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(4,775 posts)
34. Wow, had never seen that
Sun Jan 10, 2016, 07:21 PM
Jan 2016
“The Lewinsky scandal had a powerful, if usually overlooked, impact on the substance of Clinton’s last two years in office as well. When I asked the President what he might have accomplished absent the scandal, he said that he wasn’t sure. When pressed, Clinton acknowledged that he might have been able to reform the Social Security and Medicare systems if the Republicans -and the media-hadn’t been provided with an alternative form of diversion in 1998 and 1999. In fact, Clinton was poised, at the moment he delivered his “Save Social Security First” challenge in the 1998 State of the Union message, to do something few presidents ever had: to end his second term with a valedictory surge of significant accomplishments. He had tamed the Republican Congress. There were huge budget surpluses to play with. “Both parties were behind the curve on the big issues,” said Bruce Reed, Clinton’s domestic policy advisor. “We could have added a private-investment option on to Social Security benefits.”

So a CATO-affiliated Chilean reform to add a private-investment option to Social Security was all good to go, with the blessings of our Democratic president who was all set to use the new budget surplus to move to such a system.

Many of us thought at the time what a shame it was that the Lewinsky scandal derailed Clinton's agenda. Now that we see more of the details of what that agenda was, we were extremely fortunate to dodge this bullet.

It looks like the version Clinton would have give us was even worse than the Chilean model:

The transition was a complex proposal, but we were able to do it. We kept part of the payroll tax in the pay-as-you-go system in order to finance the elderly benefits. We used the budget surplus as the president is suggesting in this country. And finally, we cut all corporate welfare. We told the private companies that they do not need government money. That money should be used to finance the national retirement system.

We told the private companies that they do not need government money. That money should be used to finance the national retirement system.

So, the reform was not about savings or about macroeconomic equilibrium. It was about workers’ dignity, workers’ freedom, workers’ choice, and workers’ empowerment. I believe this can be done in America.

Anyone think the U.S. would have funded it by ending corporate welfare? Hell no, they were going to use the budget surplus and keep the corporate welfare.

The Chilean system's architect has a long lunch with Joe Klein, who is working on the "Primary Colors" Clinton campaign story and has primary presidential access, and who publishes a Newsweek story on the plan in Newsweek, getting Bill all hot and bothered to touch the third rail with his third way policy pen, private retirement accounts rather than progressive reforms such as raising or eliminating the payroll tax cap. The Chilean author had apparently been working on this with our old friend Pete Peterson.

Clinton sacrificed “an enduring legacy when he had an affair with Lewinsky, the young White House intern. Liberal Democrats were opposed to his pension changes, so to get their support to avoid impeachment, Clinton postponed the package of reforms.” (James Daw, The Toronto Star, September 22, 2002).

So the Lewinsky affair saved us from this plan, since Clinton couldn't pistol-whip his own liberal Democrats when he desperately needed their support to remain in office during the impeachment.

History takes some bizarre turns and twists. In this case, we have much to be thankful for, we were quite fortunate.

Thanks Octafish, very informative and illuminating.

This is exactly the kind of reforms the corporatists in our party have been triangulating against us to implement, and the kind of policy efforts that inform my political choices going forward. We need a highly educated and informed electorate to sniff this stuff out and its advocates before they get into office. The stench of third-way economics is all over our party's establishment.
That lays out how the wealth transfer occurred GummyBearz Jan 2016 #1
Are we tlking about the financial crisis from nearly 8 years ago? MohRokTah Jan 2016 #2
Uh, look at stocks and high yield bonds GummyBearz Jan 2016 #3
OFFS! MohRokTah Jan 2016 #4
Well thought out reply GummyBearz Jan 2016 #6
You're screaming the sky is falling because of normal correction behavior in the markets? MohRokTah Jan 2016 #9
Hey, have you been listening to right wing talk? I hope you will protect your Duval Jan 2016 #12
Hey, do you have a clue how the markets work? MohRokTah Jan 2016 #13
Would you please explain "how the markets work" to those who do not JDPriestly Jan 2016 #33
The markets go up. The markets go down. MohRokTah Jan 2016 #38
Not sure who saw a greater than normal return. My husband did not. He lost a large part of his glinda Jan 2016 #41
The DOW is still higher than it was at it's highest before the 2008 crash. MohRokTah Jan 2016 #42
He is under the TRA and their investments did not come back near enough. glinda Jan 2016 #52
Perfect explanation, well done. DU in general does not understand how Wall St. / investments work JonLeibowitz Jan 2016 #44
Nothing about the banking crisis of 2008 was "normal correction behavior in the markets" the U.S. Uncle Joe Jan 2016 #31
The poster was talking about the losses in the markets last week. eom MohRokTah Jan 2016 #37
Your love of Wall Street is impressive in its consistency. Ed Suspicious Jan 2016 #18
This message was self-deleted by its author GummyBearz Jan 2016 #20
This was meant for Moh Ed Suspicious Jan 2016 #21
Got it... that had me pretty confused GummyBearz Jan 2016 #22
Capital investment makes the economic world go 'round. eom MohRokTah Jan 2016 #39
It sure is. nt laundry_queen Jan 2016 #43
Reminds me of Banned from Kos. Octafish Jan 2016 #50
Not a new Problem EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #5
President Clinton and the Chilean Model: Midnight at the House of Good and Evil Octafish Jan 2016 #28
Thanks :) EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #29
Wow, had never seen that dreamnightwind Jan 2016 #34
Bill Clinton at the Pete Peterson Institute speaking with other Democrats and Republicans such as DhhD Jan 2016 #47
K&R abelenkpe Jan 2016 #7
sorry that's just dumb hfojvt Jan 2016 #8
Sure glad you smartened that 'dumb' OP up! elias49 Jan 2016 #10
That's because the debt causers own the government. nt valerief Jan 2016 #11
You win the thread malaise Jan 2016 #14
Would you include US finance leaders like these? appalachiablue Jan 2016 #16
Yep. They support the oligarchy all right. nt valerief Jan 2016 #17
This will go right over the head of dullards. Rex Jan 2016 #15
What do u mean 'will'? It's already "gone over the heads" of some up-string Wall St. butt kissers nt 99th_Monkey Jan 2016 #30
Their are always more willing to join into the grand scam. Rex Jan 2016 #35
I have seen this before some where (FB maybe?) bears repeating. K&R Hiraeth Jan 2016 #19
Look up Two Santa Claus theory Cary Jan 2016 #23
What pisses me off is when I get an email from someone railing about how much congress gets paid.... Spitfire of ATJ Jan 2016 #24
Just saw "The Big Short," which addresses this issue. FairWinds Jan 2016 #25
I saw it yesterday. It's fantastic. Pacifist Patriot Jan 2016 #40
Know Thy Enemy - Oligarchs, Corporations, Banks And Their Media Minions And MIC Henchmen cantbeserious Jan 2016 #26
The last sentence has the key Babel_17 Jan 2016 #27
That is why we never hear this from the corporate media. Enthusiast Jan 2016 #32
Professor Blyth is missing something important denem Jan 2016 #36
K&R for truth. Betty Karlson Jan 2016 #45
I know nothing about how to successfully invest in Wall Street 90-percent Jan 2016 #46
Sounds like a pretty simple explanation The2ndWheel Jan 2016 #48
K&R Ah, Wall St. Where democracy for all went to die. raouldukelives Jan 2016 #49
Does Mr. Moh think . . FairWinds Jan 2016 #51
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