“Poverty in the United States is deeper than in all other wealthy nations. Yet neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has a specific anti-poverty agenda.
There have been notable improvements in three crucial measures of economic well-being: income, poverty and health insurance coverage. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau announced that all took a sharp turn for the better in 2015, the first time since 1999 that the three measures improved in the same year.
The question now is whether the new data will inspire a deeper discussion about how to keep making progress. According to the report, the official poverty rate fell from 14.8 percent in 2014, or 46.7 million people, to 13.5 percent in 2015, or 43.1 million people, the largest annual percentage-point drop since 1999.Although Mrs. Clinton has talked more about families, women, children and working Americans than about the poor, there is much within her economic program that would help those in or near poverty. She supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour ($15 is a better goal) and would increase investment in Early Head Start and child care subsidies.”
I wrote in the Comments: “Yet neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has a specific anti-poverty agenda.” While it is conceivable that this statement is technically true, it sounds mean, and guilty of the false equivalency syndrome of the press today. I’ve been listening to Hillary Clinton’s first book, “Living History,” which is quite good, and her focus on children, women, and the poor go back a long way, over a long period of time. She has lost many battles, and won some as well. She has many ideas this year, outlined, we hear over and over, on five point programs catalogued on her website. I believe this. If they aren’t all there, they are in her three books. A new, $12 an hour federal minimum wage seems like a reasonable compromise, and a mature, incremental approach to a $15 minimum wage, which will eventually follow it. She, like President Obama, will need the congress, to get progressive legislation passed.
“Every day, I run into Republican friends who can’t stomach a vote for Donald J. Trump but don’t know what to do. Vote for Hillary Clinton, who has trouble with the truth, wants to raise taxes and opposes free trade with Asia? Vote for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, an outlier who once ran a marijuana business and embraces isolationism? Or not vote at all, maintaining a certain purity but allowing others to decide the next president?I faced exactly these choices myself. I have voted for every Republican nominee for president since 1980, but I will not this time. Mr. Trump’s appalling temperament renders him unfit to be president, and his grotesque policy formulations mock the principles of liberty and respect for the individual that have been the foundation of the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln.
Even before Mr. Trump entered the race, I saw this coming. I worked to open a pathway for an independent — a solid third candidate who would attract the votes of the roughly two-thirds of Americans in the center. A serious contender would force the two major-party candidates to compete for votes in the middle, rather than appealing to the wings. I spent a year and a half on the project, but a month ago threw in the towel.The deck is stacked by the parties against anyone but a Republican or Democrat. An independent has to run an expensive gantlet to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot in all the states, suffers a severe disadvantage in fund-raising, and is effectively barred from the fall presidential debates by a commission loaded with party stalwarts.
Through much trial and error, I learned that this is, whether we like it or not, an election between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, period. And that means that if you want to stop Mr. Trump, you have no choice but to vote for Mrs. Clinton. There’s no sitting this one out.”
The comments are better than the op-ed piece, which begs fellow Republicans to grow up and vote for Hillary Clinton. One commenter lammented that the GOP is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. GOP has come to mean “Greed Over People.”
Here are a few of many excellent comments at the NYT.com.
“Mr. Glassman, I’m not sure the Republican party is worth saving in its present incarnation– a hodgepodge of conservative nostrums wrapped up in greed, anger and resentment that Trump is exposed.
You should title this, “Recreate the Republican Party: Vote Clinton.”
If your peers heed your warning, and do help elect a Democrat, the Republican party will need to rise from the ashes of Trumpism and determine just what it stands for, beyond the needs of a rich old white men.
Your main premise says it all:
“For this reason, I strongly disagree with my fellow Republicans — many of whom I served with in the George W. Bush administration — who say that they won’t vote for Mr. Trump because he’s a threat to the republic, but won’t vote for Mrs. Clinton either because she’ll raise taxes.”
If I read you correctly, you’re saying your wealthy GOP friends are willing to risk the reputation, integrity, and future of America out of anger over a long overdue changes to the tax rate and loopholes that have long favored your class?
