Do you? The Democrats. Bloomberg News confirms the stats from President Clinton’s nominating speech Wednesday. Nearly two-thirds of the new jobs since 1961 have been created under Democratic administrations, even though Democrats held the White House only 23 of those years, compared with 28 for the Republicans. The average monthly private-sector job gain under Dems was more than double what it was under Republicans.
And the difference would be even more stark if Bush, not Obama, were dinged for the devastating job losses of early 2009 — clearly not attributable to anything Obama did.
And it’s not as though Dems did better because they hyped the economy with deficit spending — it was the Republicans who did that. Reagan and Bush quadrupled the National Debt and then Republican George W. Bush doubled it again. (Kennedy and Johnson, despite the Vietnam War, ran only modest deficits. Carter, too. Clinton actually wound up turning the deficit into a surplus in his final years.)
The private-sector job record was at its worst, it might be noted, when the tax rate on wealth and the wealthy during those 51 years was lowest — that is, since the dramatic Bush tax cuts.
So please don’t give me the stuff about the job creators. I revere entrepreneurs — certainly the ones like Steve Jobs (Apple) and Fred Smith (FedEx) who change the world for the better (and who launched their enterprises without any regard, I feel sure, to tax rates).
This nonsense about tax cuts on the wealthy being needed to spur job growth — or having anything to do with job growth at all? I’ve plugged it before, but this brief must-watch TED video puts the lie to all that.
John Leeds: “Am just in the middle of watching Bill Clinton’s speech for the first time and realized something: Both he and Jimmy Carter have gone on to actively promote causes that have direct impact on the poor, needy and sick of this world. Their after-president works have been careers in themselves. Off the top of your head, can you tell me the great works of charity done by the Bushes, Reagan, even Ford and Eisenhower, after their presidencies? I’m not saying they did nothing — but Carter and Clinton have made great legacies following their time at the top, and I know Obama will, too. Therein, in a nutshell, is the difference between Democrats and Republicans. I hope you’ll pass this on because it’s a point that needs to be be made. The measure of the person isn’t just what they do while their president, but after they’re president.”
And let’s not forget vice presidents. It’s not fair to compare Presidents Carter and Clinton (or Vice President Gore) — who were 56, 54 (and 54) when they left office with Presidents Reagan, Eisenhower, Ford, and Bush Senior — who were 77, 70, 63 and 68. Obviously, a “retiree” in his fifties might be expected to launch more ambitious efforts than someone a decade older. (And even Bush Junior was 62 when he left office. Nixon was 61.) But there’s no question, Carter, Clinton, and Gore have been amazing. Not just lending their names to good causes and making the occasional trip to disaster areas — although that’s good, too — but launching broad scale initiatives that are positively affecting and will continue to positively affect tens or hundreds of millions of lives (well, billions of lives in the case of Gore’s climate-change advocacy). What’s Dan Quayle doing these days? He was 46 when he left.
Not to say that every President or Vice President needs to have extraordinary talents and an abiding commitment to making the world better. But, well — why not? Why wouldn’t we want leaders whose goals are clear and bold (reforming health care! ending the war! spurring innovation! building an economy that lasts! promoting equal rights! destroying al-Qaeda! making college more affordable! regaining the world’s respect! healing the planet!) and that extend far beyond cutting taxes for the very richest among us and cutting the 45% estate tax rate on billionheirs to zero.
Rob Deraney had an enormous heart and an enormous grin. He introduced Charles and me 20 summers ago. And then, 11 years ago today, he just happened to be at a breakfast in the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center, the only victim either Charles or I knew. A wonderful man, lost to religious insanity. But impossible to forget.
Quote of the Day
Imitation, the most timid human act, is risky when everyone is doing it.~Roger Lowenstein
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