His critics used to enjoy calling President Ronald Reagan the Teflon president because of the inability of Reagan's detractors to make any criticism stick to the highly popular president.
Following Reagan, critics of George Bush had a field day in recalling the president's statement "read my lips; no new taxes," when he did indeed raise taxes in an effort to get Congress to go along with some of his legislative programs.
Throughout the 1992 presidential campaign, one of the main thrusts of the Clinton camp was to suggest the public could not trust or believe Bush because he had misled the public about "no new taxes."
If Reagan was the Teflon president and Bush was pilloried for his "no new taxes" pledge, then Bill Clinton certainly deserves the title of "Slick Willie."
If Bush had broken as many campaign promises and pledges so quickly after moving into the White House, or if he had been re-elected in the '92 balloting and then backtracked on so many campaign promises, the criticism and mean, brutal reaction by his critics and the media would have been unmerciful.
IT IS becoming more and more apparent the name of the game in Clinton's campaign was to tell his audiences whatever his pollsters had learned the voters wanted to hear, make sweeping promises about all the positive "changes" he would initiate, and suggest that everyone aside from the privileged few, the very rich, would have a better lifestyle and better standard of living if he were to be elected. Never mind the cost of such actions, and/or whether he really thought he could deliver on his campaign promises. Just get elected.
The gullible bought the Clinton bait, hook, line and sinker. Now, these same Clinton supporters are starting to be reeled in and they are going to be caught in an economic plan far different than what campaign promises suggested.
During the campaign, Bush spokesmen suggested the economy was on the mend, but Clinton backers and the Arkansas governor belittled and made fun of such claims. Look what is happening: the economy is making major gains, unemployment figures are lower than they have been for months, and there is every reason to have confidence in steady improvement in the economy, just as Bush said would be the case.
Clinton told the public that 98.8 percent of U.S. citizens would be unaffected by his plan to raise new revenues. He said the bulk of the increased revenue needed by the government would come from the top 1.2 percent of the population, the privileged. There would be no tax increases for the "middle class."
NOW, CLINTON spokespeople are forced to acknowledge that those earning $20,000 and up will be hit by larger taxes.
Clinton's new economic plan, which is supposed to bring about so many wonderful changes, now calls for more tax dollars to be paid to the government than the dollar reduction in government spending. And yet, he promised to reduce the nation's deficit by one half in his four years in office.
Clinton pledged to create more jobs, when in fact, 18 million new jobs were created during the Reagan-Bush years, perhaps a record for any time in this nation's history. Clinton's answer is to spend more government money to stimulate job creation, thus adding more to the national debt.
Much attention and publicity is being given to the Clinton health care plan, but little is said about the cost of such a plan and who will pay. Also, it seems strange to try to draft a health care plan and tell those in the medical profession they will not be a part of the dicussion.
If Bush or others in the GOP had performed in such a manner, with such disregard of campaign pledges and such arrogance, there would be a loud outcry by many in the media. However, this same media seems to be going along with and accepting the president's "re-estimates," a term used by the president's spokesman, George Stephanopoulos. Also, the public appears willing to accept the Clinton propaganda.
IN THE PAST week or so, there seems to be a slight change taking place.
A growing number of Washington observers are starting to point out the frantic effort being made by Clinton officials to get Congress to act as quickly as possible on the Clinton economic package, the entire package as a whole rather than breaking it into separate parts.
According to these pundits, the Clinton people realize the more time the public has to understand the mirrors and phony figures being used by the administration to try to sell its program, the more likely citizens are to start asking questions. The longer the debate over the Clinton plan, the more likely it is that the public will realize the "change" promised by Clinton may well be a change for the worse, rather than a change for the better.
Clinton has changed his position on so many matters. Just recently, he supported and defended the Bush plan for denying admission to the U.S. by Haitians. During the campaign, he used the Haitian situation as an example of an uncaring, insensitive President Bush.
Without question, he will continue to change his position on many campaign promises and pledges in the coming weeks, and he and his aides will try to offer reasons why they are justified for their about-faces with the American public. Will the American public and those in Congress, including many Democrats, continue to buy the excuses and "re-estimates?"