President Bill Clinton’s triangulation strategy was essentially an attempt to reserve parts of Reaganism for democratic achievement. “The era of great government is over,” he said in his 1996 State of the Union speech.
Aware of the role Reagan played in changing American attitudes towards spending, President Barack Obama took office in 2009. He believed his government could help end the country’s adherence to conservative economic policies.
“Ronald Reagan changed America’s trajectory in ways that Richard Nixon did not and Bill Clinton did not,” Obama said during his 2008 campaign. “He put us on a radically different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like they were with all the excesses of the 60s and 70s, and the government had grown and grown, but there wasn’t much sense of accountability for how it worked. “
However, Mr Obama also sought to escape this path, eventually moderating his agenda and spending months making unsuccessful efforts to get bipartisan support for his ideas. Even the health bill that was to be named after him was a compromise between liberals who wanted a payer system and moderates who feared the size of such a large new program.
There is evidence that Mr Biden may be able to do what Mr Obama could not. Since the pandemic began, polls have shown that Americans have generally expressed more positive views of their government. Almost two-thirds of Americans supported Mr. Biden’s relief bill, with similar numbers supporting his infrastructure plans. The latest NBC News poll found that 55 percent of Americans said the government should do more, compared to 47 percent who said so a dozen years ago.
Unlike in 2009, when the government’s response to the Great Recession helped kick-start the tea party movement, there has been no backlash against the high spending in Washington. After Congress passed the $ 1.9 trillion bill, many Republican voters told me they supported the legislation. The Republicans in Washington have tried to find a coherent line of attack against politics. And some who voted against the bill Now highlight the benefitsan implicit recognition of public support.
Former President Donald Trump also helped hasten the deaths of a limited government and undermined Republicans’ credibility when it came to cracking down on federal spending. He drove the national debt to the highest level since World War IIand a $ 2 trillion tax cut that meant little to middle-class families.