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Clinton on Economic Crisis


 

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Great answer on Time's publication....

wow, humble man.

I don't know, RedSeven - I think if you were in charge, it wouldn't have happened.

I think almost anyone besides Bush would've been able to have handled this better since he did everything wrong he possibly could. (He could've started off by listening to Paul O'Neill and the assistant Secretary of the Treasury instead of firing them when they said things he didn't like)

Yeah, but this crash has been a long time coming. Wages and savings have been falling since the 70's minimum wage has been sinking since the 60's and debt has been growing.

Clinton wan do doubt better then both bushes and Reagan combined, but he didn't exactly steer the ship away from the rocks, he just let up on the gas a little and cut social programs (flooded steerage).

He presided over an economy that rapidly overvalued tech stocks before they had found any way to make money and he didn't put the brakes on any of the stupid day trading speculation that helped get us here.

I mean He could have said, "I did see some real troubling trends in our economy and did my best to address some of them, but I wish I had had the foresight to do more." Instead he went with "No".

Clinton was better than Reagan? What is the single most important legislation passed during the Clinton administration?

NAFTA? GATT? Welfare Reform? I'm not sure those are sharp contrasts from the Reagan administration.

Kind of a nothing interview IMO. I almost feel that we could have taken Ann's questions and answered them for Bill and the results would have been nearly identical.

I agree. Bill definitely avoided the question and did not discuss his involvement in the development of our current economic problems.

Will the DOW break its 7500 floor today? Place your bets!

RedSeven is 100% correct to say:

this crash has been a long time coming. Wages and savings have been falling since the 70's minimum wage has been sinking since the 60's and debt has been growing

Clinton is (still) a megalomaniac, and anyone who thinks a President can "fix" a national economy is either delusional or ignorant.

How come they can break them but not fix them?

He actually has given more in-depth interviews on it. I think he's probably tired of watching the Republicans do whatever they wanted with the "mandate" from the last 8 years and still getting blamed (including three rounds of tax cuts - from people that were already doing incredibly well; starting a war without the financial ability to pay for it - letting the oil companies gouge us hurrying up the default on mortgages). I don't know if this was inevitable. You usually change tack when you see a problem instead of heading right for it - even if it's too late to avoid an accident completely. I just know we wouldn't have had the coffers empty.

I'm not sure what he could've done about the tech bubble since you had to look at the VC's and the Boards along with all the speculators - those guys were making money hand over fist and everyone knew there was no there there - yet (the big business plan was advertising or porn). One of the tech company I was at then (not a dot com) went from 4.5m to 225m in two years and yet, it wasn't enough - every Board meeting the investors would make no allowance for long term growth. They wanted their money and the forecasts had to show steep growth no matter what anyone said. And, as soon as the VCs were allowed to sell their stock, they usually did....The company ended up getting up to 450m in the 4th year after IPO and then crashed because it could not sustain the short term planning against competitors. I'm not sure how you regulate against that kind of greed

Taxes on unearned income, taxes on stock trades to reduce day trading and encourage long term investment and high income taxes on people making more then 10 Million a year.

Raise the minimum wage to 1960's levels, make it easier to organize unions.

Get interest paid on actual savings accounts so everyone doesn't have to put their money in the stock market to get any return.

Not pass NAFTA.

Just to list a few things Clinton could have done.

Hmm...DeLay and Gingrich Congress - taxes? You think there was any way? Remember how they freaked over Bush Sr. raising taxes? They've even been working forever to get the estate tax repealed - a tax both Republican heroes Teddy and Carnegie were in favor of. The minimum wage - I think Clinton tried to get that raised a bunch of times. NAFTA - yeah.

But it sounds like you guys are saying, no matter who the most recent president was, the economic meltdown would've happened which I really disagree. That's why I brought up Paul O'Neill who as first Sec'y of Treasury was already seeing huge mistakes coming from Bush (and his friend Greenspan supporting them) very early on.

Our bank account has been empty, bush was just the idiot that tried to cash a Trillion dollar check while giving his every friend a job and gave his friends in the energy business a license to rape.

It would have taken another 10 years without his help, but it was still coming.

I have little doubt that had Clinton been president for the past eight years, our current economic situation would be significantly better than it is now. That said, Clinton took more swigs of the right-wing Kool-Aid than he ever should have. Letting Phil Gramm's effective repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act pass into law was probably the worst piece of domestic legislation Clinton ever signed (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act). That, along with Phil Gramm's other disastrous masterwork, the infamous Commodities and Futures Modernization Act, that was slipped into an omnibus spending bill (without debate!). All that was needed was the stupid Fed policy of free money. an utterly incompetent and corrupt Bush administration, and utterly compliant Congress and well, here we are.

As for our more general predicament, I've never read a more clear summary than that in J. K. Galbraith's Affluent Society. We have a hypertrophic marketing apparatus dedicated to full time "need creation" that drives a debt creation monster of a financial system. These are accompanied by a mediocre public education system, and a grossly overpriced and inefficient health care system. Our gadgets are cheap, our BIg Box Marts have more stuff in them than we can possibly use, health care costs are helping to break our backs, and 75% of the wage increases of the entire nation during the Reign of Error went to the top 1% of earners (all the rest went to the next 4%).

So ... if that is the kind of thing that Zaphod is referring to when he says a president can't "fix" the economy, then I agree.

Interesting. I had to look it up since I knew my father was a fan of Galbraith's and saw that it was written in '58...wow.

I do marketing and it is an evil endeavor but, part of what you have to do is find out about the vibe/zeitgeist/whatever you want to call it and what I saw as fabric-of-society damaging was the Greed is Good celebration of money mindset leading to the hip young republican, the capitalism pride and the devaluing of ethics, the glorifying of meaningless celebrities and the bloated wealthy and Ebenezer Scrooge as business genius.

I'm not sure if that adds to this point or not but Obama combined with this downturn have finally (hopefully) put the end of Reagan's era of ostentatious consumption.

I too would like to think that complete laissez-faire and abolition of taxes would go by the wayside as policy. I also agree with jill that Clinton has given more in-depth interviews, that's really why I didn't care for this near fluff piece.

Clinton was yes, better than both Bushes, but also palling around (what a phrase) with "Kenny Boy" Lay. He was charismatic, and not a liberal, but a moderate. It would have been great to see him use that charisma to push through more left wing policies and to have put some restraints on the inevitable NAFTA. Hell, holding up the automobile CAFE standards would've been helpful as well.

W on the other hand gutted payment for the infrastructure with tax cuts for out wealthiest citizens while taking us off to an unjustified war. His 8 years were nothing if not a great control group for damning politics. Someone with smarter ideas might have reversed the trend before things got so dire.

Here we are with a smarter president who's had some cabinet appointment mistakes but at least taking us back in the right direction. Obama needs to tread the bi-partisanship lightly - especially since the GOP seems focused on their stone wall no taxes tactics - but there needs to be some gathering of support from the other side. We can "hope" it'll go well; I'm "hoping" to have at lest some spare time to fire off emails to my reps.

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