Why I Miss Bill Clinton

And why the Democrats will, too

If Barack Obama achieves nothing else in his presidency, he may do something that once seemed impossible: give a lot of people who aren't crazy about his party a new respect for Bill Clinton.

Clinton, for all his appetites and excesses, was a cautious, centrist sort of Democrat. He had innumerable ideas for things the government could do, but most were small and fairly innocuous. He was willing to go along with Republicans on some of their sound ideas—such as balancing the budget, reforming the welfare system, and expanding foreign trade.

He focused on making government better, not making it bigger. He didn't greatly enlarge Washington's role in our lives. He proclaimed—or conceded—that the "era of big government is over."

But Clinton never foresaw Obama. From the sound of his budget speech last week, the new president hopes the era of big government is just beginning.

It's hard to overstate the expansion Obama proposes. Leave aside the supposedly temporary spending binge that constitutes his stimulus package. Under his budget blueprint, total spending would soar by roughly 75 percent above what it was last year.

Of whom else could that be said? Do you expect to be spending 75 percent more 10 years from now? Does your employer?

The budget deficit, which Clinton (with the help of a Republican Congress) eliminated, would be with us forever. After the gargantuan $1.75 trillion shortfall this year, it would decline briefly before climbing to more than $700 billion a year.

Obama's fiscal blueprint builds on profligate habits established by George W. Bush. Under Clinton, federal spending fell to 18.4 percent of gross domestic product—the lowest level since 1966. By 2007, it was up to 20 percent. By 2019, according to the administration, it would rise to 22.6 percent.

This increase may not sound like much, but it is. Before the current recession began, reports budget analyst Brian Riedl of the conservative Heritage Foundation, government spending amounted to about $24,000 per household. Under Obama's plan, it would exceed $32,000 per household (in inflation-adjusted dollars). Someone will have to pay for every cent of that spending, and it won't be just the rich.

During the campaign, Obama often came across as a sensible pragmatist with an appreciation for both the value of markets and the limits of government—a Bill Clinton with self-discipline. He often painted Hillary Clinton as an old-fashioned, command-and-control Democrat.

But that Obama vanished sometime after Election Day. Lately, he brings to mind Lyndon Johnson, who imagined that the country could easily afford both endless war and a costly array of new programs.

Obama thinks the scariest economic crisis since the Great Depression is cause—or at least excuse—for an aggressive expansion of government, a la the New Deal. But it's a false parallel, economically and politically.

The severity of the Great Depression bred desperation, which made the public receptive to radical changes. This contraction has been far milder and less disruptive. In Franklin Roosevelt's day, Americans were open to transforming the economy. All they really want today is to revive it.

While they are willing to accept drastic measures to reverse the recent slide, they are not likely to favor keeping them once the emergency has passed. We all hope to see firefighters in the house if the kitchen catches fire. Few of us would want them to move in after the flames are out.

LBJ illustrates the dangers of taking an election victory for a far-reaching mandate. He got the Great Society passed, but two years after his landslide victory, Republicans made big gains. In 1968, Johnson didn't even run for re-election, and Richard Nixon won the presidency—which the GOP would hold for 20 of the next 24 years.

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  • Roger Maltz||

    What's that suckling noise?

  • kilroy||

    I just hope BO has better tastes in interns.

  • ||

    I pray to Jeebus that Obama humps a (hot) intern. The resulting meltdown of his follower's hopes and dreams might well crack the earth itself.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    A male intern would be best. However, a cute-hot early 20's white girl would do very good also.

  • ||

    I'm still holding out hope he'll hump a rabid chimpanzee.

  • PFJ||

    I do not understand anyone who didn't miss Clinton by the end of Bush's first term.

  • ||

    However, a cute-hot early 20's white girl would do very good also.

    No Kyle, this would be ideal. A gay encounter would be excused. The white girl would be...awesome. However, I don't know if we would survive the resulting head explosions.

    I'm willing to risk it.

  • ||

    I've been thinking the exact same thing for a while. I miss ol' Bill Clinton.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    You're probably right Epi. Seen as a "new openness and level of acceptance" or some such thing.

