President Obama badly wants you to believe that he is the next Bill Clinton. By putting Clinton center stage at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week, he practically begged you to believe that he will return America to Clinton-era prosperity by working with Republicans, transforming the economy to bring in surpluses and lowering the national debt.
If only you will give him four more years.
The truth is that Clinton’s record on the economy outshines Obama’s in nearly every way. Both inherited a struggling economy, lost handily in mid-term elections and ideologically are very similar. However, their approaches and subsequently their accomplishments are vastly different. While Clinton moved right, Obama has proven time and again that he is totally dedicated to his big-government ideology- even to the detriment of the country.
While it’s worthwhile to compare the two, don’t let this talk of how Clinton is better than Obama fool you into believing that Clinton was some kind of conservative or deserves praise. Clinton was largely forced to work with Republicans to get anything done and therefore adopted some conservative economics while Obama simply chooses to do nothing and work with no one.
Outcome of Mid-Term Elections
Both Presidents faced changing electoral demographics in Congress. Clinton recognized his predicament and became pragmatic. For instance, Clinton finally signed historic welfare reform after vetoing it twice. Obama makes Clinton look downright humble and workable, even though Clinton led a government shutdown over spending.
Obama’s general belief that he is the best at everything, as mentioned in the New York Times this week, is exemplified by his reaction to the midterm elections. Instead of adapting, he became more ideological, hunkered down and stopped returning phone calls from Senate and House GOP leadership. Further, he demonized the policies that Americans voted for and Clinton embraced: getting government spending under control, focusing on the economy and passing a balanced budget.
Government Spending and the Economy
Working with Republicans, Clinton decreased federal spending from 19.81% of GDP in 1993 to 18.2% of GDP in 2000 when he left office. With that economic growth, Clinton and Congressional Republicans passed responsible budgets. President Obama’s current budget is so radical it received zero votes in the Republican House and the Democratic Senate. Meanwhile Obama has averaged federal government spending at 5% higher than Clinton at 24.42% of GDP. Obama is a big government spender and Clinton downright frugal by comparison.
On Wednesday night in Charlotte, Clinton said, “People ask me all the time, how we go four surplus budgets in a row. What new ides did we bring to Washington? I always give a one word answer: Arithmetic.” He might want to mention that to Obama who still hasn’t realized that increased spending leads to more debt, not less. This week the federal debt topped $16 trillion, up over 50% in just 3.5 years. In contrast, Clinton only raised the national debt by 37%, and that was over two terms. Getting the picture? Where Clinton ordered a Big Mac, Obama ordered it super-sized.
By budgeting responsibly and encouraging free trade, the American economy soared during the Clinton administration. As a result, Americans living on government assistance fell dramatically and the number of people on welfare decreased by 8.4 million. However, during Obama’s term enrollment is way up.
The saddest example of President Obama’s failures is the vast increase in the number of people who are now on food stamps. Well over 15 more million people are currently living on food stamps than when the President took office. Clinton’s legacy saw a dramatic decrease, almost 10 million.
So just remember - Bill Clinton can say a thousand times that Obama is going to bring economic prosperity, but that just isn’t true. In comparison with Clinton, the Obama agenda is failing. Obama has made things worse for the average American with irresponsible spending, skyrocketing national debt, and a total unwillingness to work with Republicans or adopt any conservative economic ideas.
Bill Clinton is not a conservative, but next to President Obama he sure looks like one.