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Bring Back Bubba! - On Missing Bill Clinton:

Columnist Steven Chapman is missing Bill Clinton, a sentiment that has often occurred to me in recent years as well:

If Barack Obama achieves nothing else in his presidency, he may do something that once seemed impossible: give a lot of people who aren't crazy about his party a new respect for Bill Clinton.

Clinton, for all his appetites and excesses, was a cautious, centrist sort of Democrat. He had innumerable ideas for things the government could do, but most were small and fairly innocuous. He was willing to go along with Republicans on some of their sound ideas—such as balancing the budget, reforming the welfare system, and expanding foreign trade.

He focused on making government better, not making it bigger. He didn't greatly enlarge Washington's role in our lives. He proclaimed—or conceded—that the "era of big government is over...."

Obama's fiscal blueprint builds on profligate habits established by George W. Bush. Under Clinton, federal spending fell to 18.4 percent of gross domestic product—the lowest level since 1966. By 2007, it was up to 20 percent. By 2019, according to the administration, it would rise to 22.6 percent.

This increase may not sound like much, but it is. Before the current recession began, reports budget analyst Brian Riedl of the conservative Heritage Foundation, government spending amounted to about $24,000 per household. Under Obama's plan, it would exceed $32,000 per household (in inflation-adjusted dollars). Someone will have to pay for every cent of that spending, and it won't be just the rich.

In retrospect, Clinton's record looks very good compared to that of both of his successors, each of whom presided over massive expansions of government. Among the many flaws of Obama's recently passed stimulus bill is its undermining of the 1996 welfare reform act, one of Clinton's greatest achievements.

There is no need to romanticize Clinton. Government growth was constrained on his watch in part because his worst instincts were checked by a Republican Congress, and he in turn checked theirs. As a general rule, divided government leads to limited government. Obviously, Obama has also been able to take advantage of a massive economic crisis, the kind of event that often provides opportunities for expanding government power. Clinton's relatively impressive record was in part the product of the political constraints he faced (no big crisis to exploit, and a Congress controlled by a hostile opposition party during his last six years in office).

Still, Clinton appears to have had a genuine commitment to welfare reform and free trade, among other market-oriented policies. No such tendencies are evident in Obama. I never knew how much I would miss Bubba until he was gone.

Splunge:
Plus you could make fun of his pork rinds and porking of interns. Good clean fun. What can you do with Obama? Dumbo jokes? Feh.
3.6.2009 2:11am
John Thacker (mail):
Still, Clinton appears to have had a genuine commitment to welfare reform


? He vetoed the bill several times, and then only finally signed substantially the same bill because of the polling. I guess you could say that he had a genuine commitment to some kind of welfare reform, but didn't like the bill that actually passed, but still, I don't understand.
3.6.2009 2:17am
Ilya Somin:
He vetoed the bill several times, and then only finally signed substantially the same bill because of the polling. I guess you could say that he had a genuine commitment to some kind of welfare reform, but didn't like the bill that actually passed, but still, I don't understand.

He wanted a weaker version of the bill, true. But he did want to substantially alter the preexisting welfare system, a point he repeatedly made in his 1992 campaign, when he famously promised to "end welfare as we know it."
3.6.2009 3:07am
Greg Q (mail) (www):
Wow, Ilya, you are such a sucker. Clinton claimed in 1992 that he wanted to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare". What's he do on that little promise?

Free trade I'll give you. But the only reason Clinton signed any sort of welfare reform bill was because of polling data, and because the Republican majority kept on pushing it.

As for budgets, the Republicans held him in check for `3 years. Then they started going up, as Congressional Republicans lost their fervor for small government.

Did Bush spend too much on domestic crap? Of course. But, unlike Clinton, and unlike Obama, and unlike any other potential Democrat President, Bush's foreign policy was focused on America's best interests. Which is why he's an infinitely superior President to Clinton, Obama, and Bush 41.
3.6.2009 5:48am
Apodaca:
[George W.] Bush's foreign policy was focused on America's best interests

Is that you, Sarcastro?
3.6.2009 6:03am
lonetown (mail):
Clinton also presided over the start of the bubbles we now or were suffering under. Looked good on paper and touted as big government revenue enhancers the tech bubble began the slide down hill.

Bush's housing bubble was a response.