    I tell ya, if Obama were to get busted nailing some intern, I would absolutely love watching the minds of a couple of people I know break due to the incident. The near deity level of stature these folks have heaped upon The One is truly disturbing.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Nice article, but remember that it took the '94 election to kick the hubris out out of Clinton. Libertarians, and skeptical liberals, should hope for a Republican comeback in 2010.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    I apologize for my last post. I thought this was, you know, a serious article. I'm talking budgets when the subject was blow-jobs! I'm so ashamed!

  • ||

    Tech boom.

  • ||

    I think Bill Clinton is proof we are served well by someone who just wants to be President, and not someone who actually wants to "help" people.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I don't know if we would survive the resulting head explosions.

    Everyone with a video camera could be Cronenburg for a day.

  • ||

    How can you miss Bill Clinton? he and his cronies are currently running the show.

  • The National Film Board of Can||


    Everyone with a video camera could be Cronenburg for a day.


    NOOOOOO! That would bankrupt our nation.

  • ed||

    I'm talking budgets when the subject was blow-jobs! I'm so ashamed!

    You knew that when you came here, Alan.

  • Xeones||

    Would it be fair to refer to the look on ol' Slick Willie's face in the pic there as 'smoldering'?

  • ||

    He didn't greatly enlarge Washington's role in our lives.

    I think you're giving him far too much credit for the fact that the Republicans in congress thwarted his plans. Remember Hillarycare?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Everyone with a video camera could be Cronenburg for a day.

    No one can be Cronenberg! Except...Cronenberg.

  • ||

    Good ole boy Bill Clinton totally ROCKED!

    RT
    www.privacy-center.pro.tc

  • ||

    I was going to whine and whimper about the Chapman stupid again. But I see now that the stupid is a feature not a defect.

  • ||

    Clinton had been a governor. He had some idea how the world actually works. He knew that for all of the appeal hard leftist economics had to him as a young person, it didn't work. Clinton understood that leftist policies were a luxuary afforded to the country by having a strong economy. Regardless of ideology, Clinton listened to the bond markets and the stock markets. Clinton, like Reagan, also understood that psychological power of the Presidency. He understood that the President by being optimistic about the economy can make such optimism a self fullfillin prophecy. Clinton would have never run dow the economy for political short term gain the way Obama did to get the porkulus through.

    Obama in contrast has neither the natural intelligence of Clinton or the real world experience of Clinton. He actually believes that things like Card Check and carbon caps lead to prosperity. Obama really has no idea how the economy actually works.

  • ||

    "I pray to Jeebus that Obama humps a (hot) intern. The resulting meltdown of his follower's hopes and dreams might well crack the earth itself."

    Naw. I don' think that would do it. I think a good "hate whitey" tape from Michelle actually existing would help. Or a good off the cuff recording conversation of Obama talking saying something to the effect of "why should I care about a bunch of white people losing money on the stock market?" The "but he was supposed to be post racial?" wimper from them would be great.

  • Naga Sadow||

    John,

    I'm confused by your post. Who doesn't hate whitey?

  • ||

    During the campaign, Obama often came across as a sensible pragmatist with an appreciation for both the value of markets and the limits of government

    You really are a gullible dipshit, aren't you, Chapman?

    Sucker

  • ||

    Bill Clinton? I don't miss Bill Clinton. What I miss is divided government.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Pro Lib,

    Ah but when was it most divided? During the Lewinsky business. For the good of the nation I aspire to the presidency that I may get into sex scandals and save the nation! No flip flops and togas though. Sorry buddy.

  • ||

    There are a whole list P Brooks. They need to start a support group for centrists who were suckered into thinking Obama was anything other than what he is. The funny thing is that it was the self appointed smart set who got taken in. All of the right wing paranoids like myself knew exactly what Obama was.

  • ||

    Clinton didn't inherit Great Depression II. Come on people, the tired 80s and 90s era formulations about "big government" vs. "small government" just aren't relevant anymore. Not that it was ever more than a talking point.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Is anyone else creeped out that Tony always talks as if he is part of some grand lefty conspiracy that he is a part of?

    Tony,

    Your desire for inclusion and friends will not be found here. Continue making hilarious talking points at your discretion of course.

  • ||

    Ah, Tony, the Constitution is just a talking point, is it? Whatever one may say about interpreting it, there's no doubt that it was intended to narrowly define and limit government. Come on, just say it. SAY IT!

    Just kidding. I was channeling Sam Kinison for a moment.

    Here's my plan: 2010, the Congress goes back to the GOP. 2011, Obama gets photographed snorting coke off of Janeane Garofalo's bare bosom. In the Oval Office, of course, in deference to tradition.

  • kinnath||

    I miss Tricky Dick.

  • ||

    "Clinton didn't inherit Great Depression II. Come on people, the tired 80s and 90s era formulations about "big government" vs. "small government" just aren't relevant anymore. Not that it was ever more than a talking point."

    I know poor Obama. The poor guy just can't catch a break. Maybe if obama hadn't run around and said that it was a catasrophe and fear mongered to get the porkulus through, the markets might not have tanked so badly? Maybe if Obama weren't talking about radical tax increases and carbon regulation and mass unionization in the middle of a recession, thing might be turning around? Maybe if Obama had passed a real stimulus rather than a Democratic goody bag if he had show leadership rather than letting Nancy Pelosi and her room temperature IQ write the stimulus things would be better. Maybe if Obama had been something besides a community organizer and junion Senator he would have some idea what the government can and cannot accomplish in a recession, things would be better.

    Obama has fucked up one thing after another. He literally has not done one thing right in office. Just because you inherit a bad situation doesn't excuse you from fucking it up even worse.

  • ||

    PL? Heir

  • ||

    "Here's my plan: 2010, the Congress goes back to the GOP. 2011, Obama gets photographed snorting coke off of Janeane Garofalo's bare bosom. In the Oval Office, of course, in deference to tradition."


    I like that idea except that it would require everyone having to see Garofalo's saggy tits. Can it be Scarlett Johanson instead?

  • ||

    I'm with John on this one.

  • ||

    Actually the ultimate never going to happen but fun to think about liberals' heads exploding scenerio is Obama caught leaving a hotel room with Sarah Palin. That is one of those situations that would be so bizare and so funny you couldn't make it up but sometimes actually happens in real life.

  • oscar98||

    Clinton's 4-year budget surplus is a little misleading. 4 if you count tax receipts related to social security in the general fund. Had the surplus receipts associated with this been allocated to future liabilities for SS there would have been one year of surplus.

    Sorry for going serious. Why did the most powerful man in the world only bag ugly chicks? I think the VRW must've wanted to keep the "hot" women hidden so that Clinton wouldn't get the same thought-but-not-spoken treatment as the 14 year old kid who bags a hot teacher.

  • ||

    Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.

    H L Mencken

  • ||

    "Sorry for going serious. Why did the most powerful man in the world only bag ugly chicks? I think the VRW must've wanted to keep the "hot" women hidden so that Clinton wouldn't get the same thought-but-not-spoken treatment as the 14 year old kid who bags a hot teacher."

    I think Hillary and the Secret Service really cut off the hot chick train once he got in the White House. I am quite sure bubba would have been nailing newsbabes and beauty queens if he could have been. The thing about Clinton is that he is a typical womanizing man in that he had no standards and was willing to nail anything. Any good womanizer will tell you the three rules of picking up women in bars are 1. start ugly early, 2. If she is below your standards, lower you standards, and 3, no woman looks that bad with...(you can fill in the rest). Clinton was banging former Miss USAs but also was trying to get blow jobs from a pre plastic surgery Paula Jones. The man had a real lack of standards, not that I don't respect him for that, I do. Basically, I think that in light of his situation with Hillary and the Secret Service up his ass, Monica was about as good as he could do.

  • ||

    Steve Chapman: "During the campaign, Obama often came across as a sensible pragmatist with an appreciation for both the value of markets and the limits of government-a Bill Clinton with self-discipline. He often painted Hillary Clinton as an old-fashioned, command-and-control Democrat.

