Clinton – Economic Reality is Elitist
Robert Reich is not happy with Senator Clinton on this gasoline tax holiday:
When asked this morning by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos if she could name a single economist who backs her call for a gas tax holiday this summer, HRC said “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists.” I know several of the economists who have been advising Senator Clinton, so I phoned them right after I heard this. I reached two of them. One hadn’t heard her remark and said he couldn’t believe she’d say it. The other had heard it and shrugged it off as “politics as usual.” That’s the problem: Politics as usual … In case you’ve missed it, we now have a president who doesn’t care what most economists think. George W. Bush doesn’t even care what scientists think. He rejects all experts who disagree with his politics. This has led to some extraordinarily stupid policies. I’m not saying HRC is George Bush. And I’m not suggesting economists have all the answers. But when economists tell a president or a presidential candidate that his or her idea is dumb – and when all respectable economists around America agree that it’s a dumb idea – it’s probably wise for the president or presidential candidate to listen. When the president or candidate doesn’t, and proudly defends the policy by saying she’s “not going to put my lot in with economists,” we’ve got a problem, folks. Even though the summer gas tax holiday is pure hokum, it polls well, which is why HRC and John McCain are pushing it. That Barack Obama is not in favor of it despite its positive polling numbers speaks volumes about the kind of president he’ll be – and the kind of president we’d otherwise get from McCain and HRC. Haven’t we had enough of politicians who reject facts in favor of short-term poll-driven politics?
Greg Sargent saw the same ABC interview:
Hillary Clinton has just started doing an Indiana town-hall meeting being broadcast on ABC, and George Stephanopoulos asked her a direct question: Could she name a single economist who agrees with her support for the gas tax holiday? Hillary sidestepped the question, and tried to use the complete dearth of expert support for the idea to her advantage, pointing to it as proof that she’s on the side of ordinary folks against “elite opinion” — a phrase she used twice. “I think we’ve been for the last seven years seeing a tremendous amount of government power and elite opinion behind policies that haven’t worked well for hard working Americans,” she said. A bit later she added: “It’s really odd to me that arguing to give relief to a vast majority of Americans creates this incredible pushback…Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that don’t benefit” the vast majority of the American people. An ordinary voter begged to differ, however. Stephanopoulos turned the mike over to a woman who said she supported Obama and said she makes less than $25,000 a year. “I do feel pandered to when you talk about suspending the gas tax,” the woman said, adding: “Call me crazy but I actually listen to economists because I think they know what they’ve studied.”
So Senator Clinton thinks telling the voters the truth is elitist. She’s become the perfect Republican!