Sunday, August 27, 2006

Clinton Was Right, Episode XXXVIII Or So: Welfare Reform

I wasn't a big Clinton fan when he was in office. I thought he was a solid president, but I was far from ga-ga over him. Since he's left, I've started to realize how good he really was...and not just by comparison to his disastrous successor.

Anyway, one of the things I did support Clinton on strongly at the time was welfare reform. This made a couple of my liberal and lefter-than-liberal friends almost literally shriek at me. But I'm still inclined to think that Clinton was right.

Robert Rector recently agreed with this assessment. I'm always surprised and pleased to see people--especially those in Washington--admit when they're wrong. It's a sign of at least minimal rationality.

Not to be churlish, but it's better if you don't wait ten years to admit your mistakes...but better late than never, I suppose, even with regard to public policy. And it's easy for Rector to admit error this given that Clinton's position was fairly close to some conservative positions. And Rector's praise for Clinton is rather too reserved, and couched in too many barely-restrained insults (he takes pains to assert--contentiously--that Clinton's role was merely rhetorical, and that he played little or no substantive role in formulating policy.)

Still, Rector's admission of error is a good thing. I wish this practice were more common in Washington--and, well, everywhere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Clinton was right, but his correctness presupposes all the work supports like child care are adequately provided or subsidized. A supposition that is only true in a piecemeal sense:

8:53 PM  

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