The Weekly Standard
July 31, 2012
by Irwin Stelzer
So President Obama has abandoned his claim that America has been headed in the wrong direction for 30 years and decided to run on Bill Clinton's record. Well, Mr. President, the voters know Bill Clinton, and they know that you are no Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton took the Democratic party to the center; you have taken it back to the left.
Bill Clinton declared the end of big government; you have expanded the portion of national income claimed by the government and extended its reach into areas in which it has never before assumed a role.
Bill Clinton reformed welfare, reducing the rolls and inducing recipients to find work; you want to allow states to gut those reforms by making it easier to stay on the dole without seeking meaningful work.
Bill Clinton had the good sense to abandon Hillarycare; you pushed an even more expensive and intrusive version through the Congress without a single Republican vote.
Bill Clinton cut capital gains taxes and says it is folly to raise taxes with the economy in such a precarious state; you are determined to raise capital gains taxes and taxes on families earning more than $250,000 and singles earning more than $200,000 per year as part of your war on what you like to call "millionaires and billionaires."
Bill Clinton left office with 7.3 percent of American workers seeking full-time work or too discouraged to bother looking for jobs; now almost 15 percent of all workers desperately seek full time work.
Bill Clinton left office with some 8.2 percent of African Americans out of work; after almost four years of your economic policies, 14.4 percent of African Americans are desperate for work.
Bill Clinton left office with the budget in surplus and the national debt at $5.7 trillion; you have driven American indebtedness to $15.8 trillion.
So, Mr. President, you can feature Bill Clinton at your party's convention, and try to fool the voters into thinking that you are ideological soul mates. No dice. Voters know you as the anti-Clinton.
With thanks to Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute for her help gathering and checking the data.
Irwin Stelzer is a Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies for the Hudson Institute. He is also the U.S. economist and political columnist for The Sunday Times (London) and The Courier Mail (Australia), a columnist for The New York Post, and an honorary fellow of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies for Wolfson College at Oxford University. He is the founder and former president of National Economic Research Associates and a consultant to several U.S. and United Kingdom industries on a variety of commercial and policy issues. He has a doctorate in economics from Cornell University and has taught at institutions such as Cornell, the University of Connecticut, New York University, and Nuffield College, Oxford.
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