, The Press, to shape a conversation that makes Americans want to speak, and to be heard. We need you to amplify their urgent concerns. If you won’t, you are just “a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

And now, I’d be happy to take your questions.

Advertisements

#ThingsHillaryNeverSaid: Talking Points from a Progressive Nobody (Middle Class Economics)

The answer I’d like to hear on middle-class economics:

When speaking about an infrastructure project (a water project, a dam), President Kennedy famously said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” It was President Reagan, however, who re-purposed that quote, and slammed the accelerator to the floorboard on trickle-down economics. At the time, it was an untested economic theory – this idea that the wealthy prospering would mean everyone prospers. It’s 2015 now, and we’ve run that supply-side experiment for decades.

The data is undeniable, and the numbers are sickening. Call it “The Wealth Gap.” Call it “Income Inequality.” Call it “The Vulture Chart.” Call it “The Second Gilded Age.” Call it anything you like, but call it this: The death throes of the American Middle Class.

This is structural, people. This is not just globalization, or technology, or automation, or declining union membership. Those things matter, but what matters most is this: small-government zealots cutting the funding for anything and everything that supports working families, at the same time they shift the tax burden away from the wealthy, and onto the working.

No, this isn’t any one thing, but this is what comes of an economy structured around comforting the comfortable… and it’s a “new normal” that cannot coexist with The American Dream. One of these things has to go, and The American Dream is not that thing.

Reform Republicans – you know the type – don’t want to make employers provide a living wage by raising the federal minimum, or make the federal government do anything else that could conceivably help working Americans get ahead (like paid sick leave, or equal pay for women).

What do they want to do?

They want to shift taxes paid by the working middle class to the working poor in the form of expanding The Earned Income Tax Credit…

Wait for it…

… at the exact same time they want to cut taxes on the wealthy.

No.

Republicans have been “starving the beast” for decades, and the beast is the American people they swore to serve. Democrats haven’t fought back hard enough. We failed to stop the experiment when the initial data looked terrifying. Almost everything our nation used to lead the world in, we’ve fallen behind on: education, infrastructure, health, quality of life, equality of opportunity… All of it has slipped away, and not from neglect. This was purposeful, and it is still happening. The modern Republican Party is committed to staying that disastrous course.

As Democrats, we have to turn this boat around, and we have to do it quickly, or The American Middle Class is sunk.

It’s time we demanded that the pimped-out yachts take up the floundering lifeboats.

We have to raise taxes on the wealthy, and we have to do it now.

hrc