Hillary Clinton: Woman Enough

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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Shes gonna lose! I wish it wasnt so but as sure as I am that she will beat Bernie, Im equally sure she'll lose to Trump.



Well I hope youre right Sexy, cause Id rather a lottery of mayors across the country was taken, and if they chose with Bingo balls who would be President, Id prefer that over Trump.



Was out of town, but I want to remind people I have a standing offer to talk Clinton in her thread. I asked for any worry about a specific outcome of a Clinton presidency (basically, not just "she'd be bad") and I have yet to be taken up on it in the 4 weeks since I posted it.

Not that I support everything about her, there are some points I'll likely just concede, and I like Sanders as well (Obama, in my view, edges both of them out. So I'm slightly forlorn by what I'd see as a downgrade, no matter the outcome). Even Obama had downsides for me, but I'm okay with that, seeing as how politics contains a lot of compromise.
I will bite a bit being fully aware that I will be way out of my element talking to you about economics. I think my biggest question to any Hillary supporter is how they think her policies can pull us out of the spending hole we find ourselves in. I am fully aware that the Bush years are apart of this problem but most of the republicans now fully admit that and feel we have to do something about the massive spending or the system can't sustain itself. I know the go to answers are larger taxes on the 1% and cut military spending. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these solutions don't even begin to solve our deficit, and spending hasn't stopped. In fact it seems like I hear about new programs daily. The latest today is that people shouldn't be spending more than 10% on childcare. So how do Hillary's policies change our spending habits is my first question?
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I think there needs to be compromise... Cut loopholes for the rich, cut military spending and put up some better shelters. This way there isn't abuse. This would also help home owners as property values rise when poverty is cut, so it could be beneficial either way. And in return cutting a billion from new office space for federal workers, which has been brought up, and I don't disagree - it's not a necessity. Another billion by collecting unpaid taxes by federal employees. Cutting 1.4 billion from USAID is something else. Compared to other industrial countries, we actually spend less per capita, but they live better than us - we have plenty of poverty. I'd also add cutting funding for federal employees with travel. They can fly economy - we can always cut luxuries.

Also, the less we bomb, the more safe we are. We've been bombing ISIS for 2 years, and they are stronger than ever. Every bomb is a recruiting tool for people on the fence.



I will bite a bit being fully aware that I will be way out of my element talking to you about economics. I think my biggest question to any Hillary supporter is how they think her policies can pull us out of the spending hole we find ourselves in. I am fully aware that the Bush years are apart of this problem but most of the republicans now fully admit that and feel we have to do something about the massive spending or the system can't sustain itself. I know the go to answers are larger taxes on the 1% and cut military spending. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these solutions don't even begin to solve our deficit, and spending hasn't stopped. In fact it seems like I hear about new programs daily. The latest today is that people shouldn't be spending more than 10% on childcare. So how do Hillary's policies change our spending habits is my first question?
Thanks for the honest concern seanc! That was a lot more substantive than I was expecting; to be frank, when it comes to Hillary it's actually pretty nice to hear a policy issue for once.

First of all, while I really love economics, Iím really only an expert in really esoteric stuff, I donít think Iím out of any thoughtful personís league on generic economic issues. I might know more of the particular names for things, but really knowledge of the American economy is a hobby; not my profession.
Iíll separate your question into a couple parts:

1) What would I assume Hillaryís effect on the budget deficit to be?
a. Would that be mostly through cutting spending or raising taxes.
2) Is that something I myself support?

So the first easy political answer is ďboth cut spending and raise taxes! Itís a compromise!Ē, and I definitely think thatís what Hillary will say (Iím not going to say sheís not a politician in my defense of her by the way, I donít think thatís a bad thing either [or a good thing, necessarily]). But I think the balance of her approach to the deficit will be more on raising revenues than on cutting spending.

