One thing Clinton got wrong in his most memorable speech last night, as described in this excellent article, is the degree to which Republicans cooperated with him. As I've pointed out before, not a single R voted for Clinton's budget and tax plan. And there were claims that in raising taxes on the wealthy he'd end all incentives to work, and it'd lead to economic meltdown. The opposite, of course, is what happened.
... But the truth is that the Clinton-era Republicans believed, just as the Obama-era version of their successors, that the president was a wealth-confiscating Marxist. (The role of Chicago/Kenya, as the incubator of the president’s secret radical agenda, was the sixties–Yale–Hillary Clinton.) And this forgotten past actually lends us crucial insight into the economic debate occurring at this very moment.
Clinton’s first year was consumed by a massive conflagration over his plan to reduce the deficit. The contours of the fight were nearly identical. Democrats accepted the need to reduce federal spending, but demanded an upper-income tax hike, so that the middle class would not bear the whole burden of reducing a deficit that had originally been created in large part through regressive tax cuts. The tax demand rendered the plan radioactive to the GOP. Zero Republicans supported Clinton’s deficit reduction plan.
... Republican dogma held as an absolute truth that raising tax rates on the rich must, by reducing the work incentive, slow the economy and thereby fail to raise the projected new revenue. Even the most respected Republican-affiliated economists, like Harvard’s Martin Feldstein, insisted “there is no possibility that the Clinton plan will produce the deficit reduction that it projects.”
It's a good read. Weird, isn't it, how Rs continue to claim their approach to taxes works, when it's failed every time; and when the last time Democratic proposals were tested they led to unprecedented growth.
Weirder still: teabaggers can still be persuaded that what's false is true, and that what's true is false. And so easily!