Clinton: Hillary is best qualified for White House By: David Lias
Plain Talk Thereâ�?�?s one good reason, former President Bill Clinton told a crowd of over 1,000 people in Vermillion Friday, why South Dakotans should vote for his wife, Hillary, in Tuesdayâ�?�?s Democratic primary election. His wife, he said, has the best chance to win against Republican John McCain in Novemberâ�?�?s general election. â�?�?There are two great questions before you,â�? Clinton said in a speech in front of Old Main on The University of South Dakota campus. â�?�?Who would be the best president for you, your families, your state, and your nation, and who is the most likely to be elected? Those are the two questions you should ask.â�? The former president spoke for nearly an hour, appearing at the podium nearly an hour later than originally planned in part because of a thunderstorm that forced everyone to seek shelter in Slagle Auditorium. The storm quickly passed, and the crowd didnâ�?�?t mind standing in the wet grass to hear Clinton speak. The audience was made up of a wide cross section of Vermillion folk, and several young women from Girls State, dressed in long gowns, who would participate in their organizationâ�?�?s formal ball later than evening. Clinton said he believes he was well suited to serve as the nationâ�?�?s president when he was first elected in 1992. â�?�?But for this moment, with America in bad shape all over the world, and not trusted as a leader for peace and freedom and security, with a war to end in Iraq, with terrorism to combat, with this whole mortgage crisis threatening the whole financial underpinning of America, and the terrible economic conditions that exist, I think she is much better qualified for this moment than I would have been back in 1992,â�? he said. â�?�?I think she is the best qualified person to be president that I have literally ever supported in my lifetime.â�? Clintonâ�?�?s speech focused on key issues of this yearâ�?�?s campaign, and why he believes his wifeâ�?�?s platform is superior to Barack Obamaâ�?�?s or McCainâ�?�?s. The Economy Clinton said in the last decade, 90 percent of the nationâ�?�?s economic benefits have gone to just the top 10 percent of earners. â�?�?And 43 percent of those benefits have gone to the top 1 percent,â�? he said. â�?�?You cannot have a shared prosperity with that kind of inequality.â�? This situation, he said, has most Americans believing the nation is in a recession even though it isnâ�?�?t. Itâ�?�?s easy, he said, to understand why people believe the nationâ�?�?s economy has hit a decline. They are suffering economically, Clinton said, having to pay higher energy and food prices. â�?�?The consequences to ordinary people are devastating,â�? he said. Clinton noted that in the 1990s, when he was president, nearly 23 million new jobs were created. In this decade, job growth in the nation has only been five million. â�?�?That should tell you why wages arenâ�?�?t rising,â�? Clinton said. â�?�?How can you raise incomes when there is no demand for labor?â�? Hillary has a plan to restore the economy, beginning with job growth. â�?�?She will begin with 8 million jobs that cannot be outsourced,â�? he said. â�?�?Three million will be in fixing our rail lines and our highway and our water systems. I predict to you that here in South Dakota, where agriculture is so important, youâ�?�?re going to see a lot more reliance on rail in the next 20 years because it only uses 10 percent as much energy and it doesnâ�?�?t harm the environment as much.â�? Energy Independence Hillary will create another 5 million jobs, Clinton said, by making a serious commitment to more energy independence in the United States. â�?�?Every state in the nation can create more wind energy, more solar energy, more biomass energy,â�? he said. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s just a fancy way of saying we should close every landfill in this country and use the garbage to generate electricity or make ethanol. â�?�?It will make us more energy efficient, it will save money, it will make us more independent,â�? Clinton said. He noted that South Dakota could generate a â�?�?phenomenalâ�? amount of energy from the wind and the sun. He said those sources of energy arenâ�?�?t being tapped in the nation because at least a trillion dollars must be spent to add and upgrade the necessary transmission lines. â�?�?One reason you should vote for Hillary is she wants to repeal $50 billion in tax breaks and subsidies that are given to the oil companies, the nuclear companies and others who donâ�?�?t need it,â�? Clinton said, â�?�?and put it into a fund to generate energy independence for America and save the planet from global warming and put people to work,â�? He cited a recent study that claims the United States would not have to build a new power plant in the next 40 years if buildings were made as energy efficient as possible. Clinton said his wife also believes the federal government should help Detroit manufacture cars with new technology that will make them much more energy efficient. Those automobiles may initially be too expensive for most low to middle class Americans to afford. He said Hillary will provide tax bonuses to citizens so that they will be able to purchase the energy efficient vehicles. Health Insurance â�?�?You will never become competitive (with other nations),â�? Clinton told the Vermillion crowd, â�?�?until you cover everyone (with health insurance). Next time you make a payment for health insurance, consider two things. Number one, $50 billion of your money is spent by the insurance companies figuring out how not to insure you. Think of it as your uninsurance premium.â�? He added that 30 cents of every dollar paid to private health insurance companies is wasted on paperwork, compared to Medicaid, which only spends three cents of every dollar on paperwork. Hillary proposes to allow Americans to keep their existing health insurance policies if they wish. But if they canâ�?�?t afford insurance, or they donâ�?�?t like their current policy, they can buy into the same plan that insures members of Congress and federal employees, Clinton said. â�?�?If itâ�?�?s good enough for us, itâ�?�?s good enough for you,â�? he said. â�?�?And you will save a fortune.â�? The administrative costs will be much less, Clinton said. â�?�?And you can take a portion of the first round of savings, give it in the form of tax credits that are refundable to low income working people, to small businesses and family farms that want help their employees, so that everyone will find it affordable,â�? he said, â�?�?because no will be required to pay more than a small, fixed percentage of their income for health care.â�?