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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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