Apparently the American people agreed with Bill Clinton’s socialist views on the economy and voted to re-elect him because they believed he would continue to reduce the deficit and bring our economy back into line.
A favorite question Clinton asked during his re-election campaign was, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” The better question that should have been asked is, “Is America better off now than it was four years ago?”
The first question is answered generally from a selfish point of view, “what’s in it for ME?” Unfortunately much of our hedonistic society prefers this short sighted approach. If you’re the recipient of one of Clinton’s liberal government handouts, the answer is probably ‘yes.’ If you’re more self-reliant trying to honestly work toward a better future, the answer is probably, ‘no.’
Was America better off than it was four years previous?
- Government became larger and Americans payed more to the government than ever before in history. We had the largest budget and greatest tax burden in the history of our Republic.
- Bureaucrats and special interests controlled more of our lives than ever before.
- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid was robbed to make the deficit appear lower and to pay for programs they were never intended to fund.
- The Federal Debt continued to rise at an alarming rate and is costing more to service the interest on the debt.
- Family incomes stagnated and real wages fell.
- More people are working because more households have to increasingly rely on both the husband and wife working in order to make ends meet.
- Personal debt, bankruptcies and delinquencies increased. A record number of Americans filed bankruptcy before the government shut off that debt escape.
- The National Federation of Independent Business described Clinton’s 1993 tax increase as, “About as anti-small business as you could ever see.”
- America’s merchandise trade deficit for goods and services increased 176 percent between 1992 and 1995. (source: Council of Economic Advisers, Economic Indicators, 6/96). In 1999, the trade deficit hit a historic high of $168,500,000.00. That’s 168 1/2 BILLION dollars!
- Attempts were made by the Clinton Whitehouse to ‘nationalize’ or take over 1/7th. of our economy in a failed National Health Insurance coup.
- In league with a select group of attorneys, health care providers, and the Federal government, the state’s Attorneys General’s raised taxes on the lower and middle classes.
The great flaw in the American economic system for the past four decades has been an unrealistic faith in the power of prosperity rather than in the ultimate power and benevolence of God. The American Dream became America’s god, and wealth and abundance became the symbols of America’s devotion. Writing in the March 2, 1992, issue of Newsweek magazine, Robert J. Samuelson addressed the practical expression of this faulty thinking. He said:
Every age has its illusions. Ours has been this fervent belief in the power of prosperity. Our pillars of faith are now crashing about us. We are discovering that we cannot, as we had once supposed, create prosperity at will … Worse, we are learning that even great amounts of prosperity won’t solve all our social problems. Our Good Society is disfigured by huge blemishes: entrenched poverty, persistent racial tension, the breakdown of the family, and staggering budget deficits. We are being rudely disabused of our vision of the future. The result is a deep crisis of spirit that fuels Americans’ growing self-doubts, cynicism with politics, and confusion about our global role.
Clearly, America was not better off … it was much worse off.
We can do better!
President Clinton and Vice President Gore spoke about the need to “reinvent” the federal government and rein in the budget deficit. The Democrat platform said, “We have worked hard over the last four years to rein in big government, slash burdensome regulations, eliminate wasteful programs, and shift problem- solving out of Washington and back to people and communities who understand them.”
- Clinton’s economic plan passed by the smallest of margins and many were concerned because there were not enough spending cuts. Part of the promised cuts came in the form of reducing the federal work force, yet during his first year, the Democratic controlled Senate voted to increase spending on a crime bill from $10 billion to $22.3 billion over five years and paying for part of the cost from the savings in reduced federal work force. What happened to using the money to reduce the deficit?
- Clinton’s idea of reinventing the federal government led him to add the most regulations to the Federal Register since Jimmy Carter. Clinton’s regulations added 231,094 pages to the Federal Register.
- Clinton proposed a government-run health care scheme that would have required 818 new federal mandates and at least 59 new government offices and 200 regional alliances, adding $70 billion to the federal budget deficit.
- Bill Clinton and his Democratic cronies were instrumental in creating a financial “crisis” pressuring American taxpayers to shovel over trillions of dollars to international bankers.
- It was Clinton White House budget director Franklin Raines who ran Fannie Mae leading up to the 2006 subprime mortgage crisis.
- The Community Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 encouraged lending to uncreditworthy consumers. Later amendments to the CRA during Clinton’s years raised the amount of home loans to otherwise unqualified low-income borrowers.
