These ideas, this rhetoric...class warfare, anti-market: be frightened. They are dueling to outsocialist each other.
Clinton pits herself against business
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) trashed an array of corporate interests in an economic speech in Ohio Thursday, vowing that as president she would go after oil, credit-card, insurance, pharmaceutical, investment, and loan firms.
Delivering a major economic address ahead of the Buckeye State’s crucial March 4 primary, Clinton also slammed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as a lightweight, declaring: “My opponent gives speeches, I offer solutions.”
“My opponent says that he’ll take on the special interests,” she said in her prepared remarks. “Well, he told people he stood up to the nuclear industry and passed a bill against them. But he actually let the nuclear industry water down his bill – the bill never actually passed.”
Clinton has put a new emphasis on populism as she attempts to recover from a string of eight consecutive losses to Obama, and she continues to court the endorsement of former opponent John Edwards.
Earlier in the race, Clinton defended her relationships with business lobbyists, telling a blogger convention this summer that many of them “represent real Americans.”
But she took a very different stance today as she delivered as she delivered a “Solutions for the American Economy” address to General Motors employees in Warren, Ohio.
“Today, I’m announcing an agenda to reign in the special interests and save the American people at least $55 billion a year,” Clinton said. “Money that can go back into your pockets. Money we can use to create new jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, make college affordable and so much more.”
In another swipe at Obama, she said: “In the end, it comes down to just one question: When the bright lights are off and the speeches are over, who can you count on to listen to you, to stand up for you, to deliver solutions for you?”
Clinton also said she measures her life “not by applause or headlines – but by whether I’m helping people.”
Here’s what Clinton said about each of the industries she vowed to rein in:
—“We’ll take on the oil companies and harness their record profits to create millions of clean energy jobs – high-wage jobs you can raise a family on. I’ll end their special tax breaks and give them a choice: invest some of your profits in alternative energy, or we’ll do it for you. People have been paying through the roof at the pump, and it’s time the companies paid their fair share.”
—“We’ll take on the credit card companies so that you and your families aren’t drowning in debt. Here in Ohio, payday lenders are actually taking Social Security checks from our elderly. That’s outrageous. I’ve proposed real consumer protections against abusive interest rates – capping them at no more than 30 percent and working to get them far lower. And I’ll ban those hidden fees and sudden rate hikes, because credit card companies shouldn’t be able to bait and switch you and your family.”
—“We’ll take on the insurance companies and tell them they can no longer discriminate against the sickest people who need care the most. They spend more than $50 billion a year trying to figure out how not to cover people. Well, I’m going to save them a fortune and a whole lot of time, because here’s the new policy: No more discrimination period. So even if you have a pre-existing condition, you can get the health insurance you need – no questions asked.”
—“And I’ll go after drug companies and insurance companies that are overcharging consumers and the government – it’s time to end their profiteering at our expense.
—“We’ll take on Wall Street and tell them: you’re going to finally pay your fair share in taxes. Because it’s outrageous that a teacher making $50,000 pays a higher tax rate than some Wall Street investment managers making $50 million. And I’ll create a bi-partisan Corporate Waste Commission to review all those corporate subsidies – and propose a comprehensive way to end them. We can save billions of dollars a year and put it to work for you.
—“We’ll take on the student loan companies and tell them no more ripping off our sons and daughters. I’m proposing a Student Borrower Bill of Rights - no more deceptive advertising and outrageous fees. And we’ll end the inefficient subsidies for private student loan companies. Because we should be making it easier for our kids to go to college – not harder.”