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Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from pages 42-47

Whatever our shortcomings, because Democrats, whether conservative, liberal, or moderate, basically believe government has an important role to play in our lives, they want it to work well. That makes most of them less ideological and more open to policies that have both progressive and conservative elements than their anti-government adversaries.

To get America back into the future business, we’ll have to make choices and changes in both our government and our private economic practices. To create jobs and raise incomes; to create new businesses and restore our manufacturing base; to have a finance sector that both earns money for itself and promotes a strong economy; to save ourselves and our children from the ravages of climate change in a way that increases growth and broadens prosperity; to move back to a balanced budget—these tasks will require the best ideas of conservatives, liberals, and moderates, Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

But we can’t get the right answers if we begin with the wrong question. [Conservatives ask] How can we weaken our government, reduce its revenues, and restrict its reach the so we can throw off its chains? That’s the wrong question.

Here are the right questions:

How can we move back to a full-employment economy with good jobs and rising middle-class incomes?
How can we restore American leadership for peace and prosperity and leave our children and grandchildren a brighter future?
What do Americans need governments to do to achieve these goals?
How are we doing now, compared with our own history and expectations?
How are we doing compared with the competition from other nations?
There remains a lot of space for a real, productive debate, areas in which both Democrats and Republicans could contribute to bipartisan solutions that actually get our country back in the future business.

The only people who have taken themselves out of this needed debate are the antigovernment idealogues. They already have the answers, and the fact that the evidence doesn’t support them is irrelevant. The inevitable consequence of their policies is to push the pedal to the metal of the most destructive trends of the last thirty years, to increase inequality and instability, and to forfeit the future.

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Comment Preferences

  •  OT Question on Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Grabber by the Heel

    Has he ever apologized for killing Glass Stiegel?

    I honestly can't remember.

    •  He has expressed regrets for the way he did it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George Pirpiris

      And I bet he'll express regrets for the way he helps Pete Peterson kill Social Security.

      •  What a coward what a loser (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Grabber by the Heel

        To think I grew as a kid admiring him.

        I bet Hillary STILL hasn't apologized for her Iraq vote, how silly, she could be president today.

        Hopefully by the time my kids (not born yet) are of age to follow politics (I will make them start at age 10-12) that they don't see a president sell a good product, then sell them out to the corporations that own them.

        And thanks for bringing up Pete Peterson, as soon as this site starting going more to the right, Peterson and Mark Penn don't exist.
        These SOB's are making money hand over fist, coopting our own people.

  •  Well, given that Clinton signed some of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel

    most odious legislation which further deregulated financial markets and made it possible to move manufacturing overseas, I find this very interesting indeed.

    Frankly, on some of these points, Ross Perot has a lot more credibility. ;)

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Mon May 07, 2012 at 07:21:52 AM PDT

  •  Bill called me last night to remind (0+ / 0-)

    me to vote against Amendment One in North Carolina. He's already campaigning to re-elect President Obama and I expect he'll be working it til November.  There are few people as knowledgable on politics and issues as our former president or as active in promotion of important live saving causes around the globe.

     Some here may dislike him but he can still turn out large crowds of people who love and respect him.  He can and will help us win this election. For that he has my thanks.

    Proud Democrat since 1960.

    by Lying eyes on Mon May 07, 2012 at 08:25:05 AM PDT

  •  Something besides Mr. Bill (0+ / 0-)

    I was hoping to stimulate thought about the points President Clinton raised.

    Government is an indispensable forum for the public debate necessary to solve social and economic problems. Federal government is, in fact, the only forum of sufficient scope to address certain large and urgent problems.

    Anti-government ideologues have taken themselves out of these debates and could forfeit our future if they continue to gain power.

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