Obama Needs 'Clintonomics'

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 04:02 PM

By Jack Godwin

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Other than the fact that the Obama administration is full of former Clinton appointees, should we still care what former President Bill Clinton has to say? Although the world has changed significantly since Clinton left office, he remains a leading authority on the global economy, and the issues he cares about, particularly healthcare, welfare, education and globalization, all have far-reaching economic consequences.

Clinton had some ideas that were not politically pure: not perfectly liberal, not perfectly conservative. People made fun of Clinton for being a “policy wonk,” someone a little too knowledgeable and a little too fascinated by the details of government policy.

It is a gently pejorative term, but to this day Clinton wears it like a badge of honor. Clinton’s argument, which his immediate successor proved beyond dispute, is that details matter. You can argue all you want about liberal versus conservative, but good government requires more than rhetoric. Eventually, reality makes a difference. I outline his positions in my book, "Clintonomics: How Bill Clinton Reengineered the Reagan Revolution."

Editor's Note: Get Jack Godwin's book. Go here now.

Tax cuts are a perfect example. Everybody wants a tax cut, don’t they? There is no political down side. But is it good policy?

The answer depends on what you think is our worst economic problem. If you are a budget hawk and think we should always try to balance the budget, then tax cuts will probably make the deficit worse.

If you think government waste is our biggest problem, then you should support not just tax cuts, but also spending cuts. However, if our worst economic problem is unemployment, then you should support some intervention in the economy by the government.

In 1981, Reagan said government is not the solution; government is the problem. In 1996, Clinton said the era of big government is over. What’s the difference? The calendar is the difference.

When the Cold War ended, the world exited one era and entered another. To suggest the global era somehow ended in September 2001 indicates a severe case of tunnel vision — not merely the lack of peripheral vision but a failure to recognize that globalization, not terrorism or any specific act of terrorism, is the central reality of our time.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama famously said Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Clinton did not. Respectfully, I disagree with President Obama on this particular issue, and think “Clintonomics” proves the point.

Throughout his presidency, Clinton articulated a governing philosophy whose overarching agenda was to create more economic opportunity and enlarge the middle class. He shrank the government bureaucracy, made it more cost-effective, more relevant and more responsive to the competitive pressures of the global economy.

Although Ronald Reagan was a great communicator, Bill Clinton was the great policy wonk who re-engineered the Reagan Revolution, effectively solved problems such as welfare and the budget, and repositioned the American economy for the 21 century.

Jack Godwin is chief international officer at California State University, Sacramento. This article is adapted from “Clintonomics: How Bill Clinton Reengineered the Reagan Revolution.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Google Working on Super-fast 'Quantum' Computer Chip

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 22:08 PM

Google on Tuesday said it is working on a super-fast quantum computer chip as part a vision to one day have machines t . . .

US, European Lawmakers to Discuss NSA, World Hotspots in DC

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 21:48 PM

Members of Congress and European parliaments will discuss international "hotspots" such as Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza, as we . . .

Pipeline Foes Condemn Neb. Congressman's Mock Playlist

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 19:28 PM

Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry is duking it out with oil pipeline fighters again, this time over a mock playlist Terry's . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved