In his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, former President Bill Clinton argued that an economic recovery was in progress, harking back to the years when he presided over a surplus, and booming that poverty and discrimination—nods to the Republican platform—are bad economic policy because they limit human potential.
“There are already 3 million jobs open in America,” Clinton called out, telling the crowd that the country must train workers for the jobs of the future. “The old economy isn’t coming back,” he said. Working class stories were the theme of the night, with auto workers, factory workers shuttered by Bain and consumer-champion Elizabeth Warren speaking in the lead-up to the keynote.
Clinton made the case that America was better off under Barack Obama’s leadership, plugging Obama’s health care reform as a future boon for jobs, spurring $1 billion worth of insurance refunds on premiums in the meantime. Likewise, he touted the Recovery Act as having saved “millions of jobs” and cut taxes for 95% of Americans, and advocated Obama’s revisions to the income-based student loan repayment scheme.
One of the key themes in Clinton’s speech was the convergence of family values—civic-minded policy and prosperity for all—and sound economic policy. He derided Mitt Romney’s economic plan as favoring the wealthy, also condemning the logic behind massive tax cuts: “The Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility: the numbers just don’t add up.”
Referring to various Republican plans to address the debt and deficit, inclusive of the controversial Ryan budget plan, Clinton intoned, “We cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down.”
Speaking to a rapt crowd, Clinton endorsed Obama’s proposed budget, affirming that “it passes the arithmetic test, and it passes the values test.”
Is a socially progressive fiscal stance good for economic growth? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.