As former President Bill Clinton prepares for a speech Wednesday night at the Democratic convention, a Wall Street Journal
editorial compares his first two years in office to those of current President Barack Obama.
Not surprisingly, Journal editors find that Obama comes up lacking.
“The real story isn't how much policy the two Democrats have in common,” the editorial states. “What matters is what they did differently. Bill Clinton learned from the mistakes of his first two years. Mr. Obama has doubled down on his — and on all available evidence, he will double down if he's re-elected.”
In reality, Clinton had two different economic presidencies, Journal editors maintain.
“Much like Mr. Obama, in his first two years the Arkansan bowed to the priorities of House Democrats and tried to govern from the left.” Clinton raised taxes and sought healthcare reform and a stimulus package.
Then Clinton moved to the middle after Republicans seized control of Congress in 1994. He embraced a balanced budget and welfare reform.
Under Clinton, government spending fell to 18.2 percent of GDP in 2000 from 21.9 percent in 1992. “For his part, Mr. Obama has presided over the largest spending binge since World War II,” the editorial says. Federal spending now registers almost 24 percent of GDP, despite an economic recovery.
In 1997, Bill Clinton said, “the era of big government is over," which was true for a few years, according to The Journal. “By contrast, Mr. Obama's four years have been spent expanding the government willy-nilly — with more spending, the promise of higher taxes, and intervention across the economy. His only economic plan now is still more spending.”
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