Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh, you mean those Clinton years...

Dean Baker keeps it real:

Those following the meeting of Barack Obama's economic advisory committee could not have been very reassured by the presence of Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, both former Treasury secretaries in the Clinton administration. Along with former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, Rubin and Summers compose the high priesthood of the bubble economy. Their policy of one-sided financial deregulation is responsible for the current economic catastrophe.

It is important to separate Clinton-era mythology from the real economic record. In the mythology, Clinton's decision to raise taxes and cut spending led to an investment boom. This boom led to a surge in productivity growth. Soaring productivity growth led to the low unemployment of the late 1990s and wage gains for workers at all points along the wage distribution.

At the end of the administration, there was a huge surplus, and we set target dates for paying off the national debt. The moral of the myth is that all good things came from deficit reduction.

The reality was quite different.
Read the whole article for a history of economic policies during the Clinton years, and why they helped set the stage for the crisis we have now. While Bush made things far, far worse, history in some Democratic circles has been re-written to make his 8 years of nothingness sound like FDR's first term.

Let's be clear, I understand a great deal of this feeling comes from having suffered through the last 8 years with shit-for-brains as president, but can't we set the bar a little higher than not starting senseless wars and not totally fucking up the economy?

In the picture above, one of the three recently testified before congress that his economic philosophy has been proven wrong. The two that haven't are economic advisers to the president elect, and have both been mentioned as candidates for Secretary of the Treasury.

Not good. Let's bury this failed brand of economics once and for all.

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