Time Says Reagan Era Now Over? That's What They Said 13 Years Ago!
“Overturning the Reagan Era” screamed Time’s cover, which showed an upside-down image of President Reagan. The cover story, by Nancy Gibbs, showed Time’s obvious infatuation with liberals' concept of “fiscal responsibility,” namely, punish the private sector with tax rates high enough to pay for all of the fat government programs that Democrats can dream up (although Gibbs wished for even higher taxes, saying the ones Clinton and the last Democratic Congress pushed through "weren't very brave.").
The August 16, 1993 article also included a nice shot at Clinton’s budget from Reagan himself, who in one of his last forays into the political fray penned an op-ed for the New York Times editorial page shortly before the big budget vote. An excerpt:
For all its impurities and imperfections, the final budget deal brings to an end a bankrupt period in American politics. The narrow votes on Thursday and Friday represent the first real rejection of Reaganomics, a doctrine that survived for more than a decade in which taxes were lowered, spending raised, and Congress was blamed while everyone watched the deficit soar. It is the beginning, however modest, of a return to the economic orthodoxy of balanced budgets. In contrast to past fiscal pantomimes, the economic projections on which the deal is based are reasonably sound. Clinton's budget assumes an average growth of 2.5% — optimistic maybe, but not impossible.
The budget plan also restores some fairness to the tax code by expanding the earned-income tax credit for the working poor. It includes $30 billion in new spending on food stamps, special tax breaks for establishing businesses in distressed urban and rural areas, child vaccines and a targeted-job tax credit. But most important, the deal actually got done, enabling the President to move on. Without a budget agreement, there was no chance whatever that this Administration could tackle the health-care system or welfare reform. Had the deal collapsed completely, the stock markets would probably have shuddered, interest rates would almost certainly have risen, consumer confidence slumped, and foreign investors would have lost any hope that the U.S. was serious about getting its house in order.
Such are the humiliations of historymaking that the leap of faith the President envisioned began with a baby step....In the end neither the tax hikes nor the spending cuts were very brave. Entitlements were barely nicked; the infamous mohair subsidy survived; and adjusting for inflation, Americans will still be paying less for gas than they did in 1947. Though the tax hikes kick in immediately — sooner, actually, since they are retroactive to January — most of the actual cutting doesn't begin until 35 days before Clinton faces re-election in 1996. Except for the rich, there was very little of the shared sacrifice for which Clinton had campaigned....
Reagan called the Clinton plan a “propaganda masterpiece,” as he denounced the program in vivid terms. “When candidate Clinton promised to get this country moving,” Reagan wrote last week, “most Americans thought he meant moving forward. Instead his Administration has gone backward on the economy, backward on reducing government and backward on its promises.” The simple truth, he declared, is that “this plan is bad for America.”