Arthur Laffer on Clinton's Economic Policies

Arthur Laffer, the economist who contributed greatly to Ronald Reagen's supply-side economic polices and views, did an interview with Time-Blog recently and had this to say about Bill Clinton's economic policies.

He lost the House, he lost the Senate, he lost the governorships, he lost the state legislatures. And then he became more Reagan than Reagan: He got Nafta through Congress, against the unions, against his own party. He reappointed Reagan's Fed chairman twice. He signed welfare reform, that you actually have to look for a job to get welfare. He cut government spending as a share of GDP by 3.5 percentage points. No president ever has come anywhere near him on that. He had the biggest capital gains tax cut in our nation's history in '97. He got rid of the retirement test on Social Security. This guy was a great president and I voted for him twice.
Although I would decline to say that Clinton was a great president, I think his economic record was highly underrated. It is interesting to see none other than Arthur Laffer giving Clinton so much praise.  It is difficult to know how much of Clinton's financial policy success was due to a Republican congress that was elected specifically to enact smaller budgets, lower taxes, and less welfare.  It leaves some hope that if Hillary gets elected we will see more of Clinton's "more Reagan than Reagen" economic policies.  Here is what Laffer had to say about Hillary's chief rival, Barack Obama,
I love Obama and I think he's a hell of a neat guy and a smart guy. But he'll destroy the economy if he puts in what he says.
Check out the rest of the interview here.



December 14, 2007 at 6:31 AM

Less welfare... aka less help for the poor. What's interesting is that when polled, a majority of people reject more money for "welfare," but a majority APPROVE of "more money to help the poor." It's all in how you put it... or how the debate is framed.

The Republican majority (with full approval of most Democrats) also pushed through increased defense spending... welfare being a drop in the bucket in comparison... that some might argue was wasted given the fact that the cold war was over.