Election 2016

What Candidates Won't Say

The truth, in detail.



Catch politicians in private moments and you might hear what they really believe: Donald Trump "can do anything" to women because he's powerful. Hillary Clinton's "private" positions aren't the same as her "public" ones.

In public, politicians mostly get away with spouting talking points and clamming up about questions that really matter.

When Clinton was asked if she agrees with Trump's approach to terrorism and immigration, she confidently replied, "This is a serious challenge. We are well equipped to meet it. And we can do so in keeping with smart law enforcement, good intelligence and in concert with our values."

That's meaningless! Do we have "dumb" law enforcement now? Bad intelligence? What will Clinton do about it? She doesn't say. Reporters don't ask.

When Trump was asked how he'll handle terrorism, he replied, "I am very unhappy when I look at the world of radical Islam. I'm very unhappy with it. We're going to find the problem and we're going to come up with a solution. Obama could never come up with a solution. Number one, he's incompetent. And number two, the solution just is never going to be out there for him."

Trump wants us to trust that he has the solutions. He'll give us details later, I guess.

The media should talk more about the Clintons' foundation. It's raised billions but gives little to outside charities—a measly 6 percent of their assets, according to the foundation's last filing. It's apparently a "pay to play" operation; donors get meetings with Clinton—Clinton family cronies get well-paid jobs.

Neither candidate wants us looking too closely at their financial records. But both leading candidates say we should trust them with money and power.

Clinton promises more than $1 trillion in new "investments," free day care, maternity leave, an expansion of Obamacare, more funding for veterans, new solar subsidies, new bridges and tunnels and "college, tuition free!" Then she says, "We're not only going to make all these investments, we're going to pay for every single one of them!" But that's absurd.

Sometimes she says money will come from new "taxes on the rich," but America's rich aren't rich enough to fund her grand schemes. Even if they were, they'd move out of the country or use tricks to evade her high taxes. Even The New York Times admits that Clinton's tax plan adds "so many new layers of complexity" that it would "be a huge boon for tax lawyers."

Trump is as bad, promising tax cuts and new spending on the military, infrastructure and that giant wall. Other than promising that Mexico will pay (it won't), he never says where he'll get the funds.

The biggest chunk of America's budget is entitlements: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. Trump never talks about making those benefits sustainable—in fact, he says he "won't touch" Social Security.

Clinton rarely talks about entitlements at all.

Since we're $20 trillion in debt, you'd think journalists would press candidates to explain how they'll pay the bills. But they don't.

So the candidates talk and talk, and there is so much they don't say. Neither candidate will say much about how huge government bureaucracy has gotten. They never talk about the Constitution and what it says presidents cannot do. They almost never talk about the horrible violence that drug prohibition causes.

Instead, we get promises. Trump "will make American great again." Clinton will "get your kids the opportunities they deserve." Platitudes. But voters prefer them to ugly truths.

If you look at the details, you realize the candidates can't be trusted to do very much. Our government is already broke. Someone should level with the public about that instead of promising new free stuff.

Both leading candidates hide from the truth. It's one more reason I'll vote Libertarian. Gary Johnson has looked dumb when he's been asked about foreign affairs, but he does say what needs to be said about Social Security, Medicare, our ruinous debt and the limits of government.

Those are not popular things to talk about. But presidential candidates ought to talk about them anyway.


NEXT: Drug Sentences Will Never Be Fair

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  1. It’s obvious why candidates don’t talk about this stuff, like Stossel said, it isn’t popular. People don’t want to know the truth, they want empty promises and free stuff.

    Any politician who tells the truth will lose to the candidate promising to be Santa Claus.

    1. Hillary’s private position is always doggie style. With two bags.

  2. If you guys are really board Robert The Great found a stupid video about teaching consent.

    1. I’m feeling more like plywood than board, so I think I will pass.

      1. Sounds like personal problem.

        1. You pulled a John. Are you doubling down or did you just miss it?

        2. Wood feeling is a very personal matter.

          1. I’m going to log my complaint about this sub thread hear.

            1. Please, sloopy, just leaf it anywhere you like. I’ll lend you my ear.

              1. *lumbers by, looks at discussion*

                This whole thread has gone to seed.

