“Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election,” former President Bill Clinton intoned at the Democratic National Convention this week. “I just want you to know that I believe it. With all my heart, I believe it.”
Don’t believe it.
Also not worth believing? Clinton’s television ad, for which, you can be sure, every word was chosen carefully, not just ad-libbed (as some of the gray-haired Lothario’s lines from the convention were said to be):
This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. This is a clear choice. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper-income people and go back to deregulation. That’s what got us in trouble in the first place.
President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground-up — investing in innovation, education and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class, That’s what happened when I was president. We need to keep going with his plan.
Very persuasive . . . until examined.
Is the current economic depression the result of tax cuts and deregulation? No.
The original implosion was in the mortgage bundle markets, and that was fed by Clintonian homeownership policy and the Federal Reserve’s cheap credit. Regulation had increased dramatically under Bush, and the only bit of deregulation worth talking about was the repeal of Glass-Steagall . . . which Clinton himself signed.
The idea that the prosperity of the Clinton years was caused by his “investment” and “education” and “job training” plans is a howler. Clinton’s era was blessed, instead, with
- a mostly stable Fed policy;
- Republican opposition in the House that forced him to make his most famous policy moves; and
- low gas prices.
This latter was the result of the two most astounding policy moves in the years prior to his administration:
- The Carter-Reagan deregulation of the oil industry; and
- George Herbert Walker Bush’s sending Saudi Arabia and Kuwait the bill for the Persian Gulf War.
Politics, we must remember, is often dominated by expert liars.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.