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Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2003 / 15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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The golden age of governance: 1980-2003


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Warning: In this citadel of raging partisanship, no reader will agree with more than half of this column, but ...

The recent news that the economy grew at a 7.2 percent annual clip during the last quarter is only the latest reminder that we Americans have had the best governance in the past 23 years that we have had since the time of the Founding Fathers. Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush; House Speakers O'Neill, Foley, Gingrich, Hastert; Senate leaders Mitchell, Dole, Lott, Daschle, Frist — combine them all and, although they were fiercely partisan, they have given us amazingly good government.

Could the economy have grown so that 90 percent of the jobs created in the industrialized world since 1980 have been American if it had not been for Ronald Reagan's deregulation and tax cuts? Would this recession have been so short if George W. Bush, with important Democratic help, had not cut taxes at the start of his term?

Would we be able to pay for the war on terror and have sufficient stimulus to get us out of the recession had it not been for the efforts of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole to balance the budget? And to have achieved this deficit reduction, should we not honor the sacrifice the first President Bush made in raising taxes, thereby ensuring his re-election defeat and Clinton's courage in hiking them that caused his loss of Congress in 1994?

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Hail the Republican insistence on welfare reform, work requirements and time limits. Salute the Democratic demand for more day care, job training, a higher minimum wage, tax incentives for hiring welfare mothers and flattening out benefit eligibility so people could work and not lose food stamps or Medicare. And praise Clinton for having the courage to cross the aisle and sign the bill.

And thank the Republicans for the two most successful anti-poverty programs we have: the earned-income tax credit for the working poor and the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, which eradicated elderly poverty. And be grateful the Democrats preserved both programs when the GOP tried to gut them.

Bravo to the Republicans for demanding more prison construction, minimum sentences for drug crimes and repeat offenders, and truth-in-sentencing legislation. Good for the Democrats in pushing through a 15 percent increase in the number of cops, gun control and an assault-weapons ban. And thank them both for federal sentencing reforms that have given this nation a credible deterrent to crime for the first time in decades. Because of these efforts — all of them — we have gone from a country driven to racism by rising crime to a nation at peace with itself with a much lower rate of felonies.

Good for Ronald Reagan and Bush 41 for not listening to the Democrats and instead pursuing steadfastly the goal of beating the Soviets through an arms race and the economic competition it took to finance it, which led to the implosion of the USSR and its economy. Cheer the Democrats for their pragmatic approach to Haiti, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Kosovo, where the interests of peace and justice were advanced without loss of American life. And hats off to Bush 43 for his courage and vigor in prosecuting the war on terror without flinching at controversy or casualties.

Praise the Republicans for defeating Hillary Clinton's nutty healthcare reforms, and then the Democrats for not interfering when American business cut health costs by imposing private HMOs. Salute the Congress for passing Kennedy-Kassebaum to make benefits portable from job to job and, we hope, for passing bipartisan Medicare reform this session.

Look at the results of this bipartisan progress: American economic initiative has been unleashed and led the world. A nation that was failing and losing confidence in 1980 has been restored, emboldened and enriched.

Had either party had total control in Washington for the past two decades, only half of these accomplishments would have been possible. It was the tug of conflicting partisan passions and power that enabled the massive progress we have witnessed.

To the politicians of Washington: You may hate each other. The public may hate you all. But, collectively, you have led us well.

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, Off with Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks & Obstructionists in American Politics, Media & Business" Comment by clicking here.

