As Republican resistance to the Clinton stimulus package gained momentum, it was amusing to watch the President’s rhetoric grow more shrill. Most thoughtful Americans had a nice chuckle on April 12 when a panicky Clinton made the assertion that nothing less than our children’s future (gasp!) was at stake in the fight over the spending package.
So let’s be clear about what Clinton’s spending package is and is not. It is not a measure that will help grow the economy. Whatever problems our economy has are not the results of insufficient government spending. Every year our federal government coughs up a wad of cash in excess of $1.5 trillion, out of which hundreds of billions are allocated to transportation, jobs programs, and yes, even immunization. The chief goals of the stimulus package are political, as opposed to economic. In part it is designed as a payoff to those big-city mayors who supported Clinton last fall. But perhaps more important, it is a measure designed to enable the Administration (read: ’96 reelection campaign) to take credit for the surging recovery.
DEREK O. WALLEN