Re: Clinton/Gore's economic track-record

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From: Wayne E Baisley (
Date: Sat Oct 07 2000 - 22:13:25 PDT

> > And Clinton/Gore's economic track-record is spotty at best.
> Wow, after one of the most incredible economic booms of the 20th
> century, I'm amazed you can say this with a straight face.

Yangkun is quite correct to say this with a straight face. In fact a
smiley face might be more appropriate. This most incredible boom has
been going on for 17 years or so now. It started under Reagan, and has
roared along ever since, with the exception of one blip under GHW Bush.
That one down quarter was the occasion for Clinton/Gore's unbelievably
bald-faced *lie* that we were in 'the worst economy in 50 years'.
Apparently the Carter years, with double-digit inflation, 20% interest
rates and high unemployment hadn't been part of the previous 50 years.
Do you remember Gore's 'Everything that should be down is up, and ...'
chanting? Blather. And poor George. He really took a sucker punch
after saying 'Read my lips'. The bipartisan deal to raise taxes 'to
solve the deficit once and for all' (which never worked in the 97 times
it was used to liberate more money from the taxpayers) included a
commitment by the Dems to cut $3 for every $1 in increased taxes, which
of course, never happened (with no political cost to them, obviously).

Reagan did lots of things wrong, and a few key things right. He got the
nation to feel good again, for one thing. I can remember flying a flag
for the first time ever during Reagan. And he cut taxes, hugely. And
cut the top marginal rates (they had been 70%), and outspent the Soviet
Union into oblivion. He didn't balance the budget, but that effect has
now come. (Can you spell Peace Dividend, boys and girls?) And don't
forget that Paul Volcker put money on a sound basis (like what Greenspan
does now, only it was novel then), with plenty of support from Reagan.

Things are considerably more complicated than just that, of course.
We're all dead Keynesians now.
Also, the 90s has benefited from DEC's 'teaching' Intel how to make
their processors run faster than 200 MHz, for example, so technology has
boomed. That might normally be the outcome of a high savings rate.

Even if you want to dispute the claim that this boom started in the
Reagan years, you still have to admit that the present phase of the boom
started almost a year before Clinton/Gore came to power. And can you
name a single policy of Clinton's to account for our present economic
good fortune? I can -- HillaryCare. Clinton took office with
majorities in both houses of Congress. He could do almost anything. He
and the co-President proposed taking over the health industry, a move
not even the Dems would swallow. And the country was so impressed, they
thought Newt and the Contract With America looked fantastic by
comparison. Forktime.

TO his credit, Clinton did push NAFTA, but that wasn't a very Democratic
thing to do, and certainly would have gone nowhere without the
Republicans. So, there's Bill's legacy. Hillary, NAFTA, and cigars,
er, the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Niskanen and Moore go on at length about the myths and facts of
Reaganomics. is quite a useful
analysis, warts and all. Their conclusion:

  Most significantly, the economy of the 1980s outperformed that of the
  1990s in virtually every measurable category. Economic growth was
  higher, job creation was faster, incomes rose much faster, and
  productivity climbed at a healthier pace.


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