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Paul Krugman: The Clinton Agenda

Friday, October 14, 2016 9:41
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(Before It's News)

The presidential race may be all but over, but many others are not — your vote still matters:

The Clinton Agenda, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: It ain’t over until the portly gentleman screams, but it is … highly likely that Hillary Clinton will win this election…

But what will our first female president actually be able to accomplish? That depends…

Consider, first, the effects of a minimal victory: Mrs. Clinton becomes president, but Republicans hold on to both houses of Congress.

Such a victory wouldn’t be meaningless. It would avert the nightmare of a Trump presidency, and it would also block the radical tax-cutting, privatizing agenda that Paul Ryan … has made clear he will steamroll through if Mr. Trump somehow wins. But it would leave little room for positive action.

Things will be quite different if Democrats retake the Senate. …

Now, even a Democratic Senate wouldn’t enable Mrs. Clinton to pass legislation in the face of an implacably obstructionist Republican majority in the House. It would, however, allow her to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia.

Doing that would have huge consequences…, the most important … the Clean Power Plan … is currently on hold, thanks to a stay imposed by the Supreme Court. Democratic capture of the Senate would remove this roadblock. … Quite simply, if Democrats take the Senate, we might take the minimum action needed to avoid catastrophe; if they don’t, we won’t.

What about the House? … Until the last few days, the chances of flipping the House seemed low…

But a sufficiently big Clinton victory could change that, especially if suburban women desert a G.O.P. that has turned into the gropers-owned party. And that would let her pursue a much more expansive agenda.

There’s not much mystery about what that agenda would be. … Broadly speaking, she would significantly strengthen the social safety net, especially for the very poor and children, with an emphasis on family-related issues like parental leave. Such programs would cost money…; she proposes, credibly, to raise that money with higher taxes on top incomes, so that the overall effect would be to reduce inequality.

Democratic control of the House would also open the door for large-scale infrastructure investment. …

In any case, the bottom line is that if you’re thinking of staying home on Election Day because the outcome is assured, don’t. Barring the political equivalent of a meteor strike, Hillary Clinton will be our next president, but the size of her victory will determine what kind of president she can be.

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