                1. I pine for an edit button

              2. +1 Colorado Kool-Aid

            2. I don’t think these wood puns are going to be very poplar.

  3. It is obvious that America will not willingly solve its debt problems.

    They are guaranteed to crush us. People will be amazed at how far the US can fall. People willl be shocked at how cruel the world will be to us when that happens. The politicians who guarantee this fate will be so surprised when the inevitable happens. They’ve done everything to make it worse and nothing to make it better. Resigning in disgrace would be too kind a fate for them, ritual suicide for their wrongdoings would be admirable, but they have no honor and will cling to their power to the very end.

    We have been betrayed by our supposed “elite” leaders. They are the most despicable people imaginable….

    1. We don’t have leaders. We have rulers. Rulers are by definition despicable, and they always betray the people.

      Thus history repeats itself.

      1. Yeah. The tree of liberty is looking pretty rough, it may need a good watering…..

        1. The tree of liberty died a long time ago.

          1. I kept a few seeds. Let’s burn the progressive fields to the last of them, and replant the liberty seeds.

        2. it need a good PRUNING. (a purge)

          1. Good more people finally ready to euthanize all the progtards.

      2. We don’t have leaders

        That’s actually a good thing. I don’t need a leader, I know where I’m going.

        I’ll vote for the first politician who says that he just wants to be the hired help.

    2. Resigning in disgrace would be too kind a fate for them, ritual suicide for their wrongdoings would be admirable, but they have no honor and will cling to their power to the very end.

      Most of them deserve no less than the full Mussolini treatment.

    3. Instead of giving foreign aid, we should demand tribute. Then lay off the debt with the tribute.

  4. Shorter Stossel: Politicians know that you can’t handle the truth.

    1. Or that m any are too lazy to listen to it. Which fits. When I try to discuss facts, and analysis of said facts with average people, their eyes tend to glaze over, like a donut. Although donuts are tastier.

  5. America would solve its debt problems if it had politicians and a media who didn’t spend every waking moment thinking of way to divide it by race and various bullshit culture lines. It is almost as if they use those issues to keep that from happening or something.

    1. Unfortunately the masses keep watching those media types and voting for those politicians.

  6. I do appreciate Stossel noting an evergreen leftist tactic – calling their preferred policy “smart”. Smart power, smart diplomacy, smart growth, smart law enforcement…..who are they try to convince? Us, or themselves? If you have to constantly remind people how smart you are, perhaps you really aren’t that smart to begin with.

    1. It’s like the rule to never trust a piece of legislation that has “freedom”, “justice”, “patriot”, or “child” in the title.

  7. But they both know where Aleppo is and can name a world leader the admire. That’s all that matters.

    1. +1 indefinite article

  8. “And we can do so … in concert with our values.”

    What are these “values” of which you speak?

  9. Gary Johnson has looked dumb when he’s been asked about foreign affairs

    I don’t see that either Hillary or Trump has looked one bit smarter.

  10. But voters prefer them to ugly truths.

    So true, so sad.

  11. Stop. You’re listening to Rush a tad too much, Stossel. You’ve got plenty to complain about Clinton, but the Foundation’s work isn’t one of them.

    6%? Try closer to 90%. At least as rated by the most trusted rating organizations for charities. You should read Politifact when they took Priebus to task for using a number around 20%.


    1. From Politifact

      “The Clinton Foundation is an excellent charity,” Charity Watch president Daniel Borochoff said Aug. 24, 2016, on CNN. “They are able to get 88 percent of their spending to bona fide program services and their fundraising efficiency is really low. It only costs them $2 to raise $100.”

    2. 88% according th Charity Watch


      1. Charity watch is what I do when I see a Charity Bangs video.

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  14. Go right ahead Mr. R. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  15. HOW can Trump have a solution when he’s not had much access to the intelligence and knowledge of US capabilities? OTOH,Clinton as SecState had all that,and still doesn’t have any real solution. She’s going to do “business as usual”,the PC leftist route.

  16. BTW,Trump is smart to not detail what he’d do,because then the left begins maneuvering to derail or block what he’d do. Sabotage him,even at the expense of America.

    1. I hate to admit it but your right, O’bama did the same thing and won. Details don’t matter when likability is in play. I’m convinced most voters make up their minds from second hand news at either the water cooler or government trough.

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