- Some have pointed to President Clinton signing into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), also known as the “Financial Services Modernization Act” that supposedly repealed the four provisions of the 1933 Banking Act (often referred to as the Glass-Steagall Act) that separated commercial banking from investment banking. Two provisions of the 1933 Banking Act prohibited a bank from offering a full range of investment, commercial banking, and insurance services. In fact, those parts of the Banking Act of 1933 that separated investment and commercial banks was not changed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act as many have claimed.In February 2009, one of the act’s co-authors, former Senator Phil Gramm, defended his bill saying, “GLB did not deregulate anything. It established the Federal Reserve as a superregulator, overseeing all Financial Services Holding Companies. All activities of financial institutions continued to be regulated on a functional basis by the regulators that had regulated those activities prior to GLB.” [Phil Gramm, “Deregulation and the Financial Panic”, opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, published and retrieved on February 20, 2009]Only the two provisions that restricted affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms were repealed by GLBAOn signing the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act”, President Clinton said that it, “establishes the principles that, as we expand the powers of banks, we will expand the reach of the Community Reinvestment Act”.
- The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Dec. 21, 2000 provided certainty that derivative products offered by banking institutions would not be regulated as futures contracts, thus setting the stage for a massive concentration of financial power and setting up the investment dominoes ready to tumble. One provision of the bill was referred to as the “Enron loophole” and is blamed for permitting the Enron scandal to occur. A “global financial supermarket” had been created and was a foundational cause of the 2008 financial meltdown.
Vice-President Gore, to his credit, issued more than two dozen reports through the National Performance Review, outlining many inefficiencies and excesses of big government. Yet, when Congress delivered the very “change” Clinton and Gore promised as candidates in 1992, the administration balked with the veto pen calling the appropriations bills too extreme.
- For example, President Clinton threatened to veto the Commerce, Justice, and State appropriations bill, largely because it would eliminate the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). In his own budget, the president proposed increasing funding for this program by 622 percent! Yet, judging by downsizing and streamlining standards spelled out by administration officials, ATP is exactly the type of program the president should be against. Administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology within the Department of Commerce, ATP is the most egregious example of what Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has termed “corporate welfare.” The program directly subsidizes businesses involved in high technology research and development; thus placing the burden of these risky ventures on the shoulders of taxpayers, rather than on the private companies that stand to benefit from successful efforts. The program should be killed, not expanded.
- President Clinton threatened to veto the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education because it would eliminate the AmeriCorps program. This program is one of the president’s favorites — created in 1993 as a model program that would help “volunteer” students serve local U.S. communities. Unfortunately, these volunteers are anything but free help. A recent General Accounting Office study found the program costs more than $26,700 per “volunteer” per year. Ironically, while the president speaks publicly of making government work better at lower cost, he is adamant about protecting AmeriCorps — even though 18 students could be supported through the Pell Grant program for the same cost as one AmeriCorps “volunteer.”
- President Clinton threatened to veto the Transportation appropriation bill because it would limit urban mass transit grants. Yet, the mass transit program is one of the most ineffective in all of government. Over the past 25 years, more than $90 billion, in inflation-adjusted dollars, has been spent subsidizing local mass transit projects in an effort to promote public transportation. At the same time, mass transit’s share of commuter travel has declined in nearly every city since the federal subsidies were initiated, down from 9 percent nationwide in 1970 to 5 percent in 1990. Do the math, Mr. President: Why are we building these systems if Americans don’t use them? Federal subsidies, moreover, have encouraged many cities to build systems they cannot afford, leaving them heavily in debt. Yet, instead of supporting Congress’s efforts to return money and authority to localities, the president would increase funding for mass transit grants.
In his campaign for his first term, Clinton promised a middle class tax cut.
“I believe you deserve more than 30-second ads or vague promises. That’s why I’ve offered a comprehensive plan to get our economy moving again. It starts with a tax cut for the middle class and asks the rich to pay their fair share again.” [Clinton’s first campaign ad, January 1992.]
“We will lower the tax burden on middle class Americans by asking the very wealthy to pay their fair share. Middle class taxpayers will have a choice between a children’s tax credit or a significant reduction in their income tax rate.” [Putting People First, September 1992.]
On October 19, 1992 he said, “I will not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for these programs. If the money does not come in there to pay for these programs, we will cut other government spending or we will slow down the phase-in of these programs. I am not gonna raise taxes on the middle class to pay for these programs.” But on Aug. 10, 1993, he signed the largest tax increase in history, raising taxes by almost $280 billion over five years.
Clinton actually claimed to have cut taxes for 15 million working families and 90% of small businesses are eligible for tax cuts, while raising taxes on just 1.2 percent of the wealthiest taxpayers.
