Was Bill Clinton a good president? | The Tylt

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Was Bill Clinton a good president?
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When Bill Clinton left office in 2000, the country was enjoying a booming economy, a budget surplus and relative peacetime abroad. While his presidency was marred by scandal, ones he personally caused, many believe Clinton's ability to govern places him among the nation's great presidents. However, many of Clinton's key pieces of legislation seem backward when viewed through a modern lens. Congress is currently working to undo Clinton's 1994 overhaul of the criminal justice system, and his landmark "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy came to an end under Obama. What do you think?

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Was Bill Clinton a good president?
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Few people can argue against the fact that Clinton oversaw a period of economic growth and stability, one that has been unheard of since. Per the Week:

The late 1990s during former President Bill Clinton's administration were a remarkable period: The unemployment rate hit just 4 percent, wages grew at 4 percent, and — most famously — the federal budget actually ran a surplus from 1997 to 2001, peaking at $236 billion in 2000. "We had a balanced budget and a surplus when my husband left the White House," Clinton said in July, lamenting the Bush administration's turn back to deficits in the 2000s. "I would hope, with sensible economic policy, we could get back moving toward balance."
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He also presided over one of the longest periods of peacetime in modern American history, using that time to attempt to remake the government in a more efficient way. Per the Brookings Institute:

If Ronald Reagan’s presidency produced three Ps of peace, prosperity, and patriotism, Clinton’s presidency entailed four Ps of peace, prosperity, pluralism, and progress. Clinton benefited from governing after the Cold War ended and during America’s longest peacetime economic expansion, with 116 months of continuous growth generating 22 million new jobs. He presided over the Democratic Gilded Age, the twentieth century’s only peace-and-prosperity decade without Republicans in charge—and without Democrats in opposition tempering the excess.
Clinton forged a Third Way, continuing Reagan’s project of ending “the era of big government” with a leaner government, without abandoning the middle class, minorities, and the poor. Just as the Republican Dwight Eisenhower legitimized Franklin Roosevelt’s Democratic revolution, at times Clinton legitimized Reagan’s anti-Great-Society counterrevolution—while denying it, of course. Clinton’s communications director Don Baer says that “If the FDR project was about using government as a leveraging force on the market to make the market system ready for progress after World War II, Clinton offered the mirror image. He used market forces to temper government so it could become a more effective force for progress going into the twenty-first century.”
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However, many of Clinton's policies seem not only profoundly out-of-step with present day values, but many seem downright regressive. Clinton championed the now-infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for the military, setting up years of continued marginalization of LGBTQ members within the armed forces. Per The Atlantic's Russell Berman:

There is no political topic that makes the Clinton administration seem like ancient history more than gay rights.
...The big debate at the start of Bill Clinton's first term was whether the new president would order the military to end its long-standing policy banning gays, and amid a bipartisan backlash, Clinton struck a compromise resulting in the policy–now infamous in some quarters–of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The policy was finally overturned, with much fanfare, by President Obama in 2011. 
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Another major piece of legislation of the Clinton era was the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. According to the BBC:

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was a lengthy crime control bill that was put together over the course of six years. Its provisions implemented many things, including a "three strikes" mandatory life sentence for repeat offenders, money to hire 100,000 new police officers, $9.7bn in funding for prisons, and an expansion of death penalty-eligible offences. It also dedicated $6.1bn to prevention programmes "designed with significant input from experienced police officers", however, the bulk of the funds were dedicated to measures that are seen as punitive rather than rehabilitative or preventative.

The bill is seen as an escalation of the War on Drugs, emphasizing punishment rather than rehabilitation. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is currently working to undo many of the policies put in place by the 1994 bill. Per the New York Times:

Still, the looming vote will underscore the significant shift in public opinion and policymakers’ views over the last two decades, away from the policies of an era when the federal government declared war on drugs and crime toward what lawmakers like to call a “smart on crime” approach.
“We made some decisions 25 years ago here that were wrong,” [Senator Dick] Durbin said. “We imprisoned thousands of people, mainly African-Americans, for sentences that made no sense in light of their crimes. What we have tried to do is repair that damage and be smarter in the way we sentence.”
VOTE NOW
Politics
Was Bill Clinton a good president?
#ClintonWasGreat
#ClintonWasGreat
#ClintonWasTrash
#ClintonWasTrash