This quote will air tonight at 9:36 pm est. on BLOOMBERG TELEVISION’s "Money & Politics." The quote is from the "Dollars and Sense" segment with Gene Sperling and Kevin Hassett:
The fact is that Obama's [economic] plan today is the most shameless piece of potential plagiarism that I have ever seen. He basically took Clinton's words and Clinton's policies and called them his own. If I were a professor I'd give him an F and try to get him kicked out of school for something this terrible...If I were on the Clinton team, I'd be prepping memos.- Kevin A. Hassett, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute, John McCain adviser (H/t AndreWalker08 at MyDD.com)
It must also be noted that John Edwards' economic stimulus plans were also widely acknowledged to be vastly superior to Obama's far weaker plans.
NYT columnist and economist Paul Krugman, in January, wrote:
[L]ast month, before the economic consensus turned as negative as it now has, [John Edwards] proposed a stimulus package including aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures.
"Those covering Senator Obama's economic speech in Wisconsin today could be forgiven if it felt like déjà vu all over again. Voters may ask themselves that if Senator Obama cannot produce his own ideas on the campaign trail, how will he solve new problems as President?," asks Neera Tanden, Policy Director for the Clinton campaign.
"Senator Obama's only 'new' ideas were ones that Senator Clinton proposed months ago," Tanden continues.
FOR STARTERS: His "new" proposal for a national infrastructure bank is one that Hillary proposed August 8, 2007. ["I'm proud to co-sponsor Senator Dodd and Senator Hagel's National Infrastructure Bank Act that we just introduced to establish a federally-backed independent bank that will evaluate and finance large infrastructure projects by subsidies, loan guarantees, and bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States." Rebuilding America speech, 8/8/07; S. 1926, 8/1/07]
- His "new" proposal to create 5 million green collar jobs was proposed by Hillary on November 5, 2007. ["And three, to move us from a carbon-based economy to an efficient, green economy by unleashing a wave of private-sector innovation in clean energy and energy efficiency. I believe that will create at least five million good new jobs from clean energy over the next decade." Energy and Climate speech, 11/5/07]
- Google CEO Eric Schmidt praises Hillary's plan to create 5 million Green Collar jobs, 11/5/07: "By emphasizing the connection between promoting a green efficient economy and job creation, Senator Clinton's plan seeks to harness the power of technology and innovation to address one of our most pressing global challenges...The goal of producing 5 million new jobs can be achieved by private sector investment and bipartisan support for increased research and development in efficiency and clean energy."
"In addition, while Senator Obama was busy resuscitating Hillary's policies, he failed to offer real solutions for the most pressing economic challenges that Americans families face," writes Tanden.
As Hillary explained this morning, "a plan that fails to provide universal health care, fails to address the housing crisis, and fails to immediately start creating good paying jobs in America again will not turn the economy around and provide the real relief that our people need. We need real results not more rhetoric."
This is not the first time we've noted problems with Mr. Obama's weak or "borrowed" economic plans.
First, there are his Republican-leaning economic advisers. Stephen Schlesinger -- former Director of the World Policy Institute at the New School University and the son of Arthur Schlesinger -- wrote a Huffington Post article, “Obama’s Conservative Economists," that stated:
[The Nation's] Max Fraser ... suggests that the economic advisors who are assisting Senator Obama's campaign are helping him stake out a position on the subprime lending crisis 'to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well." [...]
Fraser attributes Obama's constricted response to "the centrist politics of his three chief economic advisors and his campaign's ties to Wall Street institutions opposed to increased financial regulations" and points out that Obama has received almost $10 million in contributions from the finance insurance and real estate sector through October 2007.
For the candidate of change and bold ideas, Obama's tepid response to the overwhelming mortgage crisis suggests a Republican-orientation rather than a Democratic one -- and should be subject to debate in the remaining presidential primaries. ...
Paul Krugman, in January, offered up a devastating dissection of Obama’s economic stimulus package. “Disreputable” is the term that Krugman used to describe the Obama campaign’s first weak attempt. About Obama’s second attempt, Krugman says it’s “tilted to the right” and that Obama “really is less progressive than his rivals on matters of domestic policy.”
Krugman also pointed out on January 14:
Last week Hillary Clinton offered a broadly similar but somewhat larger proposal. (It also includes aid to families having trouble paying heating bills, which seems like a clever way to put cash in the hands of people likely to spend it.) The Edwards and Clinton proposals both contain provisions for bigger stimulus if the economy worsens.
And you have to say that Mrs. Clinton seems comfortable with and knowledgeable about economic policy. I’m sure the Hillary-haters will find some reason that’s a bad thing, but there’s something to be said for presidents who know what they’re talking about.
Here's what Dr. Krugman wrote about Obama's "disreputable" first plan and right-leaning second plan:
The Obama campaign’s initial response to the latest wave of bad economic news was, I’m sorry to say, disreputable: Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser claimed that the long-term tax-cut plan the candidate announced months ago is just what we need to keep the slump from “morphing into a drastic decline in consumer spending.” Hmm: claiming that the candidate is all-seeing, and that a tax cut originally proposed for other reasons is also a recession-fighting measure — doesn’t that sound familiar? [NOTE THE REFERENCE TO BUSH'S PLAN.]
Anyway, on Sunday Mr. Obama came out with a real stimulus plan. As was the case with his health care plan, which fell short of universal coverage, his stimulus proposal is similar to those of the other Democratic candidates, but tilted to the right.
For example, the Obama plan appears to contain none of the alternative energy initiatives that are in both the Edwards and Clinton proposals, and emphasizes across-the-board tax cuts over both aid to the hardest-hit families and help for state and local governments. I know that Mr. Obama’s supporters hate to hear this, but he really is less progressive than his rivals on matters of domestic policy. ...
Well, that is until he "lifted" the economic plans of Hillary Clinton with a big, splashy announcement today as if HE were the one with the ideas.
Here's the February 2nd TV ad featuring RFK Jr. as well as the son of the late Cesar Chavez, on the "voiceless" and how "Hillary has inherited his father's legacy of speaking up for the disenfranchised." "Hillary knows how to solve our problems, to get things done," says Cesar L. Chavez. (CNN Ticker)