Bill Clinton Wrecked the U.S. Economy


With Hillary comes Bill.

Hillary has told us she will put her husband to work in the White House if she wins. She said Bill would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy, because, you know, he knows how to do it,” especially “in places like coal country and inner cities.”

She continued, her husband has “got to come out of retirement and be in charge” of creating jobs.”

The political left got very excited. The MSM loved it. Be careful what you wish for.

With that we have the reemergence of the Bill Clinton economic miracle myth. If you didn’t know better, or take the 60 minutes to review the official data, you’d think Bill Clinton pulled off an economic miracle that saved the U.S. from her final demise. GDP growth, job growth, and budget surpluses are the highlights Democrats like to point out as evidence of his genius. It’s a false narrative.

The real and true economic legacy of President Bill Clinton is the ruin of the U.S. economy and financial system. One need only cite 3 policy initiatives by Bill to prove the point that he ruined the U.S. economy and the job prospects for hundreds of millions.

  • 1994 NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement

  • 1999 Repeal of Glass-Steagall

  • 1999 PNTR, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China

The historically poor economic performance of the U.S. economy Americans have suffered through since 2000 can be laid at the feet of Bill Clinton and all the members of Congress who helped him pass the three legislative disasters listed. In fairness, I’ll quickly note George Bush, Barack Obama, and every member of Congress who has held office since that time must also take blame; though Bill started it all off and did the most damage prior to Obamacare.

By now the media has so skewed the truth about the economy during Bill Clinton’s time in office it has become mythical.

Presidents deserve some credit when the economy expands, and some blame when the economy contracts. The credit Bill Clinton gets for the performance of the U.S. economy from 1994-2001 is way over the top and unjustified.

The economic highlight of the Clinton presidency was from 1996 to 1999 when average real GDP growth per year was 4.8 percent. Y2K, and a once in a century paradigm shift called the World Wide Web and the ensuing dot-com boom can explain most of the job and income growth from 1995-2001. Y2K was a sham, and we know what happened to the dot-com thing.

By the time Bill Clinton took office in January 1993 he had inherited an economic recovery coming off the shallow recession in 1992. The average real GDP growth rate from 1994-2001 was 3.6%, just three-tenths of a percent higher than the average from 1976-2001. On a per capita basis, average real GDP growth was 2.5%, just two-tenths higher than average real per capita GDP growth since 1976. Both measures are approximately the same as during Ronald Reagan’s years in office, indicating the recovery was typical and not unusually strong.

When it comes to government revenues, expenditures, and national debt again the record doesn’t match the hype. All you have to do is mention Bill Clinton in the same sentence as Newt Gingrich to a Democrat (or to Newt or Bill) and you'll learn about the historic balanced budget brought forth by the pair and the economic bonanza they unleashed. The problem is there is no empirical evidence to support the hype.

From 1994-2001 government revenues grew at an average rate of 5.6%, while government expenditures grew at 3.5%; there is your surplus. The ‘Peace Dividend” from the end of the Cold War, faster revenue growth from the Clinton tax hike in 1993, the Y2K scare, and the dot-com bubble accounted for most of the gains in revenues and the resulting surplus.

According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data at no time between 1994 and 2001 did government expenditures fall. The budget surplus lasted for just four years from 1998 to 2001. During this time U.S. national debt rose from $5.5T to $5.7T. There were higher revenues, but they were spent, and each year more was borrowed.

The jobs story is the same; the media’s recall doesn’t match the data. The average monthly non-farm payroll growth from 1978-2001 was 169K, and the average during the Clinton years as 195K, higher sure, though marginally so, equaling only 2.8 million more jobs, not the 7.7 million he is credited with. Wages rose, the labor force participation rate and employment population both increased marginally, though those increases were tied to the one-off events already described. Even so, by the end of 2000 all that was reversed as Y2K passed without incident and the dot-com bubble burst.

Relatively speaking the 1990’s was a good decade for sure. Office holders at the local, state, and national level can take some credit. The overwhelming majority of the credit goes to the American worker, the American manager, the American business leader for getting up and going to work every day putting in a hard day’s work for a good day’s pay. Such has been the case since the start of this great nation, and we can only hope such will be the case in the future.

Rare is the example of Presidents or members of Congress passing legislation that obviously improves the economic outlook. It is more often the case they worsen the economic outlook. Bill Clinton and the members of Congress during his time in office did so at least three times and Americans are paying dearly for it today; NAFTA, PNTR, and Glass-Steagall.

Barack Obama has been doing the same with massive debt accumulation, Obamacare, TTP, TTIP, and an open borders immigration policy. Americans will be paying the price for his economic policy failures for years to come.

That Hillary mentions coal country as an example of what Bill can do for jobs and the economy is both funny and indicative of how disconnected these two career civil servants are. Bill Clinton, via an executive order, in deference to China, and in conjunction with PNTR, put huge areas of coal deposits in the U.S. off limits to coal miners so that China could come to dominate the industry and carry the burden of the negative environmental consequences so worried over by the left. Hillary’s declaration to the citizens of West Virginia that she would put the coal mining industry out of business can’t be covered up with Bill coming to the rescue; he is part of their problem.

America can't afford another 4 to 8 years of Clinton economic policy. He and she are unabashed globalists now; they will only do more harm to the America worker, the American family, and the outlook for future economic prosperity for us all.

Bill Clinton wrecked the U.S. economy; don't put him back in charge.

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