July 16, 2015
Yes, Bill Clinton admits his crime law made mass incarceration ‘worse’, now it is time for us to be honest. Bill Clinton admits his crime law made mass incarceration ‘worse’
Honestly, it was not the only law that made life worse on Americans.
- Repealed the Glass-Steagall Act – During his years in office he completely failed to act on regulating derivatives, a central cause of the crash. In 1999, he repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, a nifty bit of legislation that effectively blocked the creation of today’s dangerously unstable super-banks. As The Guardian noted in 2009, sub-prime loans before the repeal accounted for only 5 percent of all mortgage-lending. By the time of the crash, they’d hit 30.
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, a cornerstone of Depression-era regulation. He also signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from regulation.
- In 1995 Clinton loosened housing rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighborhoods.Clinton also toughened a 1977 act that required lenders to relax their rules for poorer borrowers. In other words, he made it a legal obligation for companies to throw money at people who couldn’t possibly repay it—a policy that, in all fairness, George W. Bush would continue. According to The Wall Street Journal, this was the biggest influence on the gigantic housing bubble that managed to knock the global economy off its axis. It was under Clinton that Fannie and Freddie really began blowing the housing bubble, issuing epic amounts of mortgage-backed debt.
- The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was a piece of legislation that legally defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It was specifically designed to stop homosexual couples from accessing the 1,000-plus federal rights afforded to straight people, including the right to visit your long-term partner in the hospital. In short, it was a piece of paper that ensured not everyone was equal before the law—and Bill Clinton signed it.
- His 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, for example, splurged federal money on the construction of new state prisons. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but the bill also forced states that took the money to cut back on paroles and change their sentencing guidelines to make sure inmates spent more time in behind bars. This meant keeping people locked up longer for doing the same crime, and since this was the ’90s, “crime” meant “drugs.” Thanks to stuff like hideously unequal drug sentencing laws—which Clinton blocked Washington from changing—nearly 60 percent of those incarcerated in the Clinton years were in for nonviolent drug offenses.
- The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was supposed to be the jewel in the Clinton crown. Created to allow free trade between the US, Canada, and Mexico, it was supposed to create jobs for America, boost the Mexican economy, and generally make the world a better place. Instead, it proved an unmitigated disaster for everyone involved.
- Welfare Reform Bill –The Family Support Act that President Clinton signed is not welfare reform. It does not promote work effectively, and it will hurt millions of poor children by the time it is fully implemented. What’s more, it bars hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants — including many who have worked in the United States for decades and paid a considerable amount in Social Security and income taxes — from receiving disability and old-age assistance and food stamps, and reduces food-stamp assistance for millions of children in working families. Why is the new law so bad? To begin with, it turned out that after all the noise and heat over balancing the budget, the only deep, multi-year budget cuts actually enacted were those in this bill, affecting low-income people. Child-nutrition programs have also been cut, by nearly $3 billion over six years, affecting meals for children in family day care and in the summer food program.
Unlike Bill, Hillary tends to come across as far more taciturn and far less empathetic than her husband, and this plays into much of the reason that Mrs. Clinton does not poll well on questions regarding honesty and trustworthiness. In addition to that, though, the history of the Clinton administration itself, which Mrs. Clinton was heavily involved in from the beginning, includes many instances where the trustworthiness of the president, the first lady, or those speaking on their behalf was questionable at best. Voters faced with a choice between Hillary Clinton and someone else in 2016 may have to decide just how eager they are to return to that era of the ethical questions and partisan warfare that marked the better part of the Clinton presidency.
It also needs to be noted that John David Podesta is the Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Podesta previously served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton.
“The argument for reform is that the separation between banking and other financial services mandated by Glass-Steagall is out of date in a world where banks, securities firms and insurance companies offer similar products and where firms outside the US do not face such restrictions,” wrote Podesta.”
In conclusion, when you take in to consideration all the lives affected from all of the above mistakes, considering the wall street ties, the history, we need as Democrats to be honest. We need to go into the 2016 election more opened eyed with facts. For every reason you have to vote for a person, make sure it is a valid reason, supported by facts.