Clinton brokers landmark Aids deal

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    link

    the last two democratic ex-presidents seem to spend a lot more time working humanitarian issues than the last two republican ex-presidents have.

    and i can't see GWB doing anything like this.

    i'm glad clinton's spreading the goodwill.
     
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #2
    Carter set a rather high standard for former and ex-Presidents. Clinton is trying, so I have to give him credit. Reagan is in no shape to do anything. Ford and G H W Bush have other priorities - Golf. Dubya could actually try to do something before leaving office like following through on his rhetoric on AIDS. Seems with him it's all hat, no cattle.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Well, sayhey, one might conclude that Clinton is doing more good for mankind out of office than in. :D

    Seems to me it's far better that this be a private-sector deal than to use taxpayer money to achieve the same end. Seems to me this shows that neither an Adminsitration or a Congress always needs to act as loco parentis in problem-solving.

    :), 'Rat
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    You're absolutely right. Other than Elizabeth Dole, I see few on the right side of the line doing anything remotely humanitarian. Where are the ex-govt. leaders who could and should be doing more of this?
     
  5. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    'Rat,

    yeah, all that balanced budget stuff, peace deals in Bosnia, No. Ireland, etc. - the guy was just no good! ;)
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Balanced budget? Yeah, sure, with the FICA money included. :) Just another giant shuck in the world of phoney bookkeeping.

    Nothing at all wrong with "doing good", ala Jimmy Carter et al. But, is it not doing good to return to the world of business and be part of providing jobs?

    And some folks who've "made their bones" just want to sit back and relax. Not everybody can maintain the level of physical and/or psychic energy to keep on keeping on...

    'Rat
     
  7. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    post-presidency:

    bush sr. joined the carlyle group and made untold millions by buying failing defense contractors just before they were awarded big gov't contracts.

    jimmy carter built houses for the homeless and traveled the world promoting human rights and peace. picked up a nobel peace prize for his efforts.

    guess who i respect more.
     
  8. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #8
    can't find anything good to say about Clinton... and I am sure that the current deficit, then, must be OK with you and the surplus under Clinton is worse than the massive deficits under Bush Bush and Reagan.

    What about the job gains under Clinton? Is it worse than the job loss under GWB?

    Cheney mismanaged Halliburton and came away with tens of millions of dollars. GWBush hit it big using his name to gain partial ownership of the Rangers and then got a huge govt. windfall when Arlington paid for a stadium. Those guys are not interested in public service. They are interested in money and power or how to use political power for personal gain. It's obvious.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Hey, I'm glad Clinton put the deal together. But he's done well in the billfold department, since he gets some $100,000 or more per speech. Hillary didn't do so bad with her $8 milion book advance--for a ghost-written book.

    Jobs? Yeah, the dot-com bubble made a lot of jobs, but when the bubble blew out in 2000, where did those jobs go? Greenspan's low interest rates helped create a lot of jobs, then, as well, but they've also been going down the tubes. There's a ton of folks who in the mid-1990s predicted the economic malaise of the present.

    As far as integrity and character, Carter was one of the best presidents we've had. As far as an effective administration, it ranks pretty low. Damned shame. I've often wondered what the economic situation would have been had he had advisors other than the Bert Lance types; or had a Paul Volcker to deal with interest rates...

    'Rat
     
  10. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #10
    That's chump change compared to the financial arrangement Cheney STILL has with Halliburton.
     
  11. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #11
    so Clinton had nothing to do with all the jobs created in the 1990s. Carter is at fault for the economic problems back then and Bush is not at fault for all the job loss we have now? ??
    and what about the deficits, clearly you have to admit that...
    You probably won't admit anything
     
  12. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #12
    And by the way, Hillary Clinton's book has been a huge best seller, so it looks like the $8 million advance was a good move.
    Hillary Clinton did not count future earnings as current earnings to inflate stock price (like Cheney did). Bill Clinton did not spend a ton of money to aquire companies with pending asbestos lawsuits against them (like Cheney did).

    Though I have to admit hiring Cheney was a brillant move for Halliburton. They have a ton of no bid contracts though him.