Up

11/06/03: Prez's weapon against Dean
10/29/03: The activist primary
10/22/03: Clark's Achille's heel
10/16/03: The raging fury against the political establishment
10/08/03: Barbarians at the gates
10/03/03: Get ready for Iran's drive to be national suicide bomber
10/01/03: Dean's E-reform
09/26/03: An open letter to Karl Rove
09/24/03: Why Clark will fade
09/18/03: Terror fears fade too fast
09/10/03: As Dubya sinks, Al & Hill scheme
08/25/03: Bias-mongers on rocks as viewers taste straight news
08/14/03: Arnold & Dean's political revolution
08/08/03: Hillary Clinton might not want to wait until 2008
08/06/03: Revolution
07/24/03: As Bush falters, watch Hil run
07/21/03: Peace dominoes begin to fall
07/17/03: Let's hear the good news
07/14/03: Sending troops to Liberia could be a bridge too far
07/10/03: McGovern II
07/07/03: French: Toast
07/03/03: At moment of truth, Hillary turns backwards
06/27/03: And now the dominos begin to fall
06/25/03: W's triangulation
06/23/03: Presidents often fall victim to their own success: Some advice for the president
06/18/03: Times not a-changing
06/13/03: Why did Hillary write the book?
06/11/03: Will the Rev go rogue?
06/05/03: Napoleon's maneuvers at Austerlitz have nothing on prez's
06/02/03: Prez's tax-cut catch-22 for Dems
05/29/03: Liberal author documents Clinton's wasted second term
05/16/03: Early Democrat handicapping for 2004
05/14/03: Gephardt: AWOL
04/30/03: Prez can lose
04/25/03: My message to Putin: Call President Bush
04/23/03: NO OIL FOR BLOOD
04/21/03: The war that network news lost in Iraq
04/15/03: Media meltdown
04/10/03: Giving government a good name
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03/31/03: Bomb as you need
03/28/03: The strong grow weak through inhibition
03/26/03: Carping pessimism of TV anchors and interviewers fails to give Americans a sense of defeatism
03/17/03: Poll: Get on with it
03/13/03: It's time for U.S. to play hardball at U.N.
03/10/03: The whole (Hispanic) world is watching
03/07/03: Anti-war errors
03/05/03: Domino theory II: Toppling Mideast despots
03/03/03: Europe's triangulators: Chirac and Blair
02/27/03: Invasion? More like a coup
02/21/03: The first casualty of Iraq war: Liberal credibility
02/19/03: Old Europe's last hurrah
02/14/03: Corzine throws down gauntlet on Wall St. fraud
02/12/03: An exile deal for Saddam
02/07/03: The Dems give up the House
02/05/03: France: Saddam's ally
02/03/03: War critics will suffer
02/30/03: Even by Clinton standards, it's sheer chutzpah
01/24/03: Rebirth of the balanced budget Republican
01/22/03: Next to Bubba, Dubya's got it good
01/16/03: End racism in affirmative action
01/13/03: The new swing voter
01/10/03: Political e-mailing comes of age
01/07/03: In Dem race: Home field no advantage
12/31/02: Hey, Hillary: Want to appear like a stateswomyn? Stay silent
12/19/02: Kerry in the lead
12/19/02: Lieberman the frontrunner
12/17/02: In defense of Lott
12/02/02: An issue for Bush: Drugs
11/27/02: Women gone wobbly?
11/25/02: The U.N. over a barrel
11/15/02: Gore's suicide
11/15/02 One-party control is an illusion
11/13/02 The House of Extremes
11/08/02 I have egg on my face
11/01/02 Is Bush losing control over events?
10/25/02What is causing Bush's free fall?
10/25/02: Anybody sense a trend?
10/23/02: A deadline for Iraq
10/18/02: Only sure bet of 2002 elections is voter angst
10/16/02: Endangered incumbents
10/11/02: Why multilateralism doesn't work
10/09/02: Hey, Dems: Believe NYTimes polling at your own risk
10/03/02: Dem suicide: Let's count the ways
09/30/02: The Dems just can't stop themselves
09/26/02: The perils of polling
09/19/02: W. boxed in the U.N.
09/19/02: Welfare reform: Keep on keeping on
09/12/02: Are Dems insane on Iraq?
09/09/02: Twin shadows of Election '02
09/05/02: GOP should triangulate
08/28/02: Trust the military
08/22/02: It's not the economy, stupid
08/09/02: As America unites, Gore goes divisive
08/01/02: Bush must focus on big picture
07/23/02: Election 2002: Advantage Dems
07/19/02: Rudy for SEC tough cop
07/17/02: The investor strike
07/15/02: Door open for drug testing students --- go for it, GOP!
07/12/02: Dubya looking out for No. 1?
07/03/02: The DNA war for Bush's soul
06/21/02: Why are conservatives winning?
06/19/02: Learning to love the feds
06/14/02: Hey, journalists and Dems: Dubya is doing just fine
06/12/02: It's terrorism, stupid!
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06/04/02: Al Qaeda's more dangerous new front
05/31/02: Why '04 looks tough for liberal Dems
05/24/02: Democratic self-destruction
05/22/02: The Clinton failures
05/15/02: Pataki positioned to win
05/08/02: A wakeup-call for American Jewry
05/03/02: Give Bush back his focus
05/01/02: Immigration fault li(n)es
04/25/02: It's the war, stupid
04/17/02: Bush goes small bore
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04/10/02: In defense of polling
04/08/02: Focus on Iraq, not the Palestinians
04/01/02: Only Internet will bring real campaign finance reform
03/27/02: Where W's drawn a line in the sand
03/22/02: Enron scandal will not trigger a wave of economic populism
03/20/02: Term-limited --- by war
03/15/02: Europe doesn't have a clue
03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
03/01/02: Will America be forced to chase its tail in its war on terrorism?
02/27/02: The Arafat/Saddam equilibrium must be destroyed
02/21/02: Campaign finance reform won't hurt GOPers
02/13/02: Dodd scurries for cover
02/11/02: U.S. 'unilateralism'? The Europeans don't have a case
02/06/02: WAR: What women want
02/01/02: They all talk in the end
01/30/01: The odd couple: Chris Dodd and Arthur Andersen
01/22/01: His father's son? Bush better get an 'Act II' fast!
01/18/01: Dubya & the 'vision thing'
01/14/01: The Rumsfeld Doctrine 01/03/01: A President Gore would have been a disaster
01/03/02: Clinton's priority: Political correctness over fighting terror
12/27/01: Terror network grew out of Clinton's inaction, despite warnings
12/24/01: Call 'em back, George
12/18/01: What Bush did right
12/13/01: Libs worry too much
12/11/01: "Open Sesame": Feinstein's proposed bill allows 100,000 non-immigrant students from anti-American countries to our shores
12/07/01: The non-partisan president
12/05/01: Both parties are phony on stimulus debate
11/29/01: When terrorists can enter legally, it's time to change the laws
11/21/01: Go for the jugular!
11/16/01: You are all incumbents
11/14/01: Clinton's failure to mobilize America to confront foreign terror after the 1993 attack led directly to 9-11 disaster
11/12/01: To the generals: Don't worry about losing support
11/08/01: The death of the white liberal
11/07/01: Our leaders are being transformed in a way unprecedented in post-World War II history

© 2003, Dick Morris