By Rachel Alexander
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 20, 1997

Read My Lips: What Clinton Stands for


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Rachel Alexander

When asked who she would be voting for in the Presidential election of 1996, a friend of mine declared, "Clinton! He's my man." When pressed for details as to why, she could only vaguely exclaim, "I think he's doing a good job." So what exactly does Clinton stand for that makes people like him so much? Many people are like my friend, and cannot explain what they like about Clinton. So I am going to examine Clinton's record on various major issues for them.


In a 1992 campaign ad Clinton said, "I believe you deserve more than 30-second ads or vague promises. That's why I've offered a comprehensive plan to get our economy moving again. It starts with a tax cut for the middle class and asks the rich to pay their fair share again." This tax cut has never materialized. Instead, Clinton approved the largest tax increase in history the year after he was elected. Americans are paying the highest percentage of their income in taxes in peace time history. Single-earner families in 1996 earned $803 less after taxes than in 1992.

Corporate Tax Rates

In 1992 while running against Bush, Clinton said that taxes should not be raised on corporations, but that they should be given incentives to invest. Once in office, his proposal to Congress led to a greater rate of taxation on corporations than before.


In Clinton's address to the U.S. conference of mayors in 1992 he promised, "I'm going to stop handing down mandates to you and regulating you to death and not giving you the money to do it with." During the first 3 years of the Clinton Administration there were 188,725 pages of regulatory text added to the Code of Federal Regulations - the most in any 3-year period since the Carter Administration.


In 1992 Clinton said, "This country doesn't need a new program for every problem, and we won't get change simply by spending more on programs already on the books." Yet the next year, in his book, A Vision of Change for America, Clinton praised increasing spending for its "stimulus" value.

Balancing the Budget

Clinton told Larry King in 1992 that he would present a 5-year plan to balance the budget. His first two proposals were so ridiculous, increasing spending by 50 percent and the deficit by $200 billion to $300 billion, that they were defeated in the Senate 99-0 and 96-0. The Congressional Budget Office reported that his budgets would not have balanced for 10 years, if at all.


Clinton criticized the foreign policy of President Bush as "coddling" China, yet soon after he was elected he reinstated their Most Favored Nation status and unlinked human rights abuses from trade privileges. Clinton continues to ignore human rights abuses in China as he wines and dines President Jiang Zemin.


In a 1996 Clinton/Gore ad, promises were made to put 100,000 more police on the streets, take assault weapons off the streets and expand the death penalty. However, in a town meeting the year before he proposed putting more convicted criminals on the street through increased parole and probation. Attorney General Janet Reno eventually admitted that only 17,000 more police officers ever made it onto the streets.

English Only

As Governor of Arkansas, Clinton signed into law two bills in 1987 making English the official state language. But as President, he has come out firmly against English only laws.


In his 1992 campaign book, Putting People First, Clinton said he would oppose quotas for racial preferences. Yet his administration has come down on the side of quotas and preferences in a number of high-profile cases, including threatening to cut federal funding to UCLA when it banned racial quotas.


In a letter to the National Right To Life Committee in 1986, Clinton declared, "I am opposed to abortion and to government funding of abortions. We should not spend state funds on abortions because so many people believe abortion is wrong." Yet Clinton has consistently vetoed bills which would prohibit state funding of abortions.

Gas Tax

In Clinton's campaign book, Putting People First, he promised not to raise the gas tax. Yet he raised it by 4.3 cents per gallon in 1995, declaring it "a great moment for me."

So which sides of Clinton did his supporters vote for? Regardless of that, why did they vote for him again in 1996 since he obviously has a problem telling the truth about his positions on major issues? Are all of the people who voted for Clinton in 1992 and 1996 aware of the volumes of promises he has broken, and his blatant misrepresentations? (This is only a partial list, and does not include the numerous allegations against him which are currently under investigation) Furthermore, why hasn't the media lambasted Clinton the way they did George Bush and his promise not to add new taxes? It appears that people in general are content to have a liar in the White House as long as they seem to be doing OK financially, even if it means half their income is going to some kind of tax.

Bob Kerry, the Democratic Senator from Nebraska, has admitted, "Clinton is an unusually good liar. Unusually good." One gains an understanding of the modern politics of electioneering when hearing the quote from Clinton's former press spokesman George Stephanopolous, "He kept all the promises he meant to keep."

Rachel Alexander is a second-year law student.



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