Clinton started it all. (actually Rubin)
3.6.2009 6:05am
Oren:

Under Clinton, federal spending fell to 18.4 percent of gross domestic product—the lowest level since 1966. By 2007, it was up to 20 percent.

This statistic is uninformative for obvious reasons.
3.6.2009 7:12am
Calderon:
As you say, it's not so much missing Bill Clinton as missing the combination of him and a Republican Congress that at least at its start appeared to be serious about constraining government. In retrospect, it's too bad Gore wasn't elected in 2000, because I thik especially when it comes to the national debt we'd be better off with him, and probably wouldn't have Medicare Part D, the various anti-trade subsidies and tariffs from Bush's first term, and of course, the Iraq War. (Though if 9/11 still occurred with Gore in charge the politics could have been very ugly with Republicans blaming him and Clinton).
3.6.2009 7:30am
Frog Leg (mail):
In retrospect, Clinton's record looks very good compared to that of both of his successors....

We're already looking at Obama's complete Presidential record in retrospect? Has Ilya been time-traveling?
3.6.2009 7:30am
Nemesis (mail):
In my opinion this blog has been taken over by Fox News.
3.6.2009 7:40am
Houston Lawyer:
This only works if you forget the first two years of the Clinton administration. If you miss Clinton as President, you must really miss Newt Gingrich as Speaker.
3.6.2009 7:47am
rick.felt:
As you say, it's not so much missing Bill Clinton as missing the combination of him and a Republican Congress that at least at its start appeared to be serious about constraining government.

Yes. As much as it pains me to say it, this post should be titled "Bring Back Divided Government," although the specific division that seems to work best is with a GOP Congress. Fortunately, this is something that we can fix in only 20 months.
3.6.2009 7:49am
Lovecraft:
I certainly miss Bubba now. Also, I never thought I'd say this, but Obama has made me miss W. Whatever his mistakes were, he never undertook massive social engineering experiments.

After reading Kristof's defense of the Obama health care plan, I see it as trading innovation in medicine for covering the uninsured, many of whom have made a choice not to be insured. I'd be very interested to read Professor Somin's take on the health care plan.
3.6.2009 7:58am
Sunshine is good:
I certainly miss Bubba now. Also, I never thought I'd say this, but Obama has made me miss W. Whatever his mistakes were, he never undertook massive social engineering experiments.

The DHS will have a word with you now. Immediately.
3.6.2009 8:16am
hawkins:
The level GOP hatred for Clinton--a moderate any definition, certainly the best they could hope for in a Democratic president--always made them look petty.
3.6.2009 8:22am
Derrick (mail):
I certainly miss Bubba now. Also, I never thought I'd say this, but Obama has made me miss W. Whatever his mistakes were, he never undertook massive social engineering experiments except in other countries.

/Fixed it
3.6.2009 8:25am
corneille1640 (mail):

Bush's foreign policy was focused on America's best interests.

I guess I can't speak to Mr. Bush's foreign policy generally, but I thought that after WMDs were not found in Iraq, the rationale for the US invasion was to save Iraqis from a tyrannical despot. Maybe that was a noble thing to do, but that doesn't in and of itself mean that the Iraq invasion was clearly in "America's best interests."

Of course, Iraq was not the only feature of Bush's foreign policy. My point is, however, that your comment is at least debatable.
3.6.2009 8:28am
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
I think you're confused, splunge.. IIRC, it was Bush 41 who had the pork rinds. He brought them up when asked what he was going to keep in Reagan's famous jellybean bowl.
3.6.2009 8:30am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
One of the reasons Clinton was not all that popular with the right was not the things he did, but the things he and his wife tried to do. Even if they failed, the idea was to succeed. They didn't plan to fail. Thinking of Hillary's health care catastrophe which didn't happen.

WRT health coverage: Keep in mind that most employed people are covered by work comp on the job. WC wonderfulness varies by state. CA is supposed to have the highest rates and the lowest payout, which means there's another one of the left coast's money-blackholes in there someplace. Most states have some kind of medical coverage in their auto insurance. ERs have to treat you. So the idea that not having insurance means nothing is ever paid for except out of your pocket is false.
Young folks--I say this as one in the business--take their chances on purpose, considering their auto coverage, their work comp, and, as one guy said, "if there's an accident, there's always somebody to sue."
It's not as good as having health insurance but it's not as bad as having no coverage whatsoever.
3.6.2009 8:43am
genob:
And I could be wrong, but I don't think we are going to get the tabliod stuff like Monica/Jennifer/Paula stuff from Obama....mostly because I think he realizes that Michelle would not take it nearly as well as Hillary...I think he knows that Michelle would kill him.
3.6.2009 8:45am
Joseph Slater (mail):
Aubrey:

You realize, I hope, that workers comp only covers that occurred during and within the course of employment, right? Which leaves out a lot of injuries.