You may cry ďLaffer CurveĒ, but I donít think we are even close to the tail of the Laffer Curve. I also donít think the Laffer curve works the way most people think, but I will acknowledge a generalized diminishing marginal return on each additional dollar of taxation toward revenue. Basically, each additional dollar of taxing gets a tiny bit less true revenue than the last dollar, as each additional tax dollar makes a business less able to leverage their finances to improve their position in an economy, hence costing us a portion of what would have been taxable income. This sounds like the Laffer curve, but the distinction here is the tipping point that actually reverses revenue where a dollar of taxation costs MORE than a dollar of lost revenue because of several dollars of lost income.

Okay, Iím kinda getting in the weeds already, but I want to start the conversation with 2 mutually under-acknowledged ideas: Liberals sometimes ignore the fact that the effect of taking a dollar away from a business is not on a flat distribution, Conservatives sometimes ignore that the dollar isnít vanishing, but being reinvested somewhere else (sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way). Liberals and Conservatives alike should at least conceptually acknowledge that we care about the opportunity cost of that dollar, is it better for it to be in a market? Or is it better for it to be in a government program? There will still be disagreements from that point, but it helps frame the conversation a bit less dramatically: I donít think we should have a purely state run economy, and most conservatives probably agree that there are some worthwhile governing programs.

While I seriously love markets, I also think itís in the collective interest of those markets to be regulated. Players in markets will naturally try to escape competition, individually thatís GOOD for them. But it creates a collective action problem, in my opinion. Markets are pretty good at controlling themselves when they are fairly competitive, but once a company gains a relative advantage itís very easy to use their leverage to out-power their rivalsÖ

Man, this actually is kinda at the center of my political beliefs, and itís going to pull so much into it that this will be impossible to read. Iím going to try to be more brief:

I know appealing to balances is kind of a hokey ďlook at me, Iím impartialĒ move, but I do think thereís a very generic balance between spending and investments. Itís not 50-50, but itís something to keep in mind.

Consuming every dollar we have immediately is bad, because itís difficult to make improvements over our current condition. Investing every dollar is bad, because the market would fail without money in circulation. In a sense, this is a lot like the supply side vs demand side argument.

I believe we are in a situation where our economy thrives more if we take a dollar away from a wealthy individual and put it toward infrastructure such as education. This is NOT to say that dollar would have been WASTED by the wealthy person, that dollar would have, in some way, been useful to the net economy. Even if that wealthy person would have used that dollar to buy a solid gold bar, that money is moving around in the economy. However I think spending the dollar on education eventually gets us more money down the road.

In a way, when the government has a dollar, it has to juggle three basic benefits of that dollar:
1) Use that dollar to pay down the debt (this, to me, is the easiest ďbaselineĒ use of a dollar). We know exactly how much that dollar would save us down the line.

2) Give that dollar back to the market (typically, tax cuts). We want to think about how that dollar would enable businesses to hire more people, or invest in new ideas.

3) Spend that dollar towards a public program. How effective would that dollar be? If we put it towards healthcare, will that dollar help us in the long run by reducing future healthcare costs? If we put it in education, do we expect that student to become more productive and give us more revenue in the long run?

When thinking about the use of tax money, if you go with either giving the money to the market, or spending it on a social program, in my opinion the benefit MUST be shown to be greater than spending it on paying down the debt. If the social program wouldnít give us 3% on that dollar in the future, all else equal Iíd say use that dollar on the debt instead. If giving that dollar back to the market doesnít net us 3%, put that dollar towards the debt (3% is just an example, the interest rate varies).

Now back to Clinton. Thereís a lot of programs she talks about that I think beats both the market and the debt. Some Iím not sure about. You mention childcare. Now, my job experience with TANF childcare research is going to color my opinion on this, but allowing parents greater freedom to work has shown tremendous benefits. The child has better education outcomes. The parents have better job stability. The effects are also biggest on allowing women to enter the workforce more easily, and it even reduces some of their need for other government programs. Iím not going to hide my bias, I love child care, and I love it for greedy, greedy money reasons (by the way, I also particularly love Social Security for greedy money reasons, much more than Medicare/Medical).

