Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Vision of Change for America - by William J. Clinton

"Change" in Washington D.C. is a fundamental Obama campaign message. However, ideas never exist in a vacuum and the concept of a "Vision of Change" is of course not new, but reaches back into American history, in this case, not that far back.

Former President of the United States William J. Clinton authored "A Vision of Change for America" (see also here) which is abstracted as follows and which anticipates some important areas of change that remain current in the present economic climate:

"This report was prepared to accompany President Clinton's first address to a Joint Session of Congress. It describes in detail the comprehensive economic plan being proposed by the new administration for the nation. The plan has three key elements: economic stimulus to create jobs now while laying the foundation for long-term economic growth; long term public investments to increase the productivity of people and businesses; and a balanced deficit-reduction plan to prevent the drain of private investments that generate jobs and increase incomes. The text is organized into four sections: (1) "A New Direction" (a brief 3-page preamble); (2) "A Legacy of Failure" (a 16-page statement of the problem, under subheadings such as "Skyrocketing Health Care Costs"); (3) "What We Must Now Do" (a 92-page statement of the solution, under subheadings such as "Investing in the Future: Reducing the Deficit To Increase Private Investment" and "Restoring Fairness"); and (4) "The Task Remaining" (a brief 6-page wrap-up). A closing Appendix contains 25 pages of statistical tables outlining various discretionary program savings, proposed changes to mandatory programs, stimulus proposals, investment proposals, and revenue and receipts proposals. Most tables provide figures for each year for the 6-year period 1993-1998. The field of education is touched upon in the report at six locations: (1) "Relative Earnings by Education for 25-34 Year Olds" (Chart 2-9, p. 18); (2) Chapter 1 Compensatory Education (p.31); (3) Pell Grants (p. 32); (4) "Lifelong Learning," covering full funding of Head Start and related child care funding and Medicaid, National Service, Dislocated Workers Program, Job Corps Expansion, Summer Youth Employment and Training Program, Youth Apprenticeship, and various Department of Education reforms and initiatives (p. 57-59); (5) Impact Aid "b" Projects (p. 87); and (6) Reform of Student Loan Programs (p. 92). (WTB)"

Indicative of the need for a new change in Washington is the fact that the full text of this report, although ERIC provides links to the full text report at both of the website pages cited above, is not accessible as of the date of this writing. Freedom of Information is one thing. Getting it is another.

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