And we've got to move away from the old Democratic theory that says we can just tax and spend our way out of any problem we face. Expanding government doesn't expand opportunity. And big deficits don't produce sustained economic growth, especially when the borrowed money is spent on yesterday's mistakes, not tomorrow's investments.
Stale theories produce nothing but stalemate. The old economic answers are obsolete. We've seen the limits of Keynesian economics. We've seen the worst of supply-side economics. We need a new approach.
--Bill Clinton, speaking to the Democratic Leadership Council, November 20, 1991
Is this really so different from the point Obama was making about how Democratic ideas of the 70s and 80s stalled out and Republicans took advantage of that? More broadly, wasn't it conventional wisdom among the DLC Clintonites in the late 80s and early 90s that the GOP had become "the party of ideas," at least in the public mind, and that had to be changed? That's part of what gave, say, welfare reform its great appeal.
But maybe the difference is that Bill took care to add thoughts like this:
And every step of the way, the Republicans forgot about the very people they had promised to help -- the very people who elected them in the first place -- the forgotten middle class Americans who still live by American values and whose hopes, hearts, and hands still carry the American Dream.