Summary of Crash Course, 45. the Clinton Years, or the 1990s
In 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore launched their economic strategy: (1) establishing fiscal discipline, eliminating the budget deficit, keeping interest rates low, and spurring private-sector investment; (2) investing in people through education, training, science, and research; and (3) opening foreign markets so American workers can compete abroad. After eight years, the results of President Clinton's economic leadership are clear. Record budget deficits have become record surpluses, 22 million new jobs have been created, unemployment and core inflation are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, and America is in the midst of the longest economic expansion in our history.
In August 1993, Bill Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. This act cuts the taxes for fifteen million families with a low-income, it mad tax cuts available to 90% of small companies and raised the taxes on the wealthiest of the taxpayers. The administration of Clinton launched the first official website of the White House, on October 21, 1994. The website was follow by three other version which result in the final edition, that was launched in 2000. The website was part of a wider movement toward communication were web-based. It opened the American government to more of the American people than ever before. Bill Clinton supported the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by the Senate. He strongly supported free trade measures and most of his Democratic Leadership Committee allies, however there were a lot of disagreements in the party itself. The treat was confirmed by the Senate and was signed into the law on January 1, 1994. Between 1992 and 1994 the Democrats had a big influence. But during the mid-term elections of 1994, they lost the majority in the White House and the Senate. This was the first time in 40 years. The important reason for this was the failed attempt from Hillary Clinton to create an universal coverage using a national health care reform plan. This was the first major defeat of Clinton’s administration. To reduce illegal immigration, Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The U.S Commission on Immigration Reform wants to reduce legal immigration to about 550.000 a year. In 1997 Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch teamed up with Hillary Clinton and her staff to form the Children’s Health Insurance Program and they succeeded. Hillary also caused that the Adoption and Safe Families Act went through the Congress and two years later she succeeded in passing the Foster Care Independence Act. The President supported both.
Frequently referred to as the “Boy Governor” because of his young age (he was 32 years old), Clinton enacted reforms in the areas of education, welfare, and healthcare. He was reelected in 1982 and became a leader of the New Democrats, a centrist wing of the Democratic Party that sought to decrease the size and scope of the federal government—a goal to which progressives and liberals were vehemently opposed. In 1992, he secured the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and won in a three-way race against incumbent President George H.W. Bush, a Republican, and independent third-party candidate Ross Perot (Peter Baker, 2012). Clinton was the first US president from the Baby Boomer generation. He was reelected in 1996, becoming the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve two terms as president. He is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who represented the state of New York in the US Senate before becoming Secretary of State during the Obama administration.On January 1, 1994, President Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which eliminated barriers to trade and investment between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Though some have criticized NAFTA for moving jobs out of the United States, the overall economic impact of the agreement has been mostly beneficial, not only for the United States, but for Canada and Mexico as well. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all three countries grew as a direct result of NAFTA, while trade and investment flourished and some industries that were expected to decline instead thrived as never before (William A. Orme, Jr., 1996).
As has been noted, so the 90s were a really pivotal decade to the world we live in right now, a globalized, multicultural, Instagram-filtered world. But as we became more globally connected political divisions grew within the United States. And this became especially problematic because with the growth of the Internet it was easier than ever to only hear voices that you already know you agree with. To live inside of an echo chamber where your news doesn’t necessarily resemble your neighbor’s news.
William A. Orme, Jr., Understanding NAFTA: Mexico, Free Trade, and the New North America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996)
Peter Baker, The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton (New York: Scribner, 2012).
John F. Harris, The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House (New York: Random House, 2005).