“Instead of middle-class tax relief, President Clinton chose to include in his $241 billion tax plan higher federal gasoline taxes, tax hikes on Social Security recipients, and steep income tax hikes on small business owners. The President even tried unsuccessfully to institute a brand new $71 billion BTU energy tax that would have cost the typical family nearly $500 per year.” (“The President’s Forgotten Middle Class,” Joint Economic Committee, Majority Staff, 3/22/96)
On Oct. 17, 1996, Clinton admitted: “It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them [taxes] too much, too.” He blames the Republicans—even though not one Republican voted for his budget. Two days later, under attack from his liberal base, Clinton reverses himself, claiming responsibility and pride for his tax increases: “I take full responsibility, proudly, for what we did. It [raising taxes] was the right thing to do.”
- The average per-capita federal tax burden in 1992 was $4,153. In 1996 it was $5,225 – a 25.8 percent increase.
- Clinton hiked the tax on gasoline to its highest rate ever.
- The Clinton tax increase on Social Security recipients hit 5.5 million retirees.
More Deceptive Practices to take more of your money.
- Clinton actually redefines real family income. Proposals include mandatory additions to a family’s reportable income, including accumulated cash value of life insurance policies, unrealized capital gains (such as the appreciated value of a taxpayer’s home), the imputed monthly rental value of a taxpayer’s home, and employer contributions to a wage-earner’s health and pension plans. Under the Clinton plan, a middle class family that has a combined earning of $70,500 would fall into the $100,000 tax bracket after the adjustments have been added to their income, thus becoming “rich” by Clinton standards.
- Clinton and the Democrats call a captial gains tax reduction a “tax cut for the rich.” However, I.R.S. data show that 56% of all tax returns containing capital gains were from household with taxable income less than $50,000. In a recent study, it was revealed that 30 percent of the nation’s top 1,000 companies allow their 8 million employees to participate in company stock purchase and stock option plans. These 8 million middle-class employees would be directly affected by a change in the capital gains tax rate. Clearly, both the wealthy and the middle class would benefit from a capital gains tax cut.
- Clinton also redefines taxes by hiding them in fees you pay for services. One example of this was the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 that raised taxes (fees) on your telephone service – called the Universal Service Fund Number Portability.
WHO BENEFITED FROM CLINTON’S TAX CUT VETO?
When President Clinton vetoed the Republican tax cut legislation, he said he was doing so to protect the children (education) and the elderly (social security). Never mind he has already claimed victories over those issues.
Within days of his veto, Mr. Clinton announced to the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that he will take a major step to help wipe out the debt owed by some of the world’s poorest countries. “I am directing my administration to make it possible to forgive 100 percent of the debt these countries owe to the United States,” Clinton said. What do you suppose made it possible to forgive those debts? Your taxes possibly? Smacks of the socialist redistribution of income, don’t you think?
Mr Clinton also announced he was giving himself a raise! Not the sort of raise that working Americans are accustomed to … No! He doubled his and subsequent Presidents paychecks. I don’t think he mentioned children or the elderly when he did that. To be fair, it should also be noted that it was not just Presidential pay raises that were on the table. Congress also gave themselves a nice pay raise, thanks to the American taxpayer.
After heated battles in Congress, several attempts to pass a Balanced Budget Act, and President Clinton closing the government, Democrats and Republicans together celebrated the “historic” balanced-budget deal hammered out by the Clinton administration and congressional Republicans. The balanced budget deal included provisions that would affect nearly every American’s pocketbook.
The budget gave Clinton all he sought and more for educational tax credits, the full $24 billion he requested for children’s health care and a $500-per-child tax credit that could be claimed by parents in low-wage jobs who pay little or no income tax.
Republicans gained huge cuts in the capital gains and estate taxes as well as other generous business tax concessions. Republicans also persuaded the White House to extend the child tax credit to families making as much as $110,000 a year and to accept new Individual Retirement Accounts from which withdrawals would not be taxed.
Clinton called balancing the budget “the best investment we can make in America’s future,” and said the plan does so in a way that “honors our values, invests in our people and cuts taxes for middle-class families.” The president emphasized the education provisions as the plan’s heart. “I am particularly pleased that the first balanced budget in a generation is also the best education budget in a generation, and the best for future generations,” he said.
House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt called the deal in a written statement “short-sighted because it does not address our nation’s needs in the long term,” and declaring that the agreement “sacrifices tomorrow’s hopes for today’s headlines.”
It’s been said, “The devils in the details,” and I’d have to agree with Mr. Gephardt on this one, I’m afraid this deal “sacrifices tomorrow’s hopes for today’s headlines.”
All of the highly publicized budget packages of spending cuts are really increases, and the accompanying taxes are increases. The rhetoric to explain what they are doing is outright lying. The government continues by “cutting” to take more of your money to pay for ever-increasing government spending.
