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A short speech I gave on why Bill Clinton would be a better president from the standpoint of America's exports and international trade than Robert Dole.
There is a recurrent (and highly false) line that the deficits of the
1980s came about because Congress busted the budget by refusing to follow
Presidential recommendations to cut spending. Here are some--very basic--data
on exactly how false this line is. I calculate it as 94% false.
Cut the federal deficit by more than half. Aided by favorable macroeconomic conditions, the deficit as a share of national product is down from 4.9% of national product when Clinton took office to 2.1% of national product today.
A Lloyd Bentsen Op-Ed on the Deficit that I drafted, and of which I am proud. It ran in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, November 3, 1994.
It is interesting that Newt Gingrich voted for neither of the major deficit reduction packages--the Bush package of 1990 and the Clinton package of 1993--that have turned the federal deficit from a crisis in to a worry, and yet claims to be deeply concerned about the deficit.
Secured the passage of the Uruguay Round of the GATT, projected (by me) to lower tariffs worldwide by $744 billion over ten years. The Uruguay Round cuts tariffs on manufactured goods by more than one-third overall, and eliminates tariffs in major markets in a number of sectors especially important to the U.S.
Secured the passage of NAFTA, which increases the chances that Mexico will make a rapid and peaceful transition to a developed, high-productivity, democratic society. I have strong views on this topic: see the WWW page on The Mexican Peso Crisis, which is a longer version of an article I published in the May-June 1996 issue of Foreign Affairs.
Expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit [EITC], thus boosting the rewards to work for low-income workers, and reducing the tax burden levied on 15 million working and lower middle class households. (The EITC survived an exceptionally mean-spirited attempt by Republican leaders to prune it back in 1995.)
Contained the winter 1994-1995 Mexican peso crisis. In the absence of the U.S.-led support package, Mexico might very well be in the middle of a Great Depression (rather than a severe recession) today. Other emerging market economies would have faced similar crises in the past year if the Mexican one had not been properly handled. I have strong views on this topic: see the WWW page on The Mexican Peso Crisis, which is a longer version of an article I published in the May-June 1996 issue of Foreign Affairs.
Made the federal income tax more progressive (still not clear whether this was a good idea or not; we'll see how much revenue is raised from the higher rates).
Signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which had been vetoed by Bush. (Recent data appears to suggest that the Act has greatly improved the lives of many workers at very little cost to employers.)
Improved the targetting of education funds by channeling more to school districts with large numbers of poor children.
Established a voluntary national service program.
Reduced the cost of student loans for college.
Increased Head Start funding by 20 percent, expanding coverage by 100,000 children. Broadened food stamp aid by an additional $2.5 billion over the next five years.
Doubled training funds for dislocated workers, to $1.1 billion a year.
Accelerated compliance with Montreal Protocols on global warming.
Why We Are in This Politics Business Anyway:
Our Friends Across the Water:
Could It Happen Here?:
Paul Krugman's Fears:
I could understand this only as an attempt to find a job for the President's friend Ira, after his breathtaking display of incompetence in health care reform, where he could do some Japan bashing.
Go to Brad De Long's Home Page
Associate Professor of Economics Brad De
Long, 601 Evans
University of California at Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax