(26 days into the first term - still smiling)
Twenty-six days into his first term as President, Bill Clinton took to the airwaves and delivered a talk regarding his upcoming budget proposals (February 15, 1993). We tend to forget (or choose to just blot it out) what a mess everything was in when Clinton took office just a few weeks prior in January. The previous twelve years of Reagan era politics and voodoo economics took its toll on the country and pretending it didn't exist just wasn't going to happen.
Pres. Clinton: “The typical middle-class family is working harder for less. Despite the talk of a recovery, more than 9 million of our fellow citizens are still out of work. And as this chart indicates (pointing to chart), more than 3 million Americans would already be back at work by now. In fact, there are more jobless people now than at what the experts call ‘the bottom’ of this recession. All during this last twelve years the deficit has roared out of control. The big tax cuts for the wealthy, the growth in government spending and soaring Healthcare costs all caused the Federal deficit to explode. Our debt is now four times as big as it was in 1980.”
Of course the Republicans under the leadership of Bob Dole had a different take in their rebuttal.
Sen. Minority Leader Bob Dole: “The election year message from Republicans and Democrats and Independents and the supporters of Ross Perot is clear; no more Partisan games, no more budget charades, you want results. And so do I. Let me assure you the Republicans in Congress want to get the job done – we want to cooperate with President Clinton, to cut the cost of government and to slash the federal deficit.”
And we all know how that particular dance went . . .