    But that Obama vanished sometime after Election Day. Lately, he brings to mind Lyndon Johnson, who imagined that the country could easily afford both endless war and a costly array of new programs."

    We must have seen 2 different campaigns sir.

  • ||

    All of the right wing paranoids like myself knew exactly what Obama was.

    Just because the stopped clock was right, doesn't mean it's actually doing anything. Right wing paranoids freaked out about Clinton and gave us Bush.

    Tony does have a valid point. What makes you think that Clinton would have governed as a centrist in the current environment? A lot of supposed small government conservatives (the moneycons) were all about bailouts and government money when Bush was in charge. There're definitely environmental factors to consider.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Mo,

    I'm willing to bet he would still have governed as a centrist. NAFTA bitches!

  • Shorter John||

    We hates Obama! We HATES him forever, my precious!

  • ||

    "Tony does have a valid point. What makes you think that Clinton would have governed as a centrist in the current environment?"

    Because as I outlined above, Clinton had two things the Obama doesn't have, experience and above average intelligence. You can scream about this environment and Bush all you want, but that doesn't excuse Obama from making it worse. Geithner is on the Drudge report today condeming oil companies for global warming? No what good does that do and why the hell doesn't the tax cheat in chief have something better to do?

    I don't know Mo you tell me. How do carbon taxes, massive tax increases on everyone making over 250K a year, and forced unionization known as card check help matters? How does passing a multi trillion dollar bill in the name of stimulating the economy that does little in the short term to actually stimulate help? Name one productive and smart thing Obama has done on the economy?

    Keep chanting Bush Bush Bush because you and every other moron like you own Obama and his dipshit policies.

  • ||

    Maybe if Obama had been something besides a community organizer and junionstrong Senator

    John, that is such a keeper. The bar has been set high for RC'z Law today!

    Geithner is on the Drudge report today condeming oil companies for global warming?

    Not to mention that global warming is way outside his portfolio. He's just carrying water for the cap 'n' trade scheme, of course, but still . . . .

  • ||

    Let's try that again (stupid HTML):

    Maybe if Obama had been something besides a community organizer and junion Senator.

    John, that is such a keeper. The bar has been set high for RC'z Law today!

    Geithner is on the Drudge report today condeming oil companies for global warming?

    Not to mention that global warming is way outside his portfolio. He's just carrying water for the cap 'n' trade scheme, of course, but still . . . .

  • ||

    The second main component of the plan calls for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage giants, to refinance loans for millions of borrowers who may owe more than their homes are worth, even if they are wealthy enough to afford their current payments. There is no income ceiling for beneficiaries. But they must have mortgages held or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and they cannot owe more than 105% of the current value of their home.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123617623602129441.html

    Mo,

    Obama is taxing people rich and poor who are renting to subsidize the mortgages of rich people whose houses lost value. Yeah that is fair. That is really in the liberal tradition. That really is the government doing what it can to help out the less fortuneate. If Liberals actually believed anything or had any principles beyond screaming and throwing shit like angry monkeys, they would be up in arms about this.

  • ||

    Too bad the Clinton machine outmanned the Edwards campaign. It would be great to have a president with a love child in the White House.

  • ||

    "Not to mention that global warming is way outside his portfolio. He's just carrying water for the cap 'n' trade scheme, of course, but still . . . ."

    Markets hear that. That is why the markets keep tanking and people are losing their savings and retirements. I keep thinking and hoping that Obama is just stupid. He is prety clearly that. But what bugs me is that he may not be as stupid as he appears and may view the wiping out of savings and retirements as a feature of his programs rather than a bug.

  • ||

    "Too bad the Clinton machine outmanned the Edwards campaign. It would be great to have a president with a love child in the White House."


    One of the late 19th century Presidents had one. Cleveland I think?

  • BDB||

    Jefferson had one, too! Don't forget that.

  • ||

    "Jefferson had one, too! Don't forget that."


