My Cato Institute colleague David Boaz waxes nostalgic for Bill Clinton in the Washington Times. Hear him out–he’s got a good point! Writes Boaz:
Suddenly, I find myself nostalgic for Bill Clinton. It comes as a shock. Back in 1996, I denounced his “breathtaking view of the ability and obligation of government to plan the economy” and his “profoundly anti-individualist ideas.”
But now I have a hazy memory of the Clinton years as a sort of Golden Age. Government spending was growing only slowly, the bad ideas were mostly small, and we bombed a lot of countries but didn’t put American troops at risk.
Of course, what I’m really nostalgic for is divided government. In his first two years, with a Democratic Congress, Mr. Clinton supported a health care takeover, an economic stimulus bill, an energy tax, an income-tax increase, a gasoline-tax increase, and even a retroactive tax increase on income earned before he was president. Though most of that never made it to his signing desk, it was still a bigger-government agenda than voters had expected from a guy who called himself “a new kind of Democrat.”