Clinton leaves smaller, more activist government, panel says

President Clinton may have squandered some policy opportunities during his eight years as President, but he leaves a legacy of smaller, yet more activist government, according to panelists at a Brookings Institution forum Tuesday. One of the Clinton administration's biggest successes was cutting nearly 700,000 federal jobs out of the military and the civil service from 1992 to 1999, said Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at Brookings. The "era of big government" may not have ended during the Clinton years, but the size of government was greatly reduced, Sawhill said. Sawhill was joined by Brookings colleagues Richard Haass, vice president and director of foreign policy studies; Robert Litan, vice president and director of economic studies; and Thomas Mann, a senior fellow. In addition to reducing the size of government, Clinton will be remembered for inspiring those who work for the government, said David Maraniss, an associate editor at The Washington Post. Clinton's best legacy is likely to be those people who were inspired by him and who will continue to serve in government for some time to come, Maraniss said. "He's a great emotive speaker who knew how to connect with the people." Other landmarks discussed during the forum, "Assessing Bill Clinton's Legacy: How Will History Remember Him," ran the gamut from the ill-fated drive for health care reform and the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the economic boom and the transformation of the Democratic Party. Mann suggested that Bill Clinton was the most gifted politician since Franklin D. Roosevelt, but said "he leaves office with a widespread sense of squandered opportunity." According to Mann, Clinton took traditionally Republican issues such as paying down the debt and made them a staple of progressive policy, creating the fiscal environment for a more active government. "His presidency was faithful to the values and goals he set out in his 1992 platform," Mann said. "He was competitive, emphatic, optimistic, energetic and remarkably hardy, being able to get up and continue with the job when a lot of us would have given up."
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.