I Really Miss Bill by Jaylon Williams

Confession: I really miss Bill Clinton. The past six years have been tough. Not so much because of W, but more because of Bill’s leadership. He was honest and up front from the start (besides the M lady thing). Insisting that the national debt was much larger than most realized, he told the country that he would have to increase taxes. This was the mistake George Bush Sr. made. Looking to continue some of the policies Reagan put in place, Bush failed to realize that the U.S. just finished a decade of cutting taxes for the rich, robbing the poor of New Deal benefits, while increasing government spending to fight the Cold War.

I believe Reagan exaggerated the extent of the government’s involvement in the welfare state. He attacked both the size of government and the size of the federal budget, while blaming New Deal liberals for the mess. Reagan had liberals freaking out over his conservative revolution. This new conservatism was aimed at allowing the government to once again take the side of the wealthy, especially corporations, as seen during the Gilded Age of American history. For example, in order to protect the wealthy, the government took aim at labor. The former president went as far as to fire Air Traffic Controllers who went on strike. Without the tool of strike, workers have little power against the big businesses who exploit their labor. His Economic Recovery Tax Act reduced the maximum income tax from 70 to 50 percent, while it increased the individual exemption for inheritance taxes, an act clearly favoring the upper tier of society. Reagan’s argument was very similar to that of George “W” in that it is the job of conservatives to decrease the size of government.

Reaganite supply-siders had predicted that a cut in tax rates would so stimulate the economy that the government would in time actually be collecting more taxes: a smaller share of the economy, but an economy more than proportionately expanded and therefore yielding a greater sum of taxation. Federal budget receipts did rise – from $602 billion in 1981 to % 909 billion in 1988 – but this was not enough to off set the surge of spending for defense. In 1981 the deficit was $58 billion. By 1986 it was over $220 billion.

When Bill was elected, he had to change the national mentality of allowing economic elites run the country. Bill accepted welfare reform as well as a new commitment to reducing the size of government. Although I did not like his 1996 welfare reform, he promised not to leave those who needed help stranded. Moreover, when he left office, the country saw the deficit reduced and enjoyed a surplus that allowed the country to with stand the 9/11 economic hit. Funny, but if “W” was wise, he would have used that surplus to address social security reform; instead, he launched the country into a pricey war that has increased the deficit.

Bush has done a great job following his Reagan mentor; he has protected the rich, cut taxes, taken the U.S. to war, while increasing the size of government. I ask again, how liberal was Bill? The next president has a lot to deal with. I do believe that the country will see the rate of unemployment increase as well as inflation. The democrats will take the blame this too.

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20 thoughts on “I Really Miss Bill by Jaylon Williams

  1. I was to young to understand most politics when Bill Clinton was president but from what i have heard and read, other then his (problem with M), he drasticly changed the United States and some people liked what he did, some didn’t. I belive that his actions were just to handle the government’s money the way he did. In the end the country had enough money to deal with the tragedy of 9/11. If Clinton was still president (even though he has served both terms) would there be the same problems with war? and would like carson stated a growing rate of unemployment?

  2. No – that is for sure. If the international community called for one, which it would not have done, then yes. But he would not have marched us in the way we did. Read his book “My Life.” You will enjoy it.

  3. We needed ole Ron at the time. Much of that spending ended the cold war. I am a big fan. I also like Bill, but clearly not as much as you.

  4. What do you make of former Clinton fan David Geffin’s comments about the veracity of Bill and Hillary?

    GEFFEN: “Everybody in politics lies, but [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”

  5. I was shocked!!! It is early, but he might have tilted the favor toward Obama. HRC’s reaction toward Obama is not helping her. That comment was not Obama’s fault. There must be more to why he made that comment. I am thinking that the Clinton’s are no longer willing to favor a particular agenda. It is clear that HRC does not have Bill’s charm.

    Geffen needs to come out and tell us what he is talking about. He might have already, I just do not know.

  6. Bill was a good domestic president. He could have done a few more things to address some global matters, but, he was loved internationally. As for Geffen and the Clintons, peope will not remember this as the primary race decision narrows.

  7. Geffen wanted someone pardoned before Clinton left office, but President Clinton refused. Instead, he pardoned Marc Rich—who had left the country to escape tax evasion charges. Geffen felt a little betrayed.

    From what I hear, Geffen is a very smart guy. The Hillary camp must have been very alarmed at his words to have reacted so strongly. When an intelligent former supporter (from Hollywood, no less) jumps ship to Obama, it’s going to make a lot of people take a second look at the congressman form Illinois.

