Did you ever think you’d miss Bill?

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Have you noticed that Bill Clinton has been seen more lately? He’s now the elder statesman of the Democratic Party and he is exercising the privileges that go with that vaunted office. Is he teeing things up for a run by Hillary? The cynic in me might say yes but it’s too early to tell.

But since old slick has come out of the woodwork and in light of what’s on the voters’ minds, it’s a good time to remember that in his State of the Union message in 1996, after a full year of digesting a Congress that was being run by Newt Gingrich, a somewhat chastened Bill Clinton said this.

“We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there’s not a program for every problem. We know and we have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means. The era of big government is over.”

Wow, Bill if I had known then what I know now, not only would I have talked nicer about you I’d have paid to have the dress dry cleaned.

As to the era of big government being over, to the extent that that statement might have been somewhat true when Clinton said it, it is by no means true today. In the 14 years since he made that boast, the U.S. government has exploded.

Today, the federal government consumes a higher percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product than at any time in our history save for two of the three years of World War II.

In less than a year after taking office, Barack Obama signed off on more national debt than all of the preceding presidents since George Washington combined.

To the minds of those now in power in Washington, there is apparently no limit as to what government should do. The federal government now controls two of the nation’s top three automakers and it owns huge portions of the largest financial institutions. Yesterday, portions of the new health care law became effective with more to come. By the time the law is fully implemented, your relationship with your doctor will be defined and controlled by federal employees. To get an idea, imagine a postal worker acting as your doctor’s receptionist.

The federal government is mandating what is taught in our schools and seeks to tell us what we can feed our children.

The government has invaded our homes down to our very bathrooms, controlling what kind of light bulbs we may use. how much water comes out of our shower heads and how our toilets flush.

Two things are true today that weren’t true when Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over. One, the government has never been bigger and two, the country has never been in more serious financial trouble. The two are inextricably linked.

For about three decades, American elections have to one degree or another pivoted on social issues such as gay rights, abortion, racial justice and feminism. But not this time.

This election will pivot solely on the size of government and the fiscal madness we have all witnessed in horror.

That’s why Bill Clinton’s renewed high profile might be suspected of betraying ambitions for his wife in 2012 and why Democrats, desperately campaigning to keep their jobs, don’t even use the word “Democrat” in their TV ads.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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5 Responses

  1. Carl Channing says:

    Umm..not to interrupt the usual right-wing echo chamber here but the statement that Obama has accumulated more debt than all other presidents combined could pretty much be made about any other president. During Bush’s terms, he also accumulated more debt than all the other presidents combined. It’s a function of the increase in government in general. And that’s not really that governments in the 18th century were thriftier (although government did much less then). It has to do with the size and population of the country at various times as much as anything else.

  2. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Clinton never has done anything that did not benefit him directly or indirectly, so this is no surprise to me. Hillary has been subtly making moves indicating she is going to run in 2012. Also, the democrap party is probably behind Clinton’s being more public. They are willing to pull out anything to try and save the party and the dismal failure of obama’s presidency affecting the elections in November! Personally, I do NOT miss Clinton, not one little bit!

  3. Donna Raulston says:

    In my opinion, Bill Clinton is the best president we had in several years. He left the country in much better shape than he found it in when he entered office. Then, along came Mr. Bush. I’m sick of hearing how Obama is creating debt that will not be paid off for generations. That might be true, but we can’t even start paying his debt until we take care of the debt George W. Bush put us in.

  4. Crystal Chandalere says:

    Amen Donna, I can’t stand Obama and his spending but these people crying about spending and expansion of government have “gone amnesia” about Bush -medicare/ medicaid expansion, Patriot Act, massive spending on 2 wars, one of which failed in its objective (WMD). Hopefully at some point a true fiscal conservative will run for office.

  5. Guy Navarro says:

    Bill Clinton was DRAGGED to nearly a balanced budget (if you didn’t count everything) by a republican majority in congress. Although Newt’s Contract with America back in 1994 was considered a success at the time, afterwards I was completely and utterly disgusted with its absolute failure and the excuse that the promise was only to bring those issues up for a vote. Since then, I’ve become a single issue voter–if it doesn’t lead to paying down the national debt, (smaller government, less spending, less taxation,) I vote “NO” on it. All other issues are immaterial to me until this begins to happen. I’d rather go through a little bit of pain right now than the agony of the default way of paying for “blank check” politics–hyperinflation.

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