More broadly, yeah, it turns out Obama is more liberal than Clinton. Which is something we all knew.
3.6.2009 8:52am
The Unbeliever:
How about this: we agree to always have a Democratic President, if you agree to always have a Republican Congress? (Filibuster-proof margins negotiable, but no Jim Jeffords allowed.)
3.6.2009 9:16am
Adam J:
Lovecraft- Good point- many have made a choice to not be insured, but that's probably they decided to have 3 meals a day instead of two, or decided to get a real apartment rather then living on someone's couch.
3.6.2009 9:17am
Cornellian (mail):
Anyone who believes in what Republicans claim to believe in would prefer the Clinton administration (including the Congress as it existed at that time) to the Bush administration and that Congress, at least in economic terms.
3.6.2009 9:23am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Remember that Clinton got the subprime mortgage disaster under way. There's a remarkably prescient New York Times article from 1999 here:

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

...

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

And as this September 11, 2003 New York Times article points out, the Bush Administration tried to regulate this situation, but Democrats Barney Frank and Melvin Watts screeched that it was a bad thing to do.
3.6.2009 9:48am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
joseph slater.
wrt work comp.
I know. I'm in the business. Did I forget to say that?
However, from the young folks' point of view, they are at risk at work and while driving.
Recreation? Never happen.
You should be telling the young folks about "a lot of injuries", not me. If you can convince them, fine. I could use the business.
And, as a bunch of attorneys hereabouts can attest, if there's an accident, there's usually somebody to sue. Or, to the young, it seems that way. "call sam" ads certainly don't dissuade the young.
3.6.2009 10:00am
Hoosier:
But Clinton liked femmy bands.
3.6.2009 10:08am
Joseph Slater (mail):
Aubrey:

Is your point that for young people, the overwhelming number of injuries and/or serious illnesses that happen to them are compensable under either workers comp or through a successful lawsuit? If so, do you have statistics to back that up? And where do costs of, say, child birth fit into that?
3.6.2009 10:19am
LN (mail):
Remember that Clinton raised the top marginal tax rate to 39.6%. This disrespect for hard work and wealth led the most productive Americans to "go John Galt," leading to the collapse of the American economy and the emergence of socialism.
3.6.2009 10:21am
RPT (mail):
"Richard Aubrey:

ERs have to treat you."

Is this an argument that health insurance for all is unnecessary because you (a conservative or libertarian?) rely upon the hospitals to treat the ER patients for free? Why should the hospitals be compelled to do this for you?
3.6.2009 10:26am
Allan Walstad (mail):
Clayton E. Cramer:

If only people in general were aware of the facts you point out about the origins of the financial mess. Barney Frank's self-righteous blaming of others for his screwup is remarkable, even for a politician.
3.6.2009 10:28am
RPT (mail):
"When the going get tough, the tough go John Galt"? Is this the guy who always disappears when it's time to do the real work?
3.6.2009 10:36am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Under Clinton, federal spending fell to 18.4 percent of gross domestic product—the lowest level since 1966. By 2007, it was up to 20 percent.


This statistic is uninformative for obvious reasons.


Agreed, the "falling" of federal spending under Clinton is mostly the result of (a) the "peace dividend" of reductions in military spending and (b) no longer having to pay for one offs like the S&L bailout which his predecessor was saddled with. That and not getting his largest domestic policy imitative passed by Congress.

The increases in spending under Bush 43 is largely (but not solely) driven by increases in military/homeland security spending and in his last two years, one-offs like the bank bailout.