The Clinton Administration used deceptive terms to gain favor with the American people. He called taxes contributions; federal spending investment; and lower disposable family income sacrifice. Clinton claimed to propose lower spending, but what he really meant was that he would not spend the money Congress would spend if all existing programs were on auto-pilot. Talk of budget cuts by Clinton are nothing but shamefully deceptive falsehoods.
Here is how the game works. Assume that an agency is spending $1 million this year. Government economists forecast that its service demands will increase by 10 percent next year for a total of $1.1 million. The budget boys of the administration decide that they will slow the rate of growth to 7 percent instead of 10. Then they announce that they have “cut” the budget by $30,000. There is no cut at all. There is an increase of $70,000.
Clinton simply tricked Americans into believing some tax increases are really spending cuts. The Clinton budget deliberately attempted to understate the size of the proposed tax increase by falsely classifying at least 27 tax increases as spending cuts. A prime example of this deceitful budgeting is the increase in the amount of Social Security benefits subject to taxation from 50 percent to 85 percent for couples earning more than $32,000 and individuals earning $25,000. Clinton classified this increase in taxes as a spending cut.
At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Vice President Al Gore said, “Look at what all of us have created together these last four years… “Unemployment and inflation both down. Record exports, wages on the rise. An economy moving forward.”
- Al Gore said in the 1992 debate “there are 10 million unemployed in America”. Then later he said that they’ve created 10 1/2 million jobs. If so, where did he get the other 1/2 million people to work, and why wasn’t there 100% employment?
- For many families incomes stagnated under Clinton after increasing more than $4,500 during the Reagan expansion. And, real wages of the median worker fell 2.5 percent since Clinton took office, despite Democratic claims that real hourly wages of working Americans are rising for the first time in a decade.
- The middle class is not gaining ground, it’s losing ground. Salaries are staying the same or slipping.
- Clinton claimed to reduce unemployment, yet between January 1993 and December 1995, 8.4 million workers were displaced from their jobs. As of February 1996, nearly 30% were still unemployed or had left the labor force. More than half of workers took new jobs that paid them less, including nearly a third who accepted a job that paid them 80% or less of what they previously had been earning.” (The Wall Street Journal, 8/23/96). And, 19% of all workers were part-timers in 1995. That’s up from 17% in 1990 and the highest share on record.” (editorial, Investor’s Business Daily, 4/1/96)
- Despite being in the sixth year of economic expansion, personal bankruptcies have reached an all time high, and corporate layoffs are occurring at the fastest rate of the decade.
- Credit card delinquencies are at a 15-year high, and mortgage delinquencies are on the rise.
- Aggressive marketing by the credit card and banking industry has left millions of Americans saddled with excessive debt. Research shows the average American adult receives 32 credit card offers a year, regardless of credit history. And the average family with credit card debt carries a balance of $4,000 on several cards from month to month.
- The Consumer Federation of America estimates that 55 million to 60 million American households with revolving credit card balances had an average of more than $7,000 of credit card debt. Not paying off that debt, it says, costs an average of $1,000 a year in interest and fees.
- For the first time ever in 1996, more than a million Americans filed personal bankruptcy. Filings are predicted to climb to 1.4 million nationwide this year. The reasons for the surge in bankruptcies include: legalized gambling, excessive consumer debt, the disappearance of the social stigma formerly associated with bankruptcy, and laws that make bankruptcy more attractive than it should be.
The Progressive Agenda to bankrupt America
The disastrous trends toward multiculturalism, anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism, and historical revisionism being pushed by collectivists and other leftists only serve to further degrade America’s image at home and abroad.
Economist Milton Friedman, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economics, calls a spade a spade. In his response to a Wall Street Journal poll of the nation’s top economists, Friedman leveled stern criticism at the Clinton agenda, saying:
President Clinton calls for widespread sacrifice by the many through higher taxes, and concentrated benefits to the few through additional government spending – “contributions” and “investment,” in Clinton doublespeak. The country needs precisely the reverse: widespread benefits to the many through lower taxes and lower spending, and concentrated sacrifice by the few through abolishing numerous government programs that, if they were ever justified, no longer are: agricultural subsidies and price supports, Rural Electrification Administration, Amtrak, subsidies to the humanities, arts, broadcasting, to mention only a few. (Special report, “Nobelists Rate Clintonomics,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 1993)
Why are they intent on raising our taxes?
It is because Clinton’s political party wants to drive a wedge between the middle and upper classes in this country, pitting the lower classes against the upper classes. As the spending mounts, so does the dependency of those receiving it, which the Democrats hope will translate into more and more appreciation of them by more and more voters. Years later, this class warfare becomes clearly evident in the message of 2016 Presidential candidate, socialist Bernie Sanders.
Simply put, what is going on here is an attempt by the Democratic Party to transfer to the left as much as it can of the wealth, power, and culture of America.