I guess my answer is this: generally speaking, Hillaryís programs have tended to pass my personal threshold for being better spent in that program than either given back to the market or spent directly on the debt. This is not true for all programs, and I havenít read about every individual program, so there very well could be a poison pill in one of them.
I will admit that should Clinton win, Iíd like to see some money spent directly towards the debt, even when some of the time Iíd rather it go towards social programs. Because I think the value of some compromise along with that reduction in the debt is likely greater than the value of dollars in SOME of those programs.

TL: DR Iím a pretty standard liberal. I think that the investments in the social programs outlined by Clinton are better for the deficit long term than direct payments or tax cuts. But I do think that compromise can exist and there can be some debt pay-down, and I think as a candidate who has branded herself as a pragmatist, debt reduction is low-hanging fruit to help that pragmatist case (e.g. Jerry Brown).

If you disagree that those social programs are better for the debt, specifically, Hillary probably isn't the candidate for you, and you should probably look into Libertarians. Whom I think are wrong, a lot, but they seem pretty consistent on that that issue. Libertarians usually strongly dislike a lot of government programs, so I pretty vehemently disagree with them on that, but I kind of enjoy their baseline simplicity. Actual Libertarians that is, not pick and choose ones who like the brand better.

Ugh, that was kind of a mess. I feel like I talked about a lot of stuff outside of your question; and in the end kinda made my answer hard to extract (and possibly incomplete, if I'm missing stuff please point it out, just because it's long doesn't mean it's actually a full answer) sorry about that. I tried to make it more parsimonious in a lot of places, but I resented leaving all this interesting stuff out, and I'm also just bad at being concise.



I knew as soon as I started reading that that it was going to branch off way more than you wanted it to.

I kind of want to talk more about the Laffer Curve/investment trade off stuff, but it'll instantly stop being about Hillary, so I'm kinda torn. So I'll just put this post up as a marker if and when you guys finish talking about more on-topic stuff and maybe we can pick something up then.



I guess my answer is this: generally speaking, Hillaryís programs have tended to pass my personal threshold for being better spent in that program than either given back to the market or spent directly on the debt. This is not true for all programs, and I havenít read about every individual program, so there very well could be a poison pill in one of them.
I will admit that should Clinton win, Iíd like to see some money spent directly towards the debt, even when some of the time Iíd rather it go towards social programs. Because I think the value of some compromise along with that reduction in the debt is likely greater than the value of dollars in SOME of those programs.
I appreciate the long response, I really like having an idea of where you are coming from and you certainly gave me that. I'll respond to this small part just because that will hopefully keep us on track with making this about Hillary specifically. Although saying that I am immediately afraid that my thoughts will be towards democrats in general rather than her specifically. I can appreciate where your thoughts are coming from on education, and I am sure there are other programs you can name where I would find the point valid. Overall I would say that programs spent into would actually give back to the economy has to be a pretty small percentage. I am not a conservative that says we need to cut welfare programs bare bones either. Obviously there are humanitarian concerns, and slashing programs people have come to depend on could have severe consequences. I do think we need to start down the road of rehabilitation though, and this seems like something democrats are unwilling to do. I really believe our welfare programs need to have better checks and balances, and I don't see that ever happening under a democratic president.

I also grow frustrated with what I call, for lack of a better term, hidden taxes. When debates come up about things like cap and trade or universal health, democrats default to the big companies are going to be flipping the bill. That the average joe will not incur the costs. Of course this is never how things work. The companies immediately pass the cost down to the consumer. So it is not in fact a tax, but it is very much a tax in practice. We saw this is how things worked big time with the Affordable Care Act. My place of business almost immediately forced our family premiums so high that no one could afford them. Forcing our kids onto state run plans. I know my story isn't particularly sad, but it is not unique either. That is without even mentioning that the insurance is not actually affordable to those who need it. It is actually rather expensive, most people I know who looked into it chose to go without.

I simply see more of the same with Hillary. I don't know how much impact a republican candidate can have either at this point. At least on that side I see talk headed in the right direction.



Thanks sean, I'll do my best to explain where I differ.

I really believe our welfare programs need to have better checks and balances, and I don't see that ever happening under a democratic president.
What do you mean by checks and balances? Do you mean fraud? Or that it's too easy to get on welfare? Or that we give those on welfare too much?