  8. “Bill was a good domestic president. He could have done a few more things to address some global matters. . .”

    By comparison with the current resident at 1600, however, Clinton’s foreign policy might gain a little more luster.

  9. I would respectfully disagree that Clinton’s foreign policy is looking better as the years go by. Being “liked” by other nations is not a good yardstick. To be fair, there wasn’t a lot of fires for Clinton to put out while he was in office, but there were some matches laying in the dry grass:

    North Korea played his adminstration like a fiddle, taking U.S. incentives with no intention of stopping their nuclear research.

    The retreat from Somolia (“Black Hawk Down”) haunts us to this day, as islamic extremists often refer to that incident as proof the West has no stomach to stay in a fight.

    The Clinton administration did not realize the seriousness of the first attack on the World Trade Center, and the few times that an attempt was made to retaliate against terrorists involved a hands-off cruise missle attacks. I cut Clinton *some* slack on this, because few in America felt we could be hit so hard. That includes Bush. I am curious, though, what classified documents Sandy Berger destroyed on the eve of his testimony before the 9/11 commission.

    Bosnia… score one for Clinton. Again, an unwillingness to use ground troops, but at least we were more involved in trying to stop the genocide there. A YouTube search can elicit an old video of Sen. Hillary Clinton explaining her vote to oust Sadaam in front of the anti-war group Code Pink—by angrily remembering how Congress tied the hands of her husband when he was trying to help in Bosnia. Watching her today try to throw Bush under the bus for using the same logic and intel that she agreed with then makes me laugh. When I hear Geffen speak of the Clintons being polished liars, that’s the kind of slight-of-hand that comes to mind.

  10. Matt, I agree with Jeff here because I have always felt that Bill knew the importance of diplomacy; sure, he could have addressed some matters differently, but he work to keep the international community together. Somolia was a mess that has yet to be corrected; Bosnia was a major win; N. Korea just wanted its ego stroked some, as they do today. Preemptive strikes should be the last resort — period.

    I too am bitter with HRC over her vote to march into Iraq; she was clearly looking for votes (?). Trust me, I just finished reading Obama’s book the Audacity of Hope, true liberals will back him over HRC due to her Iraqi vote. I am going to write a blog on Obama’s book, which clearly positions him as a true liberal.

  11. Speaking of foreign policy and presidents – I just read this survey found on Mark Elrod’s blog regarding a survey among political scientist:

    1. Seventy-two (72) percent consider Franklin Roosevelt to be the most effective foreign policy president in the past century; Truman (40%), Nixon (30%), Clinton (28%), and Reagan (27%) round out the top five.

    2. Only one (1) percent consider President George W. Bush to be among the most effective foreign policy leaders in the past century.

  12. “Trust me, I just finished reading Obama’s book the Audacity of Hope, true liberals will back him over HRC due to her Iraqi vote. I am going to write a blog on Obama’s book, which clearly positions him as a true liberal.”

    Carson, I’m glad to hear you’ve read Barack’s book. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about it. I’m also sensing that you might be wondering if HRC’s status as the front-runner is in jeopardy. Also, How much longer do you think we will have to wait for Gore’s announcement that he is or isn’t running? Despite all the things he has said in the past, I think he’s going to run. Does he become the frontrunner if he declares?

    Marc

  13. Marc,

    I hope to write a post on Obama’s book later this week. For the most part, I found him and his work to be very impressive. I will need to step back and read some of her stuff as well. However, Obama has my attention. Of course with the electoral college, my vote will mean very little in our winner take all state of Republican Texas. Do not worry about Gore, he will be #3 on the list, pushing Edwards back to 4.

  14. As you know, I was an adult during the Reagan era, and I enjoyed some of the economic prosperity that the 80’s produced. Economics is cyclical, like it or not. I have never claimed to be an economic genius, but if you look at the historical aspects of the time period one could easily argue that women made great strides financially. More socio-economic groups were admitted to college, African-Americans started to break the glass cieling and there was more money being made at the time, which has produced the wealthiest generation to date; the baby boomers. Again, everyone has their faults; including, Regan. But, Old Bill was definately a bi-product of this era, so you need to give credit where some credit is due.

  15. Pingback: Thoughts on America’s Presidents « The Proletarian

  16. I’ll always be a fan of Bill Clinton, in spite of himself. In fact I’ve got a signed picture of him on my wall! I was young during his 1992 campaign, but it hooked me into political wonk-y-ness.

    I think of him like Orson Wells. He never really fulfilled his potential, went down way too many wrong paths, but you have to admire his skill and talent. He could inspire a nation if he chose to.

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