    That fact is not as clear as people think. It is very likly it was his younger brother who was actually banging Hemmings. Jefferson was devistated over his first wife and generally kind of a strange guy. I think it is entirely possible that his relationship with Hemmings was platonic. We will never know. The DNA only says it was someone in the Jefferson family. We will never know for sure.

  • Scott66||

    "During the campaign, Obama often came across as a sensible pragmatist with an appreciation for both the value of markets and the limits of government"

    Which is why the wise never listen to what a politician says during a campaign but rather look to what they said and how they acted prior to the campaign. Obama's present course was 100% predictable based on his pre-campaign acts.

    The other problem with your article is it assumes demographics are the same today as they were in the past. They are not.

    "We all hope to see firefighters in the house if the kitchen catches fire. Few of us would want them to move in after the flames are out."

    Actually this is what single mothers want especially if they are poor and uneducated. While libertarians have been worrying about the non-existent threat of a coming theocracy the left has been busy tearing down the traditions that create self sufficient individuals.

    Will the GOP gain back the house in 2010 and bring us back to a blessed era of divided government? Unlikely, I highly doubt there will be another 1994. Look at who votes how and what groups are growing in size and what groups are shrinking and the answer is sadly predictable.

  • ||

    If the GOP takes over in 2010 all they could do was stop the bleeding. They couldn't undo crazy shit like carbon trading or card check. It would actually be better for the GOP to pick up close to majorities but not not majorities. That way they couldn't be blamed for a continueing disaster that they couldn't reverse but with a sizable minority could be just as effective at stopping the bleeding. The only real hope is a complete and total reversal of government in 2012.

  • ||

    I think that is why Obama is acting so desparate to get these programs through. Once they are through they are done. It won't matter if they get killed in 2010. It won't matter if they get killed in 2012. They can just play defense and keep all they won. Obama is like a Democratic suicide bomber on the economy.

  • Rule of 72||

    Do you expect to be spending 75 percent more 10 years from now? Does your employer?

    To double in 10 years would require 7% annual growth. a 75% increase is about 5.5% per year.

  • Lester Hunt||

    "Jefferson had one, too! Don't forget that."

    After his wife, the love of Jefferson's life was Maria Cosway, not a slave with whom he had nothing in common.

  • ||

    John,

    I was going for plausibility. I don't see Scarlett going there. Or any of her functional equivalents. Janeane? No problem.

    Susan Sarandon is also a possibility, but if that happens, then Tim Robbins has to be involved, too. Ick.

  • ||

    "Do you expect to be spending 75 percent more 10 years from now? Does your employer?"

    Do you mean in "inflation adjusted dollars" or in actual dollars? If it is actual dollars, my answer to the question depends a lot on the inflation rate.

  • ||

    All the signs were there that Obama was a hard leftist.
    Rated most liberal senator, 20 years w/Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers (just being able to be in his presence w/o punching him in the face), Michelle's comments, "Spread the wealth", "bitter clingers to guns and religion", ...

    Anyone who is surprised by his extreme leftist actions as president thus far either wasn't paying attention during the campaign or was too enthralled by his personality.

  • ||

    Pro,

    Back in the day Susan had quite a rack. I would imagine they are still pretty good today. I would settle for that. Even Tim Robbins being involved would be okay since it would involve some gay action. Something tells me Obama is a catcher not a pitcher.

  • ||

    Besides Pro, considering what BO is doing to the country, isn't the idea of seeing him tied, gagged and bent over the oval office desk taking it very hard and rough from Nuke LaLouche kind of satisfying?

  • Susan\'s Rack||

    We're not quite dead, yet.

  • ||

    I like that. I think that is a good psyeudonym. I think I may start posting as "Susan Sarandon's Rack"

  • ||

    "Libertarians, and skeptical liberals, should hope for a Republican comeback in 2010."

    I just hope he doesn't do any damage that can't be undone in the meantime.

  • BDB||

    "Libertarians, and skeptical liberals, should hope for a Republican comeback in 2010."

