Politics & Policy

Questions For Clinton

He leaves us wanting more.

Mr. President, you said Bush cut your taxes. Have you paused to think that maybe the tax cuts, like at least a few other things in life, aren’t about you personally?

You say the rich too want to “do their part.” Do you know there might be ways to “do your part,” to help others and the country, that don’t involve handing money over to the federal government?

You say we shouldn’t have attacked Iraq “before the weapons inspectors finished their job.” When exactly would they have finished their job? In 2003? 2004? Ever?

How did your Iraq policy allow inspectors to finish their job? Were they going to finish their job from outside the country?

You say your policy was to take “deadly” assault weapons off the streets. How about all the “deadly” assault weapons that were not included in your miniscule and symbolic ban? Were they less deadly? Please explain why. Or are some deadly assault weapons better than others?

Do you know anything about what really caused crime to go down in the 1990s (beginning before you took office)? Aren’t you at least a little curious?

You say Democrats will bring America a positive campaign. Some evidence, please? Do you realize your former operative Harold Ickes (a Democrat, yes?), among others, is savaging President Bush with millions upon millions of dollars worth of negative ads?

You say that we are having an argument over “the best way to build the safe, prosperous world our children deserve.” Do teenagers deserve a safe, prosperous world? How about adults?

You say Republicans believe in concentrating wealth. Since the fabulously wealthy got even more fabulously wealthy during your time in office–do you believe in the same thing?

You never took serious efforts to implement the Kyoto treaty or have the U.S. come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. So are you too a dangerous unilateralist?

You say that “for the first time ever” there were tax cuts while the U.S. was on a war footing. Is it your contention then that there were no tax cuts during the Cold War?

Isn’t one of your finest legacies supposed to be your free-trade accomplishments? Was that really not so important, after all, now that you have become a demagogue on trade?

You say your time in office produced a cleaner environment. But hasn’t the environment gotten cleaner over the last four years too–thanks to George Bush? You say home ownership hit records during your time in office. Now it has hit even higher records–so is Bush a better home-ownership president than you? You say you produced “more health care.” But wasn’t there famously a health-care crisis during your time in office? You take credit for a “modernized defense force.” Now it’s even more modernized–so is Bush the better defense president? You boast of “strong efforts against terror.” Haven’t Bush’s efforts, pretty inarguably, been stronger?

You take credit for the surpluses. What factor in creating those surpluses did you like more–the unprecedented restraint in domestic discretionary spending or the stiff cuts in the rate of growth of Medicare spending? While we’re at it, looking back, what was your favorite personal position on the deficit–that it could never be eliminated, that it could be eliminated in ten years, in nine years, in eight years, in seven years, or that you were always in favor of its elimination and affected it almost single-handedly through your sheer budgetary genius?

If you are responsible for everything that happened in your time in office, why not mention the downturn of 2000 and the corporate scandals of the late 1990s?

Do you say all this stuff just because it sounds good? Never mind. We know the answer to that.


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