Rich Lowry

The real news from Clinton's speech is the way she, in keeping with the leftward shift of her party, turns her back on her husband's actual policies. It is too inconvenient for her to explain the sources of the deficit reduction in the 1990s besides his (relatively inconsequential) tax increase: first, Clinton's huge cut in defense spending; then a budget deal with Republicans that reduced the rate of growth of Medicare and cut taxes on capital gains; then, a wondrous flow of revenue into the federal treasury from capital gains and the "rich getting richer."

She doesn't even mention welfare reform, although it is largely thanks to it that the bottom fifth of families had a 35 percent increase in income from 1991 to 2005. She talks of free trade as something to fear, when President Clinton courageously championed NAFTA and other free-trade initiatives, providing boosts to the U.S. and global economies. Of course, she leaves out all the deregulation and how important it was that President Clinton let Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan pursue his low-inflation policies without political interference.

None of this fits into her narrative of an economy needing wide-ranging government intervention to escape the nefarious consequences of individuals left to act "on their own." One can only conclude that if you liked the 1990s boom, don't elect this woman.


Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
 
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