I also grow frustrated with what I call, for lack of a better term, hidden taxes. When debates come up about things like cap and trade or universal health, democrats default to the big companies are going to be flipping the bill.
I'll actually agree with you here. I think that the democratic policy wonks actually do know this, but are aware that the "stick it to the big companies" argument is an easier sell than "yes, this will eventually cost YOU money too, but here's why it's necessary". I'd prefer that democrats open admit that there's a real cost of taking money away from the rich (such as a reduction in investments, and the cost being passed on in some portion to the consumer) but that the benefits of the program are even larger. Both sides have these sorts of rhetorical shortcomings, and this is a frustrating one for me by the dems because I really think a lot of these programs are fantastic and there's good data on their benefits.

The other reason it's a common argument is that it's also a one-size-fits-all. You have to justify every program individually with the other argument, saying that it's unfair for the rich to have all the money works for everything and we can just put the money where we want it.

We saw this is how things worked big time with the Affordable Care Act. My place of business almost immediately forced our family premiums so high that no one could afford them. Forcing our kids onto state run plans. I know my story isn't particularly sad, but it is not unique either. That is without even mentioning that the insurance is not actually affordable to those who need it. It is actually rather expensive, most people I know who looked into it chose to go without.
I'm definitely not a health care expert. And even in my hobbyist look at why health care is so expensive and not particularly great (compared to other countries) I haven't found a really convincing single reason (the closest, for me, is that we lack leverage over health care companies/drug companies to negotiate better prices, but even this has gaps). But I do know a bit more about insurance in general.

Insurance is high because costs are high. When we talk about high premiums, it's usually not the case that the insurance company is particularly greedy, and overcharging; the services are just really expensive. Relative to your point about the ACA causing insurance premiums to rise, I'll point towards someone more knowledgeable than me at factcheck.org. I'll do a summary of the points (and I'll really do my best not to cherry pick, so if someone finds something that I left out that is particularly egregious, let me know).

The main question the article addresses is whether or not premiums are "skyrocketing". So here's the issue in my eyes: We would expect Premiums to rise even without the ACA, so did the ACA accelerate the rise?

The article argues states there was maybe a 1-3 percent rise that was directly attributable to the ACA (likely caused by an influx of people previously unable to get health care that need more health care services). Otherwise, the rise in healthcare premiums really wasn't very high:



(You'll see that while there was a spike, the rise of premiums is actuallyslower than it was under Bush Jr.)

You can argue that it should have been even lower, or that he got lucky, but based on what I've found, it's a stretch to say that insurance premiums on the whole have done anything but mildly increase.

Obviously, there may be individual cases where the rise was much, much greater (Trump points to these during his remarks, and to his credit, his claims are rated half true [for once] because it technically does happen in some places, but it's cherry picking in the same way that a pro-ACA person could point to someone's premiums dramatically falling and saying it's the norm).

I simply see more of the same with Hillary.
I think this is pretty accurate, but since I'm relatively alright with it, it's not that concerning to me. She probably won't be all that dramatically different from Obama.

Let me know if I missed anything or got something wrong.



Bill Clinton practically ended welfare --- unless you have children.
Phew, thank God there are no people with children around to take advantage of the system.

Slappy, I will respond to you a bit later.



What do you mean by checks and balances? Do you mean fraud? Or that it's too easy to get on welfare? Or that we give those on welfare too much?
Is it a cop out to say all of the above? I get frustrated with how our funds are used at almost every turn. I am all for giving people a leg up, but there seems to be no accountability for that leg up at all. On the flip side it does seem hard at times for people that need help. Similar to immigration, it seems that the people that know the system are best able to take advantage. Leaving those without a handle on the system out in the cold. I know this may be too vague, but as a voter I see one side that is at the very least willing to have conversations about these issues and the other side who is not only unwilling to have that conversation but accuse those against them of racism for even bringing it up.


