chapter  5
10 Pages

At Once Too Strong And Too Weak: President Clinton and the Dilemma of Egalitarian Leadership

ByAaron Wildavsky

This chapter reviews the major areas of public policy to see how President Bill Clinton might fare with his egalitarian supporters. Clinton and his party believe in social justice. Clinton has promised the incompatible: universal access, quality care, and lower costs. He has also promised to overhaul the medical care system. The genius of President Clinton's economic program is that it appeals to the wide array of people who care about cutting the deficit, increasing employment, making taxation more progressive and maintaining social welfare programs. Because egalitarians are basically concerned with a single value, equality of condition, they regard compromise as tantamount to corruption. Clinton does have one thing going for him on the deficit that his predecessors lacked entirely or did not possess in the same degree. That positive factor is the agreement on the need for substantial deficit reduction by partisans of both political parties, albeit for different reasons.