by Cal Thomas on 9/6/96
In his acceptance speech, President Clinton spoke of building a bridge to the 21st Century. Given the proposals for new projects, programs, and spending, he apparently has a toll bridge in mind. The speech was vintage Clinton--all form and little substance with just enough truth to mask the deception. If the era of big government is over, then Clinton wants to replace it with a giant orphanage that will care for citizens' every need and every dream without regard to race, creed, or character. Notice how the character question was handled in the midst of the publicity surrounding his former campaign advisor Dick Morris' alleged fling with a prostitute. The president said when he was growing up, parents whipped children who talked disparagingly about other people's character. Does he recall the bigger whipping kids got for behavior that called their character into question? In view of the large proportion of teachers union members in the crowd, wasn't it curious that the president promised to send volunteers into the schools to teach kids to read? Shouldn't the statements be interpreted as an indictment of the public school system and teachers who have failed to teach kids to read properly? Incredibly, they cheered him as if he had just told them they were doing a great job. Speaking of kids, who is going to pay for all those computers the president wants students to have by the next century? And what about the online costs of venturing into cyberspace? When government wants to spend your money, it is doing something noble. When you want to keep more of your money, you're greedy. It was Christmas in August as Santa Clinton started throwing money around like Mylar confetti. He proposed a "G I Bill" for American workers but only for two-year community colleges. He wants a tax deduction of up to $10,000 per year for college tuition costs and tax- free IRAs for college. And on and on it went. How much of this does Clinton believe and what will he really push for? On the ride to Chicago, the president attempted to railroad voters by promising $10 billion in new government spending. The goody bag aside, there were plenty of factual errors and laughable assertions in the president's speech. Clinton, who hired Joycelyn Elders as surgeon general (a woman who believed in legalizing cocaine and marijuana), smokes cigars and told MTV if he had it to do over again he would have inhaled his marijuana cigarette, claimed, "It is very painful to me that drug use among young people is up." Clinton wants credit for 10 million new jobs, a lower job-growth rate than the 1980s. The Wall Street Journal reported that a third of the new jobs paid workers 80 percent or less of what they had previously been earning. And nearly 10 percent of the new jobs are temporary positions. The president ignored the decline in earnings for many, the result of higher taxes which necessitate two income earners in a family when many would prefer only one to work outside the home. The president again claimed "we're putting 100,000 police on the streets." In fact, Attorney General Janet Reno admitted three months ago that "there are only 17,000 officers that can be identified as being on the streets." Crime? The president announced that the crime rate has declined for the last four years. According to the Department of Justice, violent crime victimizations are up by more than 500,000 and juvenile crime is up 12 percent. This includes a 17 percent increase in robberies, an 11 percent increase in aggravated assault and an 8 percent increase in murder. The president took credit for "40 million Americans with more pension security, a tax cut for 15 million of our hardest working, hardest pressed Americans and all small businesses." In fact, according to Investors Business Daily, the tax burden has increased under Clinton. Tax Freedom Day was April 30 in 1992, marking the end of a five year decline from 1987. But it's been advancing ever since, with both 1996 and 1995 record-breaking years for high taxation. There is so much more, but space does not permit. Clinton & Co. produced more bull during his party's convention than Chicago's old Union Stockyard.