I'll actually agree with you here. I think that the democratic policy wonks actually do know this, but are aware that the "stick it to the big companies" argument is an easier sell than "yes, this will eventually cost YOU money too, but here's why it's necessary". I'd prefer that democrats open admit that there's a real cost of taking money away from the rich (such as a reduction in investments, and the cost being passed on in some portion to the consumer) but that the benefits of the program are even larger. Both sides have these sorts of rhetorical shortcomings, and this is a frustrating one for me by the dems because I really think a lot of these programs are fantastic and there's good data on their benefits.
We won't probably come to an agreement on this point but I had to quote because this is what an actual adult conversation looks like. Two people understanding where the other is coming from even if they don't agree. Amazing, and just so you know you will never here me say conservatives don't have rhetorical shortcomings. Your absolutely right, the whole system has far too many. Frustrating.

The article argues states there was maybe a 1-3 percent rise that was directly attributable to the ACA (likely caused by an influx of people previously unable to get health care that need more health care services). Otherwise, the rise in healthcare premiums really wasn't very high:
Fair point, and maybe bringing my own story into it isn't fair to people who have much bigger healthcare issues, and isn't representative of the big picture. I do think it is fair to say that ACA is starting to put a lot of financial pressure on businesses and is not very affordable for the people who need it. I think that is the bigger issues with ACA, it is not working the way it should. I think that is another example of misrepresentation as well. When ACA first passed I had no less than five people talk to me who were genuinely surprised it cost anything at all, let alone the pretty darn high premiums that it does.

That being said, and this will tie in to what I was talking about with hidden taxes. I could probably be talked into true universal health if someone would say how much it is going to cost each individual tax payer. 8-10% income tax rate hike across the board pays for universal health. I'm ready to go. No one wants to do that though. Too sweet having the appearance of free.



sean- thanks for the thoughtful reply-- I'm gonna give you a real response in the next couple days. I'm in a debate about payday lending elsewhere and I'm worried that if I reply here while my headspace is still there I'll drag my frustrations from that over here.



I read that -- in Pennsylvania, at least? -- she wants to tax soda so that there will be (mandatory?) pre-school for everybody. "Everybody needs pre-school," she said.

I did not need pre-school. I didn't go to it. It wasn't necessary. Give me a break.

I heard her speak last night on TV. Her voice sounds terrible. She sounds sick.
My proposals if I were the president:

1) They should tax soda and fat, to make people eat more healthy and improve the looks of Americans. That would improve life expectancy much more than ObamaCare.

2) Also, tax Co2 emissions to deal with global warming, economists estimate that a tax of 50-100 dollars per ton of Co2 would be optimal. Since the US makes 6 billion tons of Co2 that would net the US government 300-600 billion dollars.

3) Also, cut out unemployment insurance because you are paying for people to not work (hence reducing productivity).

4) Reduce welfare expenditures by allowing foreign doctors to work in the US (that would reduce a lot the cost of medical care and hence Medicare/Medicaid), like doctors from places with similar quality of medical schools like Canada, UK, Japan, EU, etc.

5) And use the money from these taxes and the money saved from unemployment insurance to reduce income taxes to zero for the lower middle class and the poor which are 50-60% of the population.



I'm in a debate about payday lending elsewhere and I'm worried that if I reply here while my headspace is still there I'll drag my frustrations from that over here.
If you're arguing against its existence, I wouldn't mind getting into those weeds a little whenever you're "done" here (whatever done means).



Is it a cop out to say all of the above? I get frustrated with how our funds are used at almost every turn. I am all for giving people a leg up, but there seems to be no accountability for that leg up at all. On the flip side it does seem hard at times for people that need help. Similar to immigration, it seems that the people that know the system are best able to take advantage. Leaving those without a handle on the system out in the cold. I know this may be too vague, but as a voter I see one side that is at the very least willing to have conversations about these issues and the other side who is not only unwilling to have that conversation but accuse those against them of racism for even bringing it up.
Iíll agree that sometimes the conversation gets shut down too easily around welfare programs, but Iíll disagree with the lack of accountability. However, I should note that the vast majority of my knowledge is at the state level (California), so itís completely possible that if you live in a different state, the situation is different (though I would doubt itís massively different).

