Bill Clinton on Illegal Immigration

February 14, 2017

Immigration is a subject that I’ve mostly neglected, while I’ve devoted most of my time to railing against idiotic U.S. trade policy.  In the wake of the first weeks of the Trump administration, however, the time seems right to interject a little perspective into the debate.

Over the past half century or so corporations, and their deep pockets used to fund political campaigns, have turned the subject of immigration into a growth industry.  They have used a tidal wave of immigrants to bolster their balance sheets by providing a surge in consumer demand for products and a surge in labor supply that has suppressed wages.  Legal immigration has exploded and illegal immigration has gone from a criminal activity to practically being a human right.  Americans were once almost unanimously opposed to illegal immigration and both parties opposed it, the right more than the left.

Today, it’s completely different.  The political left advocates “open borders,” and the right is almost at that point as well, barely distinguishing itself from the left with a thin veneer of support for some kind of legal process.  Against that backdrop, Trump looks downright radical now and the political left’s reaction to his early attempts to reign in illegal immigration have bordered on hysteria.

So it’s worthwhile to take a look back at Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1995.  In this excerpt from his 1995 State of Union address, Clinton calls for exactly the kind of crack-down on illegal immigration that Trump has now begun to execute.

Too bad that Trump didn’t use this clip in a campaign commercial.  Nothing further needed to be said, other than “I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.”

More perspective on immigration will soon follow.


Clinton to the Rescue? Yikes.

July 15, 2010

President Obama, apparently having emptied his bag of economic tricks with the stimulus package and now bereft of ideas for what to try next, is soliciting advice from former President Bill Clinton who, according to the above-linked article:

… presided over the 1990s economic boom …

and was the last president to turn a budget surplus since Richard Nixon had a miniscule surplus ($3 billion) in 1969.  Never mind the fact that a chimp could have done the same thing in the late ’90s, in light of the stock market bubble, the dot com bubble and the explosion in PC, internet and cell phone technology and manufacturing (all of which has since been out-sourced to China and others).  Clinton was too busy enjoying a fine cigar with his intern to have even known what was going on. 

So what’s Clinton likely to advise Obama to do? Provide more stimulus money for alternative energy?  Give more tax breaks to industry?  Implement more free trade deals?  Yeah, granting China MFN (most-favored-nation) status worked out real well, didn’t it, Bill? 

What’s worrisome here is that this is a thinly-veiled admission by the Obama administration that their economic strategy, having run its course, leaves the economy heading back into a slump, and they’ve got nothing left.  The stimulus halted the slide temporarily, but stimulated nothing.  Now we’re back in the same boat. 

No, actually, it’s worse.  At least before the financial melt-down, we had a housing bubble and easy credit to make us think things were OK.  Now we don’t even have that.  Nothing’s been done about our broken trade policy.  No manufacturing jobs have come back home and global trade imbalances are returning to their pre-crisis levels.  And deficit spending is about as popular as a turd in a punch bowl.

I’m sure we’ll soon see a shake-up in Obama’s economic team.  Summers and Romer will probably be replaced by a couple of other ivy-league economists serving up the same platitudes about economic growth and free trade.  Not that it will make any difference.

I suppose we should be thankful for one thing:  if Clinton weren’t here, Obama would have to turn to Jimmy Carter for advice.