Ironically enough, Obama's projected spending levels include projected "savings" that assume away much of the increases in military spending for the War over the next ten years. Even with those assumptions, Obama looks worse than Bush or Clinton, if the military spending cuts don't materialize, even more so.
3.6.2009 10:44am
Redman:
Clinton was just plain lucky to be president when he was. All he had to do was not screw it up, and to his credit, and despite his wife's efforts, he accomplished that.
3.6.2009 10:45am
Joseph Slater (mail):
Even if you think Clinton's main accomplishment was "not screwing up," that looks mighty impressive compared to G.W. Bush.
3.6.2009 10:52am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Joseph Slater and EPT.

This must be a board frequented by liberals and attorneys.
Yet again, we find that pointing out something which is inconvenient is morphed into accusations of supporting it.
Don't you ever, ever, EVER get tired of being busted on this?
You ought to be aware, although habits are hard to break, that you're not talkig to a somnolent jury after a high-carb lunch. It makes a difference. It should, anyway.

I recommend, disrecommend, promote, demote nothing I said about young folks' views of coverage.
I am telling you that this is what youngsters I talk to say as an excuse not to get health insurance.
You have a problem with that, you talk to them. As I say, if you can convince them, great. I could use the business.
And the costs for young people for health insurance certainly aren't exorbitant. That is, if you don't try to price out the fat contracts mandated by union agreements which are deductible to the business and passed on to the consumer.
No, I mean the individual health plans.
And, in addition, for some of the things that happen to them, they're covered. Unfortunately, more can and does happen to them than they expect which is not covered.
3.6.2009 11:05am
Joseph Slater (mail):
Aubrey:

I was actually just trying to figure out what your point was. No need for the intemperate outburst. Hope your day/life gets better.
3.6.2009 11:08am
Steve H (mail):
I think hawkins @9:22 hit it right on the head:


The level of GOP hatred for Clinton--a moderate any definition, certainly the best they could hope for in a Democratic president--always made them look petty.


As Ilya now puts it, "Clinton, for all his appetites and excesses, was a cautious, centrist sort of Democrat." This was obvious to me and practically every other Democrat in the 1990s, but Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Dan Burton, and the rest of the VRWC acted like Clinton was the second coming of Lenin.
3.6.2009 11:10am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

This was obvious to me and practically every other Democrat in the 1990s, but Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Dan Burton, and the rest of the VRWC acted like Clinton was the second coming of Lenin.
A little fire at Waco and efforts to disarm law-abiding adults might have something to do with that.
3.6.2009 11:14am
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):
Remember that Clinton got the subprime mortgage disaster under way. There's a remarkably prescient New York Times article from 1999 here:

Clinton was far from perfect, but from what we have seen from Obama, he is much better.

I would write that the last small-government Democratic President was Grover Cleveland.
3.6.2009 11:31am
Sarcastro (www):
Really, I just wish they'd frozen Coolidge.
3.6.2009 12:05pm
Steve H (mail):

A little fire at Waco and efforts to disarm law-abiding adults might have something to do with that.


Regarding Waco, I don't recall mainstream conservatives being that incensed about it, though I may have forgotten. But even if they were, I think that is more effect than cause of their hatred of Clinton, as I don't recall significant conservative opposition to government efforts to arrest criminals prior to January 1993.

Regarding disarming law-abiding adults, what specifically are you referring to?
3.6.2009 12:11pm
PersonFromPorlock:

A little fire at Waco and efforts to disarm law-abiding adults might have something to do with that.

Let's not forget all those IRS audits of his critics, either.
3.6.2009 12:24pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Joseph Slater:

""Aubrey:

Is your point that for young people, the overwhelming number of injuries and/or serious illnesses that happen to them are compensable under either workers comp or through a successful lawsuit? If so, do you have statistics to back that up? And where do costs of, say, child birth fit into that?""

Just trying to figure it out?

Something unclear about the following?

""However, from the young folks' point of view, they are at risk at work and while driving.
Recreation? Never happen.
You should be telling the young folks about "a lot of injuries", not me. If you can convince them, fine. I could use the business.
And, as a bunch of attorneys hereabouts can attest, if there's an accident, there's usually somebody to sue. Or, to the young, it seems that way. "call sam" ads certainly don't dissuade the young.""

Hope you can work your magic on somebody else. High-carb lunches probably help.
3.6.2009 12:30pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Steve H:

...as I don't recall significant conservative opposition to government efforts to arrest criminals prior to January 1993.

