Obama might do well to take the advice of those who have come before him. If he wants to do so, he’ll have even more information on the table, as former president Bill Clinton’s new book “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy” is about to hit the stands.
Criticizing the Republicans
In the book, he spends most of his time criticizing the Republicans – but he certainly reserves some criticism for Obama. He says that he wrote the book after being inspired by the 2010 midterm losses. Those losses, he says, were because
“The Democrats did not counter the national Republican message with one of their own. There was no national advertising campaign to explain and defend what they had done and to compare their agenda for the next two years with the GOP proposals.”
He does, in general, argue that the president did the right thing with the stimulus package, given the economy that he inherited. Although he does point out that Obama should have raised the federal debt ceiling during his first two years in office when the Democrats still had a majority in Congress.
The Negative and Positive
He paints a negative picture of the U.S. economy at times, saying
“It is heartening that people all over the world want to pursue their version of the American Dream but troubling that others are doing a better job than we are of providing it to their people.”
He suggests that Obama should restore the Small Business Administration as a Cabinet agency and that Obama should work with the Wall Street executives more, rather than isolating them.
He proposes a number of policy changes that have just recently been accomplished by Obama including letting homeowners with government-guaranteed mortgages refinance their loans at a lower interest rate and passing the free-trade agreement with South Korea, Columbia and Panama. Both of these were recently accomplished by Obama.
In a less-than-confident finish, Clinton closes the book by saying that he doesn’t “know how this will turn out” for the Democrats.