    Yes, and clearly the best way to do that is to put Rush Limbaugh in charge since he has such wide appeal to the crucial old, downwardly mobile conservative white guy vote. Surely the GOP never did any outreach to that demographic!

  • ||

    "Yes, and clearly the best way to do that is to put Rush Limbaugh in charge since he has such wide appeal to the crucial old, downwardly mobile conservative white guy vote. Surely the GOP never did any outreach to that demographic!"

    yes because clearly being a smugh jackass making fun of people's economic status, race and every other percieved stereotype is an attractive position. Moreover, alienating as many voters as possible because they don't fit the cool profile is a really great idea. The young, smug, half educated jackass is clearly the key to any political success.

  • BDB||

    Way to miss the point, John.

  • BDB||

    Why don't you try reading it without the outrage this time?

    Here, let me help: He only appeals to the demographic the GOP already has a lock on while alienating everyone else. That's good for around 30% of the voting public.

  • ||

    Since when does Rush run the GOP? Last I looked the Republicans nominated McCain, someone Rush has hated for years. How did that work out for them?

    If you are so alienated by Rush Limbaugh, turn the fucking radio off like everyone else does.

  • BDB||

    "Since when does Rush run the GOP?"

    Since he got every single Republican to apologize and kiss his ass whenever they disagree with him. So, since about December.

    This is exactly what the Democrats want!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Not to mention that global warming is way outside his portfolio. He's just carrying water for the cap 'n' trade scheme, of course, but still . . . ."

    No shit.

    Geithner should stick to his area of expertise, which apparently consists of tax evasion and not much else.

  • ||

    "Geithner should stick to his area of expertise, which apparently consists of tax evasion and not much else."


    Don't forget theft and fraud. The IMF paid him extra money so he could pay his taxes and he just pocketed it. He also is pretty good at ignoring large unsustainable credit bubbles while President of the NY Fed.

  • ||

    BRB,

    Being an asshole and insulting someone who has millions of loyal listeners who want an excuse to vote Republican is not a good idea either. Does obtaining beyond 30% of the vote require being a complete dickhead and saying things like "the crucial old, downwardly mobile conservative white guy vote", then I think we have deeper problems than Rush Limbaugh.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Yeah.

    The notion that we just had to have Geithner as Treasury secretary regardelss of his income tax shennanigans because he's got all this "special" expertise at dealing with the financial crisis is just another load of BS.

  • BDB||

    "Being an asshole and insulting someone who has millions of loyal listeners who want an excuse to vote Republican is not a good idea either."

    *facepalm*

    They already vote Republican! My point is they need to appeal beyond that demographic since they already have it locked up.

    If the Democrats were putting Jessie Jackson in charge of their party I'd say "Way to go, Democrats! You really need that crucial urban black vote!"

    Get it now?

  • ||

    "The notion that we just had to have Geithner as Treasury secretary regardelss of his income tax shennanigans because he's got all this "special" expertise at dealing with the financial crisis is just another load of BS."


    Yeah there were people who said that anyone who objected to Geithner over his tax problems was "not being serious". yeah because running the NY Fed during the biggest credit meltdown in history really made him qualified. UGH!!

  • Mike M.||

    Clinton, for all his appetites and excesses, was a cautious, centrist sort of Democrat. He had innumerable ideas for things the government could do, but most were small and fairly innocuous. He was willing to go along with Republicans on some of their sound ideas-such as balancing the budget, reforming the welfare system, and expanding foreign trade.

    Let's not forget that he was pretty much dragged there kicking and screaming. During his first two years, his administration was showing many of the same kinds of excesses and ruthless ambitions that we're seeing now. Remember the whole health care debacle? This was what led to the Republicans taking over Congress for the first time in forever and bringing America some of the blessings of divided government.

    And hopefully the same exact thing will happen again this time around before the current gang can wreck everything.

  • oscar98||

    To Rule of 72: God bless you, you are my favorite rule... Much more fun than L'hopital's rule.

    Well, except right now.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Let's not forget that he was pretty much dragged there kicking and screaming."

    Indeed.

