Reacting to Donald Trump’s speech Monday to the Detroit Economic Club, Hillary Clinton said her Republican opponent tried to “make his old, tired ideas sound new.” As opposed to her old, tired ideas of higher taxes on the wealthy with government as redistributor.
Let’s consider some important quotes from the economic club speech.
“The most direct and significant kind of federal action aiding economic growth is to make possible an increase in private consumption and investment demand — to cut the fetters which hold back private spending.”
Increasing federal spending, as Clinton has proposed, would, said the economic club speaker, “soon demoralize both the government and our economy. If government is to retain the confidence of the people, it must not spend more than can be justified on grounds of national need . . .”
The federal government, he said, “siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power; [and] reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment and risk-taking. In short, to increase demand and lift the economy, the federal government’s most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures.”
There are more of these “old, tired ideas”: “Corporate tax rates must also be cut to increase incentives and the availability of investment capital. … For all these reasons, next year’s tax bill should reduce personal as well as corporate income taxes for those in the lower brackets, who are certain to spend their additional take-home pay, and for those in the middle and upper brackets, who can thereby be encouraged to undertake additional efforts and enabled to invest more capital.”
If you haven’t yet guessed, the quotes you have just read are from a speech President John F. Kennedy delivered to the New York Economic Club on Dec. 14, 1962.
In attacking Donald Trump for wanting to cut personal and corporate taxes, and reduce federal spending and federal control over our lives, Hillary Clinton is effectively attacking the martyred JFK. Kennedy’s proposals were followed by Ronald Reagan’s major tax cuts and a reduction in tax rates, which had reached 70 percent on regular income for the highest earners under Jimmy Carter. Under Reagan, the government took in more tax revenue because lower tax rates gave people and businesses the incentive to work harder and earn more.
In his Detroit speech, Mr. Trump noted how liberal economic policies have failed that once-prosperous city. That’s because Democrats have controlled the political machine there for more than five decades.
“Detroit is the living, breathing example of my opponent’s failed economic agenda,” Mr. Trump said. “Every policy that has failed this city, and so many others, is a policy supported by Hillary Clinton. She supports the high taxes and radical regulation that forced jobs out of your community and the crime policies that have made you less safe. And the immigration policies that have strained local budgets and the trade deals like NAFTA, signed by her husband, that have shipped your jobs to Mexico and other countries. And she supports the education policies that deny your students choice, freedom and opportunity. She is the candidate of the past. Ours is the campaign of the future.”
This is the way to go after Clinton. If Trump sticks to policies and not his personality, he could close the gap in opinion polls. Liberal policies have failed. Economic growth is the answer, but you never hear Clinton talk about it. She promotes class envy instead of prosperity and opportunity for all.
Clinton is the anti-JFK candidate. Hers are the failed policies not only of the past, but the present. If she is elected president, they will continue to fail into the future.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.