God almighty, how much does greed cost you? High income earners have enjoyed a free ride for so long it’s a wonder there’s anything left for the masses. The usual argument is who will get to appoint new Supreme Court members, not who will maintain low taxes on deferred interest! Would it really be so tough to pay your fair share?
A popular poster here calls the GOP “greed over people.” That’s the root of the Republican problem.”
“Americans of a certain age who follow politics and policy closely still have vivid memories of the 2000 election — bad memories, and not just because the man who lost the popular vote somehow ended up in office. For the campaign leading up to that end game was nightmarish too.
You see, one candidate, George W. Bush, was dishonest in a way that was unprecedented in U.S. politics. Most notably, he proposed big tax cuts for the rich while insisting, in raw denial of arithmetic, that they were targeted for the middle class. These campaign lies presaged what would happen during his administration — an administration that, let us not forget, took America to war on false pretenses.Yet throughout the campaign most media coverage gave the impression that Mr. Bush was a bluff, straightforward guy, while portraying Al Gore — whose policy proposals added up, and whose critiques of the Bush plan were completely accurate — as slippery and dishonest. Mr. Gore’s mendacity was supposedly demonstrated by trivial anecdotes, none significant, some of them simply false. No, he never claimed to have invented the internet. But the image stuck.
And right now I and many others have the sick, sinking feeling that it’s happening again.”
Great opinion piece by Paul Krugman, followed by excellent comments. I would like to know if there is a comprehensive article about how the press allowed the Swift boaters to destroy John Kerry. How was the smear allowed to succeed?
Here is one of my favorite comments to Krugman’s piece.
PETER EBENSTEIN MD WHITE PLAINS NY 2 hours ago
“The press, and especially the broadcast media, thrive on scandal, oversimplification and false equivalence, even if this causes the promulgation of lies.
The Clinton Foundation is NOT pay for play– this is just an outright lie. How about some articles on the details of the good work the Clinton Foundation is doing around the world?
Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server was not hidden. In fact anyone corresponding with her from any branch of the government (including the FBI and others concerned with cyber security) could see at a glance that clintonemal.com is not a dot gov address. Now that she is running for president they have “discovered” that she was using a private server??
By contrast, the Republican nominee has been caught in fraud after fraud, lie after lie. His whole life has been flimflam. One hardly knows where to start. And his running mate is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers with their disinformation campaign about climate change and energy.
What is needed is accurate and in depth reporting, not catchy headlines.”
“When I was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, I asked many prospective administration officials if they would sell stock in companies, give up stock options, step down from nonprofit boards or make other painful choices to enter public service. Some balked. I told them that someone more important than I was, perhaps the president or the White House chief of staff, would ask them, “Do you want this job or don’t you?”
I know about the difficult questions, and entanglements, that crop up in public service. I believe that Hillary Clinton has asked and successfully answered those questions as they pertain to the Clinton Foundation. There is little if any evidence that federal ethics laws were broken by Mrs. Clinton or anyone working for her at the State Department in their dealings with the foundation. Unfortunately, the foundation is still fuel for Mrs. Clinton’s persistent critics.These critics have yet to point to any provision of the federal statutes or ethics regulations that was violated by Secretary Clinton or her staff in their dealings with the foundation and its principals, agents and donors. Was there favoritism? Probably, yes. But laws were not broken. If favoritism by political appointees toward outside persons and organizations were illegal, the United States government would be quite different than it is today.”
Mr. Painter writes he will support Hillary Clinton, and that she has done nothing wrong at the foundation, but that the Clintons should all stop working there for the rest of their lives. This is a terrible idea, and after a profound analysis. The world will be a better place if the Clintons all work at their foundation after Hillary’s presidency ends. The Clinton Foundation is doing great works around the world.
“If only there were such concern about A Thousand Points of Light, which President George H.W. Bush ran while he was President, or the American Red Cross, run by Elizabeth Dole while Bob Dole was the nominee, or any of the other charitable foundations doing great work by major political figures. But there wasn’t, because this isn’t about favoritism, or access, or anything other than The Clinton Rules, which say “anything done by a Clinton is bad.”
