The president’s problem is that he’s no Bill Clinton. Clinton was willing to compromise with congressional Republicans. Obama and congressional Democrats are not. Clinton signed the welfare reform bill after vetoing two earlier versions crafted by a Republican Congress. Yet, now the Obama administration wants to let states opt out of the bill’s work requirement, which forced many people to get jobs. Instead of requiring people to work, Health and Human Services wants to grant states waivers to the work provision so that they can “test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” What alternative strategy is there to an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay?
An even sharper contrast between Obama and Clinton is that the latter left a surplus behind. Obama has taken the debt created during the second Bush administration — mostly because of the response to a terrorist attack and two wars — and, according to the U.S. Treasury, increased each American’s debt share by $17,013, to $51,433. The Congressional Budget Office says at the end of this fiscal year, the administration will have racked up four consecutive years of trillion dollar-plus deficits, creating by 2020 the largest debt — $16 trillion — in American history.