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Myths Debunked:
Clinton Did Nothing Important While In Office




National Archives

PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON: Eight Years of Peace, Progress and Prosperity

Economic Progress by State

A Nation Transformed


Mark Shields: Let's look at the record

Monday, December 9, 2002 Posted: 10:38 AM EST (1538 GMT)

[W]hen Clinton won the White House, the federal budget deficit was at a historic high of $290 billion, 10 million Americans were out of work and the nation's economic growth rate under the outgoing Republican administration was the lowest in more than half a century. Clinton introduced his controversial economic plan that raised the income taxes of the richest 1.4 percent of Americans. We immediately heard from the Gloom and Doom congressional Republicans, every one of whom voted against the Clinton plan. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, announced, "This tax bill is a one-way ticket to a recession." House Republican Whip Newt Gingrich predicted, "This is the Democrat machine's recession, and each one of them will be held personally accountable."

What followed is unarguable: creation of more than 22 million new jobs; the nation's lowest unemployment rate in 30 years; the lowest unemployment rate among women in 40 years; and the lowest Hispanic and African-American unemployment rate in history. The nation went from the largest budget deficits in history to the largest budget surpluses in history, while the average family's income went up more than $5,000...

Let's be blunt. Bill Clinton gave his political opponents a pistol loaded with his own reckless and unacceptable self-indulgence, and then re-loaded it on the way out the door with his pardon of the loathsome Marc Rich. But Mike Michaud was right. Bill Gates is still there. Alan Greenspan is still there. The House Republicans are still there. Ronald Reagan's tax and budget policies are still honored in the White House. The only two things missing are a good economy and Bill Clinton.


Monday, 15 January, 2001, 12:47 GMT

Bill Clinton's economic legacy


By BBC News Online's Steve Schifferes

President Bill Clinton will leave office with the longest boom in US history still intact.

But the rapidly slowing economy will leave questions for his successor about how to manage the downturn.

Mr Clinton also leaves the legacy of a huge and growing budget surplus, the product of years of bitter battles between Republicans and Democrats...

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Last changed: December 13, 2009