As for the “it’s really okay but the optics are terrible” argument shoved down our throat daily by the media I ask, who but you is creating those terrible optics, breathlessly reporting insinuation in the headline and lede, and occasionally noting, in the seventh paragraph or page 9, “but they did nothing illegal or different than anybody else, and they saved 10 million lives in the process?” “
“RENO, Nev. — HILLARY didn’t hang her head and cry, after she shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.She went outside with a big smile and sampled chocolate truffles served on silver and gold trays by a local sweets shop.After getting steadily bolder at rallies about puncturing her former friend Donald Trump, Clinton channeled Johnny Cash’s song and delivered a coup de grâce so devastating that commentators predicted it will be known simply as the Reno speech. A senior citizen in the crowd raised his fist as he passed the press pen at Truckee Meadows Community College and used a vulgarism to brag that Hillary had kicked Trump in a highly sensitive place.”
Maureen Dowd has really gone overboard in defense of the oranged-haired manatee of hatred, and with her insatiable hatred of Hillary Clinton. Great Comments against Dowd follow the over the top opinion piece.
After Christine McMorrow joined the pile ontop of Maureen Dowd, with her usual unkind words about Hillary’s warts, I wrote in reply: Hillary Clinton has made some whopper mistakes, but who hasn’t?
I love Hillary Clinton, and continue to support her enthusiastically. She is smarter, more prepared, and more concerned with the oppressed and our endangered environment than most politicians and US presidents. I do understand the hatred though. Smart, articulate and powerful women were burned as witches for centuries.
“RENO, Nev. — Hillary Clinton on Thursday delivered a blistering denunciation of Donald J. Trump’s embrace of the “alt-right” political philosophy, presenting his choice as an especially ominous turn in a presidential election full of them.In her most direct critique yet connecting the Trump campaign to white nationalists and the conservative fringe, Mrs. Clinton is framing Mr. Trump’s run as unprecedented in modern politics.“He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” she said.
Asserting that a racially-charged and “paranoid fringe” had always existed in politics, she said, “it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”The speech, at a community college here, comes one week after Mr. Trump named Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, as his campaign chief. Mr. Bannon has eagerly described the site as “the platform for the alt-right” — a loosely defined and contested term often associated with white nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment.
In an op-ed article last week, Michael J. Morell, a former deputy and acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president — and lambasted her Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, as a threat to national security. The article jump-started a new conversation about foreign policy in this election — one that received a further boost on Monday, when 50 Republican foreign policy leaders signed a letter condemning Mr. Trump on similar grounds.After sifting through more than a thousand reader comments, op-ed editors identified several key themes and questions and put them to Mr. Morell. Here are his answers.
Q. You praise Hillary Clinton’s poise and preparedness at the State Department, but can you speak to any real achievements during her term as secretary of state?All the glowing praise in the NYT and the commentators for Hillary Clinton just about nonstop … Will someone please tell us just what Mrs. Clinton has accomplished during her tenure? I only see bad judgment and decisions …. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Honduras etc., taking money from Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries.— E.S., Cleveland
A. She was key to many achievements, including building the international sanctions regime against Iran, the most effective in history and the single factor that forced Tehran to the negotiating table, making possible last year’s agreement that set back Iran’s nuclear program by well over a decade; overseeing the negotiation of a new arms control treaty with Russia that reduced nuclear stockpiles to their lowest levels in decades; and brokering a cease-fire in Gaza that averted a ground war. She played a central role in bringing China and India to the table for the first time on climate change, leading to last year’s Paris accord; in opening Burma to the world and taking the initial steps that resulted in normalized relations with Cuba; and in advancing the rights of women and girls around the globe.But in my view, her greatest achievement was her work with the rest of the national security team that prevented any attacks by an international terrorist group on the homeland. This is a remarkable achievement, given the intentions, capabilities and plots of Al Qaeda to attack us during her tenure. Secretary Clinton was a leader in our fight against terrorism. In these policy discussions, her voice carried immense weight. She supported aggressive operations against extremists, including drone strikes, the military surge in Afghanistan and the Bin Laden raid. In her diplomatic work, she worked to ensure that our allies and partners were supporting us in this critically important mission.”
“Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that she wanted “to make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top.” It’s a philosophy she put forward over a year ago at the start of her campaign. Since then, her proposals to achieve this goal — mainly through tax fairness, job creation and higher wages — have become much more detailed and offer an even sharper contrast to Donald Trump’s economic ideas, which she ripped apart in her speech.Mrs. Clinton says her first priority is to create jobs, primarily through public investments in infrastructure, like roads, bridges, school renovations, affordable housing, water systems, electrical grids, broadband internet and renewable energy.
To help pay for the plan, initially $275 billion over five years, she has proposed several tax increases on high earners, including the “Buffett rule” for a minimum tax of 30 percent on those who make more than $1 million, a 4 percent surcharge on incomes over $5 million and a limit on deductions. Mr. Trump has also said he would rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. But the multitrillion-dollar income tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy in his plan would preclude such investments. And his plan to repeal the estate tax, Mrs. Clinton rightly pointed out, would not help a vast majority of Americans and deplete the Treasury of hundreds of billion of dollars of revenue.”
“With both major-party presidential candidates vying for working-class voters, Hillary Clinton on Thursday followed Donald J. Trump to Michigan to outline her job-creation plans, answering his economic address on Monday in Detroit. Mrs. Clinton spoke at Futuramic Tool & Engineering Company in Macomb County, long known as a home to political ticket-splitters. Some of her statements deserved a closer look. Here are a few.Claim: “Even conservative experts say Trump’s agenda will pull our economy back into recession. And according to an independent analysis by a former economic adviser to Senator John McCain, if you add up all of Trump’s ideas — from cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations, to starting a trade war with China, to deporting millions of hardworking immigrants — the result would be a loss of 3.4 million jobs. Now, by contrast, the same analyst found that with our plans, the economy would create more than 10 million new jobs.” ”
“Losing the governor’s race here in 1980 so shattered a young Bill Clinton that he couldn’t face his supporters, so he sent his wife around to thank campaign workers instead. He later gathered with close friends for dinner but quietly sulked, playing the country song “I Don’t Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling” on the jukebox.
But his wife had a more pressing concern: money. The ousted governor needed a job, the family needed a place to live, and moving out of the governor’s mansion meant losing the help they had as they raised their 9-month-old daughter, Chelsea.The morning after the election, Hillary Clinton worked the phones from the mansion, calling wealthy friends and asking for help.“The world changed. There was a tectonic shift,” said Thomas F. McLarty III, a friend of Mr. Clinton’s who served as his White House chief of staff.
Mr. Clinton was of little use as he fixated on voters’ rejection. And for the first time, friends said, Mrs. Clinton glimpsed fragility in the future she had moved to Arkansas to pursue. She worried about saving for Chelsea’s college, caring for her aging parents, and even possibly supporting herself should the marriage or their political dreams dissolve.”
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Comments, NYT.
This is a very useful summary, thank you Amy Chozick. I am currently listening to the Hillary Clinton biography, “Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton,” read by Kathe Mazur. What a magnificent woman. I feel sorry for the Hillary haters cutting her down in these comments. They would not be hyper critical of any man, who went about methodically earning money to allow for the sacrifice of foregoing private sector jobs for the public office.
I learned from this Chozick piece, that Hillary donated the profits of her first book to charity.
Over the centuries, many societies put down successful women by accusing them of witchcraft, and burning them at the stake. That is who the Hillary haters appear to be associated with. From “Living History,” I learned that when Hillary made it to Yale Law School, she spent her first year two years focusing on the law to protect children and children’s rights. Her focus on championing the weak and underrepresented goes back to her first year in law school, and activities before that in high school and college.
The story that she is a chronic liar, and crooked politician, is all part of a long, smear campaign by Fox News and right wing talk radio, that just proves that if you say a lie often enough, some people will be dumb enough to believe you.
The crooked liars are the folk who smear and tear down one of America’s great, female, public servants and Christian soldiers fighting for the less fortunate, the environment and for good works.