Arguably President William Clinton was one of our better Presidents when it came to promoting economic growth and even more so if his success were measured in the gains investors reaped from appreciation in the stock market. However, what many may not know is that the majority of those gains were recorded during President Clinton’s second term. We looked back at his State of the Union Addresses and found the one noted above most interesting and one that our current President, Barack Obama might be able to learn from. Specifically, paragraphs seven through and eleven….
“We must answer three fundamental questions: First, how do we make the American Dream of opportunity for all a reality for all Americans who are willing to work for it? Second, how do we preserve our old and enduring values as we move into the future? And third, how do we meet these challenges together, as one America?”
“We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there’s not a program for every problem. We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means.”
“The era of big government is over. But we cannot go back to the time when our citizens were left to fend for themselves. Instead, we must go forward as one America, one nation working together to meet the challenges we face together. Self-reliance and teamwork are not opposing virtues; we must have both.”
“I believe our new, smaller government must work in an old-fashioned American way, together with all of our citizens through state and local governments, in the workplace, in religious, charitable and civic associations. Our goal must be to enable all our people to make the most of their own lives – with stronger families, more educational opportunity, economic security, safer streets, a cleaner environment in a safer world.”
“To improve the state of our Union, we must ask more of ourselves, we must expect more of each other, and we must face our challenges together.”
THE BOTTOM LINE – Like him or not, President Clinton led our nation during a period of great prosperity, when the vast majority of Americans benefitted. He understood that for this to occur, there had to exist a partnership between the public and private sectors as well as between Wall Street and Main Street. President Obama would be well-served to heed these words.