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Clinton weighs in on jobs

June 22, 2011 - Jim Anderson
Bill Clinton has a cover piece in Newsweek, discussing job creation.

Its focus is largely on the “green economy,” including incentives to retrofit buildings — creating construction jobs and saving energy costs at the same time. Manufacturing is also emphasized, with not only tax cuts but cash assistance for startups.

Fox News, in some of its coverage, offers the spin that the Clinton-Obama rivalry is far from over. (Clinton could have simply forwarded his ideas to the White House; instead, he writes them in Newsweek and hypes his upcoming Clinton Global Initiative conference in Chicago.)

“With the nightmare of unemployment haunting President Obama's 2 1/2 year old presidency, and with no light at the end of the tunnel ... out comes Former President Clinton ("Dad?") to tell him how to fix the jobs problem,” writes Fox host Greta Van Susteren at Fox Nation.

On the left, Robert Scheer of Truthdig.com lays into Clinton for ignoring the role that his own administration played in setting the stage for our current economic troubles.

“Endorsing the Republican agenda of financial industry deregulation, reversing New Deal safeguards, President Clinton pursued policies that in the long run created more damage to the American economy than any other president since Herbert Hoover, whose tenure is linked to the Great Depression,” Scheer writes.

(Scheer is the author of “The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.” )

One sentence in Clinton’s Newsweek piece particularly caught Scheer’s eye:

“The real thing that has killed us in the last 10 years is that too much of our dealmaking creativity has been devoted to expanding the financial sector in ways that don’t create new businesses and more jobs and to persuading people to take on excessive debt loads to make up for the fact that their incomes are stagnant,” Clinton wrote.

To which Scheer reflects:

“Now that’s a clear description of the consequence of President Clinton’s policy of radical deregulation of the financial industry, but he writes as if that outcome has nothing to do with him.”

Moving forward — and looking back — there’s no denying that 23 million jobs were created during the Clinton presidency. That alone should mean his ideas are worth a look.

 
 

 

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