    Bush and Cheney are corrupt.
     
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I've always used the phrase, "Inertia of large systems" to describe what happens in an economy such as ours. That is, it takes a good while for trends to develop to full-blown status.

    Carter inherited a set of economic problems which began with LBJ's guns'n'butter policy in the late 1960s. These were exacerbated by Nixon. Ford was ineffectual, and then came Carter. His people still hadn't figured out the problem, and so their own policies made a bad problem worse.

    We were already in recovery from the brief, white-collar recession of 1990-1991, during the 1992 campaign. The lowering of interest rates as policy of the administration under Clinton and as executed by The Fed/Greenspan allowed the development of the stock-market bubble of the 1990s. The lower interest rates meant, short term, that there was what came to be "over-investment" in unneeded manufacturing/industrial capacity; yes, more jobs, but they didn't last. The expected downturn in the economy which began in 2000 meant a reduction in income to the government.

    The Bushies inherited a problem in the same manner as Carter: A pre-existing condition. They're stuck with the fact that they can't lower interest rates in an effort to get economic activity to increase. Corporate America is not borrowing money for investment in new capital equipment and hiring new people--there's little demand but much over-capacity. The tax cuts provided some retail stimulus, but that's been used up. Factor in the direct costs of 9/11 and there's a real mess.

    Given what I see for our economy over the next few years, I don't see how there's enough available taxable monies to balance the budget without serious reductions in federal spending. And I'm talking reductions well beyond the Iraq thing. The problem with serious reductions in federal spending is that too many interest groups of one sort or another are dependent on that source of income for their well-being...

    Oh, well. It's been over forty years in the building of this problem. I just hope it doesn't take forty more to "fix" it.

    An example of the inertia of large systems that might be easier to follow: We had the oil embargo in 1973, and the ensuing rise in the price of crude--and then gasoline and electricity. This was alleged to be an unending situation. Well, it did last for a while, but then our efforts at insituting the CAFE and in home/workplace energy conservation began paying off: By 1985, crude oil prices were down to $10 a barrel. It took some ten to twelve years before the changes really took effect.

    It's the same for an Adminstration's impact on the economy. A trend can have positive or negative feedback imposed upon it, but the trend will exist without regard to who's president. Or in Congress, for that matter.

    Another economic "bit": It is not unrealistic to see our present situation here with respect to Iraq, the WOT and lifeitsownself as a variant of LBJ's guns'n'butter policy. That didn't help us back then, either.

    'Rat
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    Amazing 'Rat, I thought you were almost going to say something nice about Clinton, but no I jumped to a conclusion too early. This recession is Clinton's fault because of all those unstable jobs he brought into the economy in the form of the lousy Dot.commers? Oh, and that conspiracy by Clinton and Greenspan to keep interest rates down - that's a horrible policy. Give me a break! When will Bush take responsiblility for the biggest tax give away in history and the most irresponsible economic policies since Hoover.
     
  15. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #15
    Speaking of "guns'NButter" you would have to say the Bush and republican controlled congress have increased government spending and increased the non-military government payroll. Clinton actually lowered the number of government employees.

    And from reading your argument one could conclude that Bush was as bad for the economy as Carter was. They both inherited bad policy and they both handled the situation badly. You did say that, right?

    Did you mention that the Clinton tax policy passed in 1993 (without a single republican vote) was instrumental in lowering the federal deficit which allowed for lower interest rates and encouraged foreign investment. And led to the boom of (bad) jobs, higher (bad) middle class incomes and some (bad) lower class income growth. You must have mentioned that, right?

    If I was not mistaken I thought I heard an endorsement of CAFE standards (as long as they don't apply to SUVs from what you have said in the past).

    The real crux of the matter must be that the strong economy under Clinton must have been bad because Clinton (who is bad) was involved.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Look. There are economic cycles which most of the time can only be somewhat improved or somewhat messed up by the folks in power.

    Clinton took over at the beginning of a boom, and his policies didn't hurt anything; by and large there was indeed short-term help from the standpoint of jobs and government income. (Lots of capital gains taxes paid on all those profits from flipping stocks.)