I mentioned fraud first for my personal reasons, because itís a significant part of my job to look at TANF/SNAP fraud statistics. And in my opinion, the amount of fraud resources we have are overleveraged if anything. If we were simply a company, weíd be pretty alright with the actually low fraud rate of 1-3% (depending on the program, SNAP is usually thought to be around ~1%, TANF is a bit higher, but around 2-3%, and Medical & Medicare are higher, but I donít know those programs as well). We donít recoup the resources we exert on fraud detection because usually, the individuals canít pay us back. They get kicked off the program and prevented from rejoining for a period of time relative to the severity of the fraud, and that saves us some money, but itís a lot of effort for pretty low benefits, aside from a symbolic deterrent.

Though, to be truthful, the main benefit of fraud detection programs is to show that the programs have accountability, and often fraud programs are folded in during negotiations on the programs, usually not very much, but in CA a token increase in fraud detection is a win that Republicans in the state legislature can tout, because they are seriously outnumbered.

The thing that bugs me about discussions around fraud when it comes to SNAP (in particular) is that the non-participation rate is around ten times higher than the fraud rate (~15% nationally, above 30% in CA). Because of the negative stigma about government assistance, a lot of people donít get help they are entitled for, a significantly larger group than the ones defrauding the program (though itís true, the people that defraud government programs designed to help the poor are pretty awful, because they are contributing towards efforts to defund the program and endangering a lot of people).

Now all this might be moot, because SNAP and TANF spending is dwarfed by SS, Medicare, and Medical. But particularly when it comes to SNAP, I really want everyone on the program, itís not that much money and getting people food secure helps kids develop, helps people stay healthy (and drop Medicare costs), and really feels like the least we could do.

Two people understanding where the other is coming from even if they don't agree.
Agreed that this is pretty key, because itís not only annoying to talk past each other, it makes discussion fairly worthless, and discussion is really important to me. It bugs me a bit when dems only repeat the merits of their ideas that appeal to their own base, rather than addressing the concerns of the other side (they should appeal to their base some of the time, but if theyíre going to enter a negotiation with the other side, at least show that you know why they are concerned).

That being said, and this will tie in to what I was talking about with hidden taxes. I could probably be talked into true universal health if someone would say how much it is going to cost each individual tax payer. 8-10% income tax rate hike across the board pays for universal health. I'm ready to go. No one wants to do that though. Too sweet having the appearance of free.
Sadly, I donít know enough about healthcare in particular to mount a real defense of government funded healthcare. I can pretty much only point to the outlier status of the US when it comes to the ratio of money spent on relatively mediocre health outcomes and ask if thereís something that other countries are doing that weíre not.

The most convincing argument Iíve heard on US healthcare costs being so relatively high is that we lack bargaining leverage, which could be a benefit of a state run healthcare system.

But your last sentence is where I hem and haw, because while I like the idea, I have to admit that I havenít been fully convinced of the merits by its proponents (Sanders in particular), and I should be one of the easy ones. It could be that I just personally pay less attention to that sort of thing, and I would be convinced if I listened.

Thanks again sean, the voice in my head that I try to use as a counterpoint to my positions is getting a lot smarter during discussions like this!



If you're arguing against its existence, I wouldn't mind getting into those weeds a little whenever you're "done" here (whatever done means).
I think a separate topic would be good for the econ stuff (unless Hillary said something in particular about it). I'll be there!

I will say that from the get-go, I sometimes take my time with replying to debates. Overall I enjoy them, but I prefer to debate when I'm not feeling any external stress, otherwise it turns a little incoherent and aggressive, which makes my side look bad, and goes against my goal of accelerating our march towards a state-run utopia.



Yeah, same. There's a compulsive argument cycle where one or more participants feel the need to reply as soon as possible, and that's about the point where it stops becoming illuminating and starts becoming unpleasant and/or angry, in my experience. Just wanted to put that in the back of your head, and maybe in a week or two when work settles down (on my end) one of us will give it a go. Though given your general faith in markets, I think I know how it'll go and it'll probably reach an impasse pretty quick. But hey, you have the conversation because you might be surprised, so who knows.