Every time Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention, I fall in love all over again. He hit a grand slam in ’04, in ’08 and again tonight in Charlotte. This was The Master — a man who talks straight and specific and with beautiful rhythm and emotion, and just lays it down like an oratorical God…wham! Playing the crowd like a violin, choice line after choice line…spirit-lifting, like great music.
“People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets,” Clinton said. “What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.
“If [the Republicans] stay with a 5 trillion dollar tax cut in a debt reduction plan – the arithmetic tells us that one of three things will happen: 1) they’ll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle-class families will see their tax bill go up two thousand dollars year while people making over 3 million dollars a year get will still get a 250,000 dollar tax cut; or 2) they’ll have to cut so much spending that they’ll obliterate the budget for our national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel; or they’ll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education and other programs that help middle-class families and poor children, not to mention cutting investments in roads, bridges, science, technology and medical research; or 3) they’ll do what they’ve been doing for thirty plus years now — cut taxes more than they cut spending, explode the debt, and weaken the economy.
“Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down.”