    Had interest rates not been lowered as much as they were, there might well have been a lower cap on the stock market bubble, and possibly a slight recession around the 1995-1997 period. The lower interest rates extended the life of the bubble.

    Problem: The higher the peak of a boom, the worse is the fall when it busts.

    It's not an exact comparison, but when Carter inherited his problem, his people at least had tools to work with. The fed rate for loans to banks is one of them. It was not until Volcker took over the fed under Reagan that interest rates were raised and inflation dropped. (The ensuing two years of "stagflation" was a problem, of course. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know how to end an inflationary period without a recession such as the first two years of Reagan's tenure.)

    Bush has inherited the end of a boom and the late-1999 to mid-2000 beginning of a stagnant economic period. Usually, lowering interest rates would stimulate the economy. But when you're already down to near-nothing, you've got nowhere to go. We're probably entering a period similar to the last dozen years in Japan. Our problem is that we have a lot of both government debt and personal debt, and little in the way of personal savings.

    Clinton came in with the same sort of economic inheritance as that of LBJ--a time of an expanding economy. Bush and Carter are similar, but Carter was an engineer with apparently little understanding of economics. Bert Lance was his primary advisor, and was just too country-boy to deal with the problems. Bush's people just flatout lack the tools to work with, thanks to Greenspan...

    Look. I'm not putting prsonal "good" or "bad" on any person, outside of the fact that economic hard times are rough on people, which IS bad. I'm just laying out the sequences of economic activities over time.

    I don't mean it as a bash on Clinton to point out that he and his people enjoyed the political goodwill that boom times bring, but it was a doomed boom from about 1995 on. Had the boom ended sooner, I think we'd have more stability in our economy now, with a smaller recession having ended by 2000 or so. Lotsa arguing about that, of course.

    I don't believe there's much that any administration can do, now, to get things up and going as a profitable, re-hiring situation. We're just gonna have to ride it out. This is just my opinion, of course, and I sure hope I'm overly pessimistic.

    Nuff fer now...

    'Rat
     
  17. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #17
    A lot of your arguments seem to be based on the fed chairman existing and making decisions on interest rates in some sort of vacume - not based on any underlying economic situation. Also an apology for what mistakes the republican has made and a dismisal for what good policies Clinton made.

    The Clinton tax policies set in 1993 finally got the ballooning federal deficit under control which made it possible for Greenspan to lower interest rates. Continued productivity gains allowed growth without much inflation so Greenspan was able to keep rates low. Greenspan's decisions were based on low deficits, low inflation, low government growth and productivity gains made possible by better technology. Some of it was even made possible by those dreaded dot commers.

    You keep saying Bush's hands are tied but never admiting that they are tied by his own actions. His tax policies tilted a lot of money into the hands of the very wealthy who were able and inclined to sit on that money. Meanwhile, property taxes go up, state and local taxes go up, education prices go up etc. etc. putting the squeeze on middle and lower income workers. The federal deficit is ballooning again and foreign investment is leaving. How was Greenspan supposed to know in 1998 what would happen in 2001? Was he supposed to have raised interest rates in '98 to account for what would happen in 2001?

    So Bush redirects money into the wrong part of the economy and constantly uses "terrorist terror terrorism" to pass dubious domestic policy. Investors are nervous. The world is less stable and more divided by his fratboy giveaways and cowboy attacks. What has he done right?

    And back to Carter, don't you think the price controls set up by Nixon had anything to do with the inflation that happened when the price controls were lifted? What about continued high oil prices and the decline in American manufacturing? I am not saying Carter was an economic genius but Bush's "knowledgeble" people seem more adept at cooking the books in their own favor than at stewarding an economy that works for everyone.

    I am tired of apologies for Bush's fiscal mismanagement, tired of the typically corporate evasion of responsibilty in the search for WMDs, sick of the way he leaks confidential information about his "enemies" and yet can't pony up information about who was at the energy policy meetings or what happened before September 11th. Bush and his apologists do not take responsiblity for Bush's mistakes.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    "His tax policies tilted a lot of money into the hands of the very wealthy who were able and inclined to sit on that money."

