Clinton's plans for America include Obama-backed proposals
November 8th, 2011
09:03 AM ET
11 years ago

Clinton's plans for America include Obama-backed proposals

(CNN) - While describing his detailed plan to get America "back in the future business," former President Bill Clinton in his new book explains what he sees are the virtues of government while largely rallying behind President Barack Obama's proposals to create jobs and bolster the floundering economy.

"Back to Work" blends Clinton's ideas, often heard in his speeches and writings, into a road map for the country to spur job creation, become energy independent, increase trade and tackle the national debt, all while making a very public push for Obama's jobs bill.

"I think that's the right thing to do," Clinton writes about the jobs bill proposed by the president in September."... because the Tea Party bloc and their allies in Congress are convinced that you, the American voters, will reward them for continuing to be against everything."

The advice, which includes a 46-point economic proposal, follows his frustration with Democrats' failure to raise the debt ceiling when they controlled both houses of Congress and their subsequent messaging during the 2010 elections. Ahead of the 2012 elections, he uses the book to take his plans for America's future directly to the American people.

"... the American Dream requires progress we won't achieve without effective government policies, including direct investments, incentives to speed business and job growth, and public-private partnerships to create an environment where these things can happen," Clinton writes.

The Democratic Party's elder statesman draws repeatedly on his track record as governor of Arkansas, his two terms in the White House and head of the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as more than a few charts, to weigh in on the current political discussions in America.

Clinton urges Congress to pass the president's proposed payroll tax cut and emphasizes the importance of growth, spending cuts and revenue increases to impact the long-term debt. He also addresses nearly every major issue facing the country by stressing the importance of infrastructure development, retrofit initiatives, green jobs, energy independence, doubling America's exports, supporting small businesses, incentivizing the unemployed and immigration reform.

Some of his advice is already outdated, like passing the trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia that Obama signed last month or allowing homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance at lower interest rates, action the White House took two weeks ago. But his larger message about the role of government is seemingly intended to have more staying power.

Clinton repeatedly criticizes the tea party movement and its antigovernment philosophy, which he says is "really about abusing a government program with weak oversight" and instead says the role of government is to, "give people the tools and create the conditions to make the most of our lives."

"Government should empower us to do things we need or want to do that we can only do together by pooling our resources and spending them in large enough amounts to achieve the desired objectives," Clinton writes.

But despite his ideas and optimism that are threaded through the wonky text, he does not predict a Democratic win in the next election cycle. Instead, the former president acknowledges America is "in a mess now" after "antigovernment ideology" ruined a "proven path to shared prosperity," drawing a clear disparity between the two political parties.

"I don't know how this will turn out," Clinton writes. "I just know that for more than two hundred years, everyone who's bet against the United States has lost. A lot of people are betting against us today. I'm betting that once again, in a very different world we'll find our way to a 'more perfect Union.' "

Filed under: Bill Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Scot

    Come back Bill we really need you NOW !!!!!

    November 8, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. BB

    This is one of the greatest American Presidents! down to earth yet very intelligent!

    November 8, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. Ed

    Thank God for the Clinton's the only voice of reason we have left today. I do not like all that he stands for but sure would like to see him in office again.

    November 8, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. SaintM

    Bill Clinton needs to understand that his presidential 15 minutes are over. He is not the president and his criticisms of President Obama are divisive and childish. Stick to your foundation work–you are no longer in politics. He has been milking his past presidency for all it's worth. Get over yourself, Bill.

    November 8, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. DavidK

    More than anyone else, he knows what he's talking about.

    November 8, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. king

    hey i dont understand if each rich folks pay a little into the economy by building our infrastructure and create thousand of jobs, how the hell that wont bring down the budget deficit and unemployment. the rich would be investing in america, and corporations would fight like hell to get some of this money all these rich folks pouring into the economy. how the hell that will be a losing episode for the rich, the economy and jobs. what planet are these repugs on.

    November 8, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. Karl Jonas

    An extremely smart man, despite what all the haters will chime in to say.

    November 8, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Tired of the nonsense

    I truly wish you could run for office again, President Clinton. In 2016, I would vote for you, no doubt about it. You were one of the finest presidents this country ever had, and then we had 8 years of misery after you. Now, we have hope again thanks to President Obama, but you're still a bright shining beacon of common sense in Washington. Thank you for still being here and giving advice.

    November 8, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. Namejkane

    Go bill,Obama 2012. At least he's trying to get the economy moving without any help from teapublicans, I think its starting to move in the right direction. Of course the republican ,party will try and take credit for it, even though they have done nothing but vote no on any jobs bills for the last 3 years. They better vote in a jobs bill soon because there all going to get kicked out of office in 2012. Then we are going to cut their health insurance to save money. They will be signing up for obamcare then.

    November 8, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. CoJo

    i read this morning in the Boulder Camera how the republican led congress is planning on reducing SS and then taxing even more what the seniors do get. How's that for congress's style of not increasing taxes (remember, the house is mostly republicans) and hitting the seniors twice...Nice!!! Republican's version of reducing debt and getting revenue.

    November 8, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. diridi

    Pres. Clinton. I say this to you, "We Love You". I like pres. Obama's reforms so far. I am an educated telling. His proposals and reforms this nation need desperately....ok, God bless you for backing Obama's reform. I know GOP idiots do not like. But these are nations needs....poor man's need....Obama2012.

    November 8, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |