Happy Birthday Hillary,The Chicago Defender Endorses You!

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles as she greets the crowd at a fundraiser in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles as she greets the crowd at a fundraiser in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Celebrate Hillary Clinton’s birthday with a celebration of her iconic presidential style throughout the decades. Hillary Clinton is most famous for her colorful pantsuits. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

Celebrate Hillary Clinton’s birthday with a celebration of her iconic presidential style throughout the decades. Hillary Clinton is most famous for her colorful pantsuits. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

By Kai EL’ Zabar

Defender Executive Editor

Today, Wednesday Oct. 26, is presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Madame Secretary.  Wishing you a victory Nov. 8.

In just 13 days from today the American people will decide on who will assume the office of president come January 2017. At that time the stress of the 2016 presidential campaign will be behind us and we will begin to look forward to living into the vision of the next president.  The Chicago Defender looked at the candidates and assessed more than their platform, but also their professional experience, work ethic, education, civic involvement and public persona as well as their overall integrity and manner of person.

As always, there are a selection of issues at stake in the presidential election and their impact on Americans. In brief, Clinton has a history of public service, advocating for the marginalized whether it’s women, children, voting rights for Blacks, the disabled, or fair housing and civil rights for all.  Clinton has been on the front line.  In contrast, her opponent’s past highlights a huge difference from her humble beginnings. Coming from wealth, he has shown little regard, compassion or consideration for the middle class or poor. He chose to take advantage of laws that would advance his personal interest rather than doing what is ethical, refusing to rent to Blacks, often not paying contractors, not refunding money to small investors on failed deals, thus disrupting their lives, and ultimately filing bankruptcy to avoid paying taxes.

He has exhibited a limited vocabulary, lacking the ability to articulate a sensible platform or explain his plans for America in several areas.  We have observed that he rarely answers a question directly, but instead deflects to another subject or resorts to one of his name-calling zingers targeting Clinton. He has demonstrated reckless, irresponsible behavior speaking directly to the Russians and directing them to hack America (Clinton’s emails), called for Clinton’s assassination; does not apologize, and in his arrogance has professed to know more about war than America’s top generals; brags about not preparing for the presidential debate — a platform that is used to provide insight to the thinking, plans and demeanor of the would-be president.

Further, Clinton supports a woman’s right to choose, while Trump does not. She also opposes profiling and stop-and-frisk, while Trump defends the practices.

Hands down we went with Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY

As a leader of anything whether it’s a club, agency, small business, city school system, university, church, corporation or the United States of America, at some point the buck stops with them.  And so it is with the President.  We’d like to think that, that’s why the executive authority exists, because the founding fathers understood. We’d also like to think that although the power of the president is not to be absolute, the American people elect an individual who they trust will have the best interest of the people in mind. With that said, we elect a president who demonstrates intelligence, knowledge of the job, has experience, insight and particular skills and habits that can translate into the office of the presidency in a positive way. Among those things, we’d like to think that the president is open to be advised by those experts in their particular areas of expertise, one who will take seriously the responsibility of president and therefore read and prepare for all matters of business to be considered, discussed and acted upon and or resolved.  We like to think that we elect an individual who respects the democratic process as well as understands it and will uphold the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all other legal documents, whether it’s trade agreements or treaties.

Still, when a president sets a major policy by edict without the approval of Congress, it usually sets off a highly charged debate involving the bipartisan divide on the position taken by the president. Such action is implemented when, in the case of President Obama, the Republicans in Congress swore not to support him and he had to take steps to get things done.

However, if truth be told, the Founding Fathers understood this necessity when they rejected the authority of the crown. Lawmakers balk when a president, especially of the other party, usurps their authority through executive action. Defenders of executive authority say it’s the only way to get something done when Congress is gridlocked.

Obama has used executive authority expansively, most notably on immigration.

So let’s begin there. We support Clinton because she supported Obama’s unilateral move to curb deportation of millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Donald Trump says he’d make sure Obama’s actions be retracted.  However,some Republicans and Democrats are concerned that Trump is likely to act more imperialistic than not.

MINIMUM WAGE

Modest income gains and the rapid growth of low-paying jobs while middle-income work shrinks are factors that make the minimum wage a top economic issue for the 2016 campaign.

Clinton supports raising the minimum wage at least to $12 an hour, even higher at state and local levels, and is willing to investigate creative ways to make it doable.

Trump has said he supports an increase to $10, but thinks states should “really call the shots.” The federal minimum wage now is s $7.25.

FACT: The typical household’s income has fallen 2.4 percent since 1999.  (Obama took office in 2009.).

WALL STREET REGULATION

How to protect the country from overzealous banks in order to prevent another (2008) economic meltdown, noted as the worst upheaval since the 1930s Depression, which wiped out $11 trillion in U.S. household wealth, about 8 million jobs and more than 5 million families lost their homes to foreclosure.

Under Obama’s leadership, the economic has recovered. More growth is needed.

The goal behind the most radical overhaul of financial rules since the 1930s was to rein in high-risk practices on Wall Street and prevent another multibillion-dollar taxpayer bailout of banks.

Congress enacted new rules in 2010, providing regulators with new tools to close banks without resorting to bailouts. Risky lending was restricted and a new federal agency was implemented to protect consumers from deceptive marketing of financial products.

Republicans want the overhaul law repealed. Donald Trump calls it a “disaster,” saying he would dismantle most of it.

Clinton says the financial rules should be preserved and strengthened.

Clearly, whose interest mostis most important is defined by the candidates’ positions. Clinton is most concerned about the interest of the little people, upon whose backs the banks and Wall Street are founded.

INFRASTRUCTURE

America’s infrastructure is in need of an overhaul.  How to pay for it and which projects take priority is the question.

A reliable infrastructure system is important for the nation’s economy, safety and quality of life. As it is, it 1.) puts public health at risk, such as the lead-tainted pipes that contaminated the water supply of Flint, Michigan. 2.) Poorly maintained highways and congested traffic can raise the cost of shipping goods and the price consumers pay.

Clinton wants to spend $250 billion over the next five years on public infrastructure and direct an additional $25 billion to a new infrastructure bank to help finance local projects.

CHILD CARE/PAY EQUITY

It is likely that most American  women earn less than their male colleagues according to the latest research.  While the U.S. economy has improved, women and their families are still struggling to make the numbers work.

Clinton wants a 12-week government-paid family and medical leave program, guaranteeing workers two-thirds of their wages up to a certain amount. Trump proposes six weeks of leave for new mothers, with the government paying wages equivalent to unemployment benefits. Both candidates propose tax relief for child care costs. Trump’s plan provides for a new income tax deduction for child care expenses, other tax benefits and a new rebate or tax credit for low-income families. Clinton says no family should spend more than 10 percent of its income on child care and has called for child care subsidies and tax relief offered on a sliding scale.

Clinton also favors forcing businesses to disclose gender pay data to the government for analysis.

In 1994 Trump said, “Putting a wife to work is a dangerous thing.”

Women comprise about 57 percent of the labor force and many of them have young children.  If they aren’t getting paid enough to make ends meet, more families will seek out government aid programs or low-quality, unlicensed daycares for their children.

EDUCATION

The country has some 50 million K-12 students. Educating them costs taxpayers more than $580 billion a year, or about $11,670 per pupil per year.  Still, American schoolchildren trail their counterparts in Japan, Korea, Germany, France and more.

Students face rising college costs and many are strapped with debt.

Clinton has proposed free tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for working families with incomes up to $125,000 — free for families, that is, not for taxpayers.

STUDENT DEBT

More Americans are getting buried by student debt — causing delays in homeownership, limiting how much people can save and leaving taxpayers at risk as many loans go unpaid.

Student debt now totals around $1.26 trillion. This amounts to a stunning 350 percent increase since 2005, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

Out of the 43 million Americans with student debt, roughly 16 percent are in long-term default — a potential hit in excess of $100 billion that taxpayers would absorb.

Clinton proposes no tuition for students from families making less than $85,000 who go to an in-state, public college.

IMMIGRATION

The future of millions of people living in the U.S. illegally could well be shaped by the presidential election.

Trump wants to build a wall and deport  illegal immigrants.

Clinton, would overhaul immigration laws to include a path to citizenship, not just legal status.