    It has been widely reported that after each tax cut, retail sales jumped. El Cheapo stores, not just luxury places. Not just the rich saw a benefit.

    Sure, Nixon screwed up big time. 1966-1968 saw a rise in inflation, and his policies didn't help matters. He then handed off a worse problem to Carter. I should have spelled it out, step by step, I guess.

    Regardless of the justification of Greenspan's lowering of interest rates, the absence of that tool is a major handicap on the present administration. And I'll repeat: In this particular stage of our economy, raising taxes will make things worse. "The Rich" don't have enough tax-exposed money to solve the deficit problem, and wage-earners are already in trouble.

    Question: When folks have spent all that housing re-fi money, how healthy will our consumer economy be? If consumer spending declines to any extent, what happens to government revenues at all levels?

    What presidential policy can make folks go out and spend, when they're running low on disposable money? Or make unprofitable companies hire people or borrow money for investment? The government has no money of its own; it merely skims from the counting rooms of our economic Big Casino.

    'Rat
     
  19. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #19
    and what factors lead to rising interest rates? Massive deficits, perhaps?

    as for tax rates, the 1990s saw huge gains in income for the very wealthy and the highest rate of income growth. That would seem to indicate that we could return to those levels, lowering the federal deficit and putting less of a sqeeze on state and local taxes which are disportionatly paid by middle and lower income earners. To me it looks like Clinton's economic policies were a lot more responsible than "the money will magically appear later on sometime" policies of GWBush.
     
  20. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #20
    The 1990s saw a rise in wealth for a high percentage of the population. The number of households invested in equities rose from just under 15% to over 50%. Those who got out of the stock market before late 1999 did just fine; many had become millionaires or multi-millionaires.

    The more recent tax cut reduced federal income by some $35 billion a year. In the face of half-trillion-dollar deficits, I'm not sure that raising taxes would be all that much help...

    I mentioned Japan because many see us entering a period of deflation. This would mean low interest rates for the next several years. For now, the only price increases of note will be goods imported from Europe, due to the 25% increase in the value of the Euro as compared to the dollar. Other than energy, housing and taxes, there are few inflationary pressures on home-grown goods.

    IMO, you could reinstall Clinton in the White House tomorrow and he couldn't do any more to "jumpstart" the economy than can Bush. If Bush is replaced in the 2004 elections, that next poor bastard has about three to six months of good will until he, too, starts catching hell.

    'Rat
     
  21. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #21
    then I suppose a football coach whose players are not playing very well should not be fired, the CEO of a company whose stock is plummeting should not be laid off

    by the same token the CEO of a company that is doing well in a good economy should not be rewarded.

    Maybe Bush is just unlucky (pure bad luck to ignore the warnings he had about Al Qeada using planes to attack us) but he needs to take his lumps. God knows we have all had to take the lay offs, the higher property taxes, the worse services. That party boy needs to know what it feels like to get laid off.
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Looks to me like a coach or a CEO are far more able to influence the performance of their personnel than is any president over the performance of the economy.

    Another view: Let's give Clinton full credit for the boom of the 1990s. Now, I've likened this to a party or spree--which I believe is an accurate description of the behavior of many people involved. Should Clinton get the credit for the ensuing, much-predicted hangover?

    'Rat
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    You could go that route 'Rat, but it would involve a re-think of how great a president the right says Reagan was if we also include the late 80's/early '90's hangover in his column.;)
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    About the only part of the overall Reagon economic package which has stood the test of time was Volcker's raising of the discount rate. It was highly contributory to stopping the (for the U.S.) incredibly high rate of inflation of the very late 1970s. The recovery then began a new business cycle which continued through the first two or three years of Bush I.

    The deficits of the Reagan era certainly did not help the country. However, since all federal spending begins in the House Appropriations Committee, Congress certainly had the means to restrain deficit spending...

    'Rat
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Yeah, try explaining that to some of the "Reagan-is-God" crowd around here. They won't listen to me when I say that.
     

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