    Clinton was not a leader on the welfare reform legislation (that has now been undone thanks to president 666). He just saw an unstoppable train coming down the track on it and hopped onto the locomotive to take credit for it.

  • Paul||

    A male intern would be best. However, a cute-hot early 20's white girl would do very good also.

    Nah, he needs to have an affair with Beyonce and then get into an East Coast/West Coast feud with a Rap Posse.

  • Paul||

    Do you expect to be spending 75 percent more 10 years from now? Does your employer?

    To double in 10 years would require 7% annual growth. a 75% increase is about 5.5% per year.


    Good point, Rule of 72. In light of this, I definitely don't expect to be spending 75% more in ten years.

  • Rule of 72||

    Another thing about Chapman's innumeracy:

    The projected spending includes an inflation rate of about 2% and a slightly under 1% per annum population growth. So a nominal 5.5% per year increase is a real increase of some 2-3% per capita per annum.

    Do I like increased govt spending? No.

    But one should never forget that Chapman is the worst columnist that reason.com regularly runs.

  • ||

    Clinton didn't inherit Great Depression II. Come on people, the tired 80s and 90s era formulations about "big government" vs. "small government" just aren't relevant anymore. Not that it was ever more than a talking point.

    Tony, I think your memory is going, or maybe you were not "of age" or politically aware in 1992. When Clinton ran against Bush we had "the worst economy since Hoover".

  • ||

    I'm willing to bet [Clinton] would still have governed as a centrist. NAFTA bitches!



    Fun fact: NAFTA wouldn't pass in today's Congress. The Democrats who have won seats in the last four years have been profoundly anti-trade. (NAFTA itself received more Republican votes than Democratic votes, despite Republicans being in the minority.)

    Clinton wouldn't have the chance to govern as a centrist today until the Republicans took back at least part of Congress in 2010.

  • ||

    Tony, I think your memory is going, or maybe you were not "of age" or politically aware in 1992. When Clinton ran against Bush we had "the worst economy since Hoover".

    Oh, of course. Then Clinton went on to be a pretty decent steward of the economy. But the economy he inherited is nothing like the economy Obama inherited, which is rapidly going off a cliff worldwide.

    This really is not a good environment for libertarian economic ideas. Sorry, but reality is reality. The people exercised their liberty to choose their representatives in government and they chose people who would promise a more active role of government. At the very least they rejected the side that 80% of this country feel caused the economic crisis.

    Big Dem majorities in Congress and a Dem president aren't just an accident of history, it's a reflection of the mood and will of the people at this moment. Again, sorry.

    And John, I can pretty much guarantee you Republicans won't return to power in 2010 or any time soon. They have been digging their own grave since at least 2006. When all that's left of a party are radical ideologues unwilling to compromise anything, it will take a generation before the party learns to moderate itself and have electoral success again.

  • ||

    Tony: "When all that's left of a party are radical ideologues unwilling to compromise anything,"

    ...they take control of the White House and Congress!

  • ||

    But the economy he inherited is nothing like the economy Obama inherited, which is rapidly going off a cliff worldwide.

    This is true, but if the "worst econmy since Hoover" claim wasn't a lie (which it likely was), then this could be the Great Depression v3.0

  • ||

    I pray to Jeebus that Obama humps a (hot) intern. The resulting meltdown of his follower's hopes and dreams might well crack the earth itself.

    Not gonna happen. I think that man is seriously whipped, in a way that Clinton never was.

    I don't like Michelle Obama -- I think she's a whiny, grievance-mongering bitch -- but I respect her. She's smart and she wouldn't put up with the shit Hilary was willing to take. And Michelle's damn cute to boot. Obama won't be nailing interns.

  • ||

    bill clinton made Nixon look like a moral, upright man by comparison and Obama is about to try do the same favor for Slick Willie?

    Ha ha ha.

  • MJ||

    "Would it be fair to refer to the look on ol' Slick Willie's face in the pic there as 'smoldering'?"

    No, "vapid".

  • economist||

    "Come on people, the tired 80s and 90s era formulations about "big government" vs. "small government" just aren't relevant anymore."