It even appears that Mexican migration trends have reversed, with more Mexicans leaving the U.S. than arriving.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Clinton says climate change threatens us all and wants to implement studies and employment around the development of alternative energy use

Measurements and scientists say Clinton’s Earth is much closer to the warming reality. And it is worsening.

Trump says climate change is a hoax created by China.

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

Clinton has vowed new spending on education and infrastructure that could grow government. She strongly supports “Obamacare,” which most small-government proponents see as overreach.

Americans generally feel frustrated by the federal government and think it’s wasteful and could be smaller until they’re asked what specific services or benefits they are willing to do without.

DEBT

The federal government is borrowing about one out of seven dollars it spends and steadily piling up debt. Over the long term, that threatens the economy and people’s pocketbooks.

Most economists say rising debt risks crowding out investment and forcing interest rates up, among other problems. At the same time, rapidly growing spending on federal health care programs like Medicare and the drain on Social Security balances caused by the rising tide of baby boomers could squeeze out other spending, on roads, education, the armed forces and more. 

It takes spending cuts, tax increases or both to dent the deficit. Lawmakers instead prefer higher spending and tax cuts (for the wealthy).

Clinton, is proposing tax increases on the wealthy. But she wouldn’t use the money to bring down the debt. Instead, she’d turn around and spend it on college tuition subsidies, infrastructure and health care.

TRADE

In this angry election year, many American voters are skeptical about free trade — or hostile to it. The backlash threatens a pillar of U.S. policy: The United States has long sought global trade.

Economists say imports cut prices for consumers and make the U.S. more efficient. Last year, the U.S. ran a $500 billion trade deficit with the entire world, a $334 billion of it owed to China

Clinton initially supported Obama’s Asia-Pacific trade agreement as secretary of state, but after further review now opposes it.

Trump vows to tear up existing trade deals and to slap huge tariffs on Chinese imports.

The reality is that deals have far less impact on jobs than forces such as automation and wage differences between countries. Trump’s plans to impose tariffs could start a trade war and raise prices.

SUPREME COURT

The ideological direction of the Supreme Court is going to tip one way or the other after the election. The outcome could sway decisions on issues that profoundly affect everyday Americans: immigration, gun control, climate change and more.

The court is split between four Democratic-appointed, liberal justices and four conservatives who were appointed by Republicans — although Justice Anthony Kennedy has sided with the liberals on abortion, same-sex marriage and affirmative action in the past two years.

The ninth justice will push the court left or right, depending on who is elected to office. Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to take Scalia’s seat, but the Republican Senate has refused to consider Garland’s nomination, in an effort to prevent a liberal court majority.

HEALTH CARE

About 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance, more than at any time in history. Millions of people previously shut out have been covered by Obama’s health care law. No one can be denied coverage anymore because of a pre-existing condition.  However, Obamacare remains divisive.

Whether Americans would be better off trading for a GOP plan is another question. A recent study found that Trump’s proposal would make 18 million people uninsured.

Overall health care spending is trending higher again, and prices for prescription drugs — new and old.

Clinton would stay the course, adjusting as needed. Republicans are united on repealing Obama’s law, but it’s unclear how they would replace it.

INCOME INEQUALITY

Income inequality has surged near levels last seen before the Great Depression. The average income for the top 1 percent of households climbed 7.7 percent last year to $1.36 million, according to tax data. That privileged sliver of the population saw pay climb at almost twice the rate of income growth for the other 99 percent, whose pay averaged a humble $48,768.

Clinton has highlighted inequality in multiple speeches. She hopes to redirect more money to the middle class and impoverished. Clinton would raise taxes on the wealthy, increase the federal minimum wage, boost infrastructure spending, provide universal pre-K and offer the prospect of tuition-free college.

VOTING RIGHTS

Because of the rapid growth of minority populations, which in recent presidential elections have tilted heavily Democratic. Republican-controlled legislatures are tightening voter laws, placing limits on early voting and same-day registration, and imposing new requirements for IDs at polling places.

In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. That provision had required states with a history of racial discrimination to get federal pre-clearance to change election laws.

Clinton wants Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act and seeks a national standard of at least 20 days of early in-person voting.

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