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Historically when the left takes power in a country they begin to rewrite their history. Barack Obama, a quintessential leftist, has started doing that in the run up to his re-election. In his speech in Kansas last week, Obama claimed that at no time in our history had we ever spurred economic growth and prosperity by cutting taxes and deregulating.He conveniently had to overlook John F. Kennedy’s tax cutting in the 1960’s. But more importantly and more relevantly, he had to ignore the Reagan Revolution of the 1980’s that brought about an explosion of economic growth. As Newt Gingrich pointed out yesterday, in one month in 1983 the Reagan Recovery generated more than one million new jobs.Barack Obama and the Left must dismiss and gloss over this point. They must fixate on income inequality. They must fixate on poverty. Never mind that all levels of society saw benefit from the Reagan Revolution. While it was not equal, the overwhelming number of Americans alive at the time saw their standard of living go up.The left would respond by arguing that it went up too much for some and not enough for others. What they are actually saying is that they’d rather it had not gone up at all then to see some get even richer. While, as Reagan noted, the right measures the success of a welfare program by how many people are able to get off it, the left measures the success of welfare programs by how many people get on it.And so it is that Barack Obama has to throw Bill Clinton under the bus to make his case for re-election. In an interview with WVEC-TV, Barack Obama claims he has no responsibility for the present economic mess. In addition to the rise of ATM’s and the internet killing jobs, he said, “We didn’t create the condition. We haven’t solved it fully yet because it was three decades in the making.” Three decades back was 1981, the year Ronald Reagan came to office. And that “three decades in the making” covers Bill Clinton’s term, which until yesterday had been heralded as a success by the Democrats. But it cannot be a success to Barack Obama. It must be written out of the history books and pretended to have never happened.
Obama must do this because, as I noted, the left measures the success of government welfare programs by the number of people who are on them. The welfare rolls in this country have been growing exponentially. As Newt Gingrich called him, Barack Obama is a food stamp President and Obama is really, really proud of it. He views the social safety net as working.But Bill Clinton did not. Clinton, to win re-election, swung right. He cut the welfare rolls and reformed welfare. The Democrats have been chomping at the bit ever since to undo those reforms and, during the two years where Obama had a Democrat controlled Congress, they succeeded in part.It’s not just that though. In addition to reforming welfare, Clinton and the GOP balanced the budget — a feat Obama has been unable to do. Bill Clinton actually cut spending to balance the budget — something Barack Obama is unwilling to do.Confronted with expanding welfare rolls and a budget growing steadily more off kilter, Barack Obama has decided he has to blame Ronald Reagan and pretend the Reagan recovery never happened. But to pretend the Reagan recovery never happened, Obama must also pretend Bill Clinton never happened because we would have never gotten the late 90’s reforms leading to continued growth had we not had the Reagan tax cuts and deregulations serving as a foundation.Barack Obama must pretend Ronald Reagan never happened. But to do that, he must also pretend Bill Clinton never happened.