    Ignore that man behind the curtain! Thinking that he's there or not there is so 80's and 90's!

    We all know that there's no such thing as big government. Bank, healthcare, and god-knows-what-else nationalization/socialization does not mean the government is bigger or has more control over anyone's life!

    I think from now on I will refer to Tony as "Non-absolute".

  • economist||

    stubby,
    You underestimate us males' tendency towards lechery.

  • economist||

    I would love it if he gaffed just once. I think there's about fifty things Obama would greatly love to say if he didn't think it would sink him politically.

  • ||

    Tony, you can't guarantee squat.

    Clinton inherited Bush's recession? The recession was over at the end of '92. Clinton in fact inherited the upswing. But so what; he did what every President does, and I'd do it too --- bitch that he inherited the crap from the previous. Blah, blah, blah. Are they expanding government or are they reducing government? Not one, not a single one, has curtailed or reduced government exansion and INTRUSION. Not a damn one. You have your wish, because Republican or Democrat, they expand their elite power and continue to tell you what to do and how to raise your family.

    In the mid-90's _Vanity Fair_ and _Rolling Stone_ lamented the end of the Democratic Party as Clinton helped the Repubs take over Congress. When Nixon was boarding his departure plane, the _WSJ_ wondered if the Republicans would ever regain control. When Carter went back to Georgia _The Nation_ magazine hand-wrung its hands over the end of the Democratic party; when Bush's popularity was at 30% (and Congress' was at 12%) _Newsweek_ predicted the end of Republicanism. Seeing any trend?

    Your prediction is ill-advised because flipping a coin will give you and me the same confidence factor.
    I will make one prediction, however. Whichever "party" comes to power in the next 2, 4, 6, or 8 years, its minions will increase spending and increase its busy-body intrusion into my life and business.

  • ||

    We all hope to see firefighters in the house if the kitchen catches fire.

    Not when they show up with a flamethrower.

  • ||

    It seems like a lot of perverts read and comment here.I wonder how much they'd enjoy seeing a pic of Jimmy Jeff Gannon or whatever his name is fucking
    George Bush.

  • ||

    whoa...

    except that Bill Clinton made it his policy to lie about the Genocide in Rwanda...

    peddled pardons to crooks like Marc Rich...

    completely ignored and enabled the threats of Radical Islamic Terrorists, who first attacked NYC in 1993...

    the Clintons also lied about raising taxes, and then tried to Nationalize the Health Care Industry...

    one has to remember the disastrous Gorelick Wall, and the horrid Torricelli - Clinton Intel restrictions that made the USA far more vulnerable to attack.

    in fact, the 9-11 Commission concluded the 1990's were filled with failures to aggressively respond to Terrorists, which made matters far worse.

    yes, Mr. Obama is a disaster, but then the denial about the Clintons, even the insecurity created amongst Democratic Partisans regarding the Carter Malaise, has only created more problems for all.

    the Democratic Party is now pushing the same failure they pushed on CA, LA, MI, NJ, etc., to the National Level again.

    welcome back Carter...

  • ||

    "During the campaign, Obama often came across as a sensible pragmatist with an appreciation for both the value of markets and the limits of government-a Bill Clinton with self-discipline."

    Who did he sound like a sensible pragmatist to? Not me. To me he sounded like a politician afraid of committing himself on any isuue (gun control, Cuba, Iran, etc.) His voting record in the Senate and his activist life prior to it foreshadowed everything he has done and is attempting to do as POTUS.

  • ||

    Not one, not a single one, has curtailed or reduced government exansion and INTRUSION. Not a damn one.

    Well, there was a considerable reduction in government at the end of WW2, although I wouldn't really give Truman or Eisenhower much personal credit for that.

    -jcr

  • ||

    In the past the classical-liberal political culture of the American people has prevented the US from turning into a European style social democratic craphole. The Democrats are going to solve that little problem by turning millions of illegal aliens into voters. The Democrats' program is we don't like the way the people vote, so let's dissolve the people and elect a new one.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • changqin||

    good

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