- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Steve Schmidt, the GOP strategist who ran Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, predicted last week, after businessman Donald Trump became the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, a “substantial amount of Republican officials who have worked in Republican administrations, especially on issues of defense and national security, will endorse Hillary Clinton in the campaign.”

So Washington Republicans would rather pick Mrs. Clinton than Mr. Trump.

This really should come as no surprise.

Mrs. Clinton is running a campaign that promises to continue Washington’s status quo. Her policy proposals only broaden bureaucratic red-tape and enlarge interagency fiefdoms. Everyone in Washington — Democrat or Republican — wants to protect their power, and are only interested in persevering their own ties and influence, for that’s what they trade on, it’s their livelihoods.

Mr. Trump, with his unpredictability and bombast, will certainly throw a wrench into how the inner-city Beltway has been working for years. Established think-tanks, advocacy groups, law firms and bureaucrats are going to need to find a new way of communicating (if they chose to at all) with Mr. Trump’s administration. Their priorities may need to be reshuffled. The uncertainty alone scares them.

But it doesn’t with a Clinton administration.

Republican elites have been there, done that before and know what it looks like — heck, whomever Mrs. Clinton appoints to her cabinet they’ve probably already worked with.

And many Republican operatives secretly love the fact they worked for the last GOP presidency, whether it was a Bush or a Reagan administration. If Mr. Trump never comes to office, young GOP politicos will never have the highest office in the land to put on their resume — the old dogs will be the top dogs for at least four more years. Power protected. Cocktail party clientele preserved.

According to a report from The Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton’s official campaign platform is now twice as long as ‘Hamlet’: Seventy-three thousand six hundred forty-five words of policy ideas … and growing.”

Mrs. Clinton’s reform ideas from immigration to Wall Street involve small, intricate additions within federal government. This is absolute manna for anyone working a job as a lobbyist, lawyer or as a federal bureaucrat. The bigger the federal government gets, the more powerful these people will become, because they’ll be needed to help explain it to the rest of us.

The small business owner on Main Street in middle America will be smothered by new regulations, and the average blue-collar family, trying to figure out how to pay for college, will need to learn how to navigate the already tricky federal tax system to receive their benefits.

For example, Mrs. Clinton’s proposed tax credit “can be worth up to $2,500. But only if students find their Form 1098-T, then fill out the relevant portions of Form 8863, then enter the amount from Lines 8 and 19 of Form 8863 in Lines 68 and 50 of their Form 10-40. Just like that,” The Post reports.

Get ready to call the IRS help-line for assistance. Under Mrs. Clinton’s administration, they’ll need to be adding compliance officers and help staff.

In a separate report, it seems as thought the finance industry is giving more to Mrs. Clinton after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio dropped out of the GOP race. Fifty-three percent of her campaign donations in March came from Wall Street, up from 32 percent last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Again, it’s no surprise Wall Street is favoring Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump — she’s the only establishment candidate left in the race. Investing 101 is to always prefer predictability to instability.

Mr. Trump has suggested closing the carried-interest tax loophole on hedge funds and raising taxes on top earners. Although, Mrs. Clinton has suggested similar policies, at least she has a track record of working with them. Many served in her husband’s administration.

If you like the idea of giving more power to the government, and believe that as government grows, it becomes more just, equitable and efficient, then by all means, vote for Mrs. Clinton.

However, if real reform is what you seek — if you believe the foundation of Washington is corrupt, needs to be torn down and then rebuilt, Mr. Trump may just be your man.

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