That may be because earlier efforts didn't involve the deliberate torturing of children with CS tear gas (very nasty stuff) to pressure the criminals into surrendering.
3.6.2009 12:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Steve thinks the Waco assault was an "arrest".
Sounds like he's just right for a Reno DOJ.
3.6.2009 1:02pm
GTT:
A Chinese electronics assembly worker makes about $0.57/hour which translates to about $1200/year. A U.S. electronics assembly worker makes about $23k/year on average. (Look these up in Google.)

What's evident is that China is, at the expense of their working people, drawing the manufacturing capital and equipment out of the rest of the world, plus the associated cash flow.

We can whine and kvetch about the relative benefits of the Free Trade implications of Obama vs. Clinton. That means nothing if the US as a whole can't face up to the capital and cash flow implications of what this means. The housing bubble is a result, not a cause, of this cycle, as cash and capital is drawn out of the US, and the mass of property holders in the US uses their equity to continue to pay for the goods, in the style to which they've become accustomed.

Free Trade looks purely at profit, but the wealth of a nation is in the capital invested in it. This takes cash flow.

So when you're ready to stop whining about Clinton vs. Obama vs. Bush, please do so and get to work.
3.6.2009 1:10pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Regarding Waco, I don't recall mainstream conservatives being that incensed about it, though I may have forgotten.
This had a lot to do with Republicans gaining control of Congress in 1994. Yes, they were very incensed.
But even if they were, I think that is more effect than cause of their hatred of Clinton, as I don't recall significant conservative opposition to government efforts to arrest criminals prior to January 1993.
Arrest is not the same as barbecue, and the initial BATF raid/PR scheme was criminal in a multiplicity of ways. And yes, there was considerable upset about what happened at Ruby Ridge (under Bush I)--leading to a remarkable situation: the government being ordered to pay some of the legal defense costs of the defendant in a criminal case. And a lot history of conservatives upset about no-knock warrants being used as an excuse to confiscate land.



Regarding disarming law-abiding adults, what specifically are you referring to?
Federal assault weapons bans; the Clinton Administration's unlawful addition of 100,000 veterans suffering from PTSD to the firearms prohibition list. Fortunately, this was reversed last year by Congressional action.
3.6.2009 1:31pm
Hoosier:
Sarcastro
Really, I just wish they'd frozen Coolidge.

How could we tell?

[Save the Earth!--Recycle jokes!]
3.6.2009 2:00pm
cbyler (mail):
Columnist Steven Chapman is missing Bill Clinton, a sentiment that has often occurred to me in recent years as well.

Funny, lots of people just spent about eight years missing Bill Clinton. Where were you?
3.6.2009 2:09pm
LM (mail):
Joseph Slater:

Aubrey:

I was actually just trying to figure out what your point was. No need for the intemperate outburst. Hope your day/life gets better.

I think that's just Richard way of saying he likes you. It's a male-bonding thing. Like bar brawls.
3.6.2009 5:34pm
Steve H (mail):
Are you claiming that Clinton personally ordered ATF to torture children in order to induce the Waco surrender? It seems to me that Ruby Ridge and Waco were evidence of ATF gone crazy, and I certainly hope no one is trying to blame Ruby Ridge on Governor Clinton.

(And even if Clinton had acted recklessly in Waco, how would that be evidence that Clinton was overwhelmingly liberal, which was the whole point of Ilya's post and my comment? Is use of excessive force in accomplishing an arrest a liberal trait?)

Regarding the disarming adults, whom did the assault weapons ban disarm? And if adding PTSD suffers to a firearms prohibition was truly unlawful, why did it take a 2008 act of Congress to reverse it?

I think you guys are proving my point -- Clinton was basically a centrist-left president who pushed a centrist-left gun control policy (I'm pretty sure much of the country felts that an assault weapons ban is pretty reasonable), yet he is/was characterized as a wild-eyed liberal who was disarming the public and barbecuing children.
3.6.2009 6:10pm
uniboomer:
"Though if 9/11 still occurred with Gore in charge the politics could have been very ugly with Republicans blaming him and Clinton"

It would have been ugly for Republicans to blame Gore and Clinton for 9/11, because everybody knows that it was masterminded by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove.

Just as they did the Oklahoma City bombing six years earlier.
3.6.2009 8:46pm
Orion (mail):
The level GOP hatred for Clinton--a moderate any definition, certainly the best they could hope for in a Democratic president--always made them look petty.

