Clinton Speech

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Former public servant Bill Clinton spoke at the Frank Erwin Center this evening. He gave a solid, concise picture of the forces acting upon some of our national “enemies” (Iraq and North Korea) and presented a good framework for creating solutions to these problems: 1) That for global safety reasons, these countries do need to be disarmed and 2) That the United States would set dangerous precedent by acting without the support of the UN. Doing so would give Russia, China, and whoever else the ability to “preemptively strike” whichever foes they might wish to — Chechnya, Taiwan… He gave the Bush administration a fairly positive rating when it came to dealing with these issues and did a good job, I think, of bridging together the events of the first “war” with Iraq and the current situation. Sounds like, while the administration may not be doing the perfect job we might want, they are making close to the right decisions.

And then he totally cut loose on the budget and recent tax cuts. I can’t remember his exact words (and it’s too early to have a copy of the speech anywhere online), but I can paraphrase: In any organization, when dealing with money you first do the job, pay the bills, and plan for possible emergencies — and only then, after all other things have been done, do you start giving out the profits. Not before. You don’t buy the home stereo before you pay the rent (my version of the quote). He called the 2001 tax cut the “worst thing any president’s done in a month of Sundays.” He called the removal of taxes on stock dividends a terrible idea, quoting Alan Greenspan, and said that he — as a rather wealthy citizen — did not feel his best interests would be served by a tax break.

Anyway. I’ll post a link to the speech when one appears. Good stuff.