Robert Reich is a gigantic moron.
In their heart of hearts, presidents don't like it when their own party controls both houses of Congress. It's the same whether the new President is a Republican or a Democrat. Why? Because when your own party runs Congress, you've got to help them pay off all the IOUs they've accumulated along the campaign trail from all their constituents and patrons and sponsors. You don't have the excuse that you can't help with the payoffs because the other party runs one or both houses of Congress. No, it's entirely your party. You�re stuck with the bill for it. . . .Considering Reich is (or pretends to be) an economist, one might think he would be astute enough to recognize that the bond market as much as the Republican Party restrained spending in the Clinton years. Remember Carville's remark about wanting to be reincarnated as the bond market? Moreover, under Clinton the Democrats became the Party of the Balanced Budget. Who ever said Clinton wanted to spend money on anything??
Why could Clinton hold down spending and special-interest tax loopholes when Bush couldn't? Because for most of the Clinton years, Republicans and Democrats in Congress couldn't agree on much of anything. That meant Clinton could veto or threaten to veto even bills containing pet projects of leading Democrats by blaming Republicans for larding up the bills with too many favors.
Over the last four years, Bush has signed every spending bill that came his way -- every morsel of pork for the folks back home in every Republican congressional district, every bit of corporate welfare for the big businesses that contributed to every Republican senator and every Republican representative. Total federal tax revenue is $100 billion lower this year than when Bush took office in 2001 but spending is $400 billion higher!
Poor President Bush.
Bush has neither political restraint in an opposition party with power, nor economic restraint in a bond market pushing up interest rates, nor an ideological restraint in a faith in the rightness of balanced budgets.
Yeah, poor, poor George.