Not that hard to understand. In spring of '93 Bubba trotted out of a meeting with the Congressional Democrat leadership and famously proclaimed that he didn't need one single GOP vote to advance his agenda. Moderate Republicans - there were still a lot of those, in those days - who'd been working on national health care themselves for years came to him and offered input to KlintonKare, he told them to get screwed. And every stump speech up through early 1994 included the phrase, "...after the Republican Decade of Greed...". In fact, I saw the speech when he had to stop saying it, because he needed GOP votes to pass NAFTA. I saw him start to say it and then almost literally pull the words back in his mouth and swallow them. Then after the GOP gained control of Congress he fought them tooth and nail up through the 1996 elections. Bubba gets really ugly when he needs you and can't schmooze his way into your pants.

The Republicans weren't being "petty" - they were PO'd at having sand kicked in their face by the beach bully all the time.
3.6.2009 9:43pm
Orion (mail):
And I could be wrong, but I don't think we are going to get the tabliod stuff like Monica/Jennifer/Paula stuff from Obama....mostly because I think he realizes that Michelle would not take it nearly as well as Hillary...I think he knows that Michelle would kill him.

Michelle probably isn't running for President after he leaves office and doesn't need his Rolodex. Also, I think he knows that if he screws up that bad his Chicago backers will have him take a stroll across Lake Michigan in cement overshoes.
3.6.2009 9:55pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Are you claiming that Clinton personally ordered ATF to torture children in order to induce the Waco surrender?
No, that was Attorney-General Janet Reno who gave the orders, after being told what would happen in a confined space. And as bad as the original BATF raid, which could be characterized as an opportunistic and dishonest attempt to get good footage for the budget hearings later that week, the FBI's action were far worse—lots more people killed, with less excuse, and more premeditation—and more lies. Claiming that they used no incendiary rounds—and it turned out that they did!

It seems to me that Ruby Ridge and Waco were evidence of ATF gone crazy, and I certainly hope no one is trying to blame Ruby Ridge on Governor Clinton.
No, we were pointing out that conservatives were upset about abuses of power before Clinton was elected.

(And even if Clinton had acted recklessly in Waco, how would that be evidence that Clinton was overwhelmingly liberal, which was the whole point of Ilya's post and my comment? Is use of excessive force in accomplishing an arrest a liberal trait?)
The goal of a disarmed population is a liberal trait.

Regarding the disarming adults, whom did the assault weapons ban disarm?
Those who did not yet own one and wished to own one. Consider if Congress prohibited new manufacture of printing presses, or computer printers. Would that be a violation of freedom of the press?
And if adding PTSD suffers to a firearms prohibition was truly unlawful, why did it take a 2008 act of Congress to reverse it?
Not sure what the exact reason was. GCA68's definition involved judicial determination of incompetence, or involuntary commitment. There was no way that disability because of PTSD should have qualified.

I think you guys are proving my point — Clinton was basically a centrist-left president who pushed a centrist-left gun control policy (I'm pretty sure much of the country felts that an assault weapons ban is pretty reasonable), yet he is/was characterized as a wild-eyed liberal who was disarming the public and barbecuing children.
I really don't care that the masses were lied to about what was being banned. Clinton and his people knew that they were lying. Even Clinton's own crew hired to analyze the effects of the law admitted that it made no measurable difference in crime rates, because the weapons in question were so seldom criminally misused before the law.
3.6.2009 9:58pm
Desiderius:
hawkins,

"The level GOP hatred for Clinton--a moderate any definition, certainly the best they could hope for in a Democratic president--always made them look petty."

Very true. A tragic error, in that it gave cover for the (much more powerful) cultural liberals to likewise hate Bush.
3.6.2009 11:15pm
bluhawkk (mail):
Clinton strolled into a recovering economy with revenues climbing. From '90 to 2000 revenues doubled.

Why do commentaters overlook the fact that under Clinton federal revenues exploded but the national debt continued to increase.
3.7.2009 7:05am
LN (mail):

Why do commentaters overlook the fact that under Clinton federal revenues exploded but the national debt continued to increase.


Probably because it's not an actual fact.
3.8.2009 3:22pm
bluhawkk (mail):

Probably because it's not an actual fact.



http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.shtml
3.8.2009 3:57pm

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