From The Editors: In his State of the Union address Wednesday, President Obama outlined his vision for economic recovery--and many of his ideas bore striking resemblance those Bill Clinton proposed when he was running for president in 1992. In a TNR article penned that year, Robert Reich (who would eventually become Clinton’s labor secretary) described the Democratic nominee’s economic plan. “The centerpiece of the Clinton plan is a major increase in public investment in education, training, and infrastructure,” Reich wrote. Sound familiar? It’s a lot like Obama’s stimulus plan.
At least credit Richard Darman for creative accounting in managing to squeeze the new White House budget into the spending categories and constraints of the 1990 budget agreement. But his efforts were doomed from the start; the agreement is obsolete, and everyone knows it. It was cobbled together before the cold war ended and before the recession started.