Bill Clinton has been very influential to many different causes for quite a few years. Though most people remember him for the catastrophe that caused his impeachment, Bill has gone above and beyond to make a difference both in office and out (and still is). As President Clinton has stated in a speech in 2012, “We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.” I think that is a great way to think when it comes to your everyday choices in life.
It is pretty clear that Bill Clinton has actively put his words and claims into action all the way across the board. As a part of the “1993 Economic Plan”, he cut taxes on at least 15 million low-income families and made tax cuts available to 90 percent of the small businesses, while also raising taxes on 1.2 percent of the wealthiest taxpayers (Perkel, 1996). This was a huge move on his part, because often, people in politics give more wiggle room to the more wealthy people, while either cutting more from human services programs (which is given the smallest percentage out of the entire country for funding) or not balancing anything at all.
President Clinton was fully aware that families were struggling with job security, because he signed the Family and Medical Leave Act. The law, which covers over 42 million Americans, offers workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-guaranteed leave for child birth, adoption, or personal or family illness (Perkel, 1996). As parents, or even close relatives to others, we know that life can throw us some curveballs. With this form of job security, we don’t have to worry or stress over something like possibly losing your job when a loved one is sick.
President Clinton also pushed (and passed) the Violence Against Women Act, which better protects women from domestic violence by prosecuting more based on DV, started a 24-hour hotline that would ensure emergency assistance to those in DV situations, and helped with a massive increase in funding DV shelters. Signed in 1994, this was the first real attempt at addressing domestic violence and violence against women. Possibly due to this, the number of DV victims have fallen from 1.1 million (1993) to 876,340 (1998). (Nara.gov).
President Clinton also addressed some issues that had never been looked at before he came into office. One very important change he made was to get the United States Justice Department actively involved in pursuing “dead-beat” parents who refused to pay on child support (Perkel, 1996). They are now cracking down so much, that you could end up doing jail/prison time depending on how much people owe or how little people are willing to work towards providing for their child(ren). Most people don’t realize that there was once a time when this was a non-issue to the state. President Clinton made it possible for people who were flaking out as parents to pay (monetarily or otherwise) for the amount of human services the other parent would likely go to the government for assistance to offset the financial binds they were left in.
In closing, I never thought about how much influence President Clinton had in the things that still go on today that help society in many ways. In addition to all the above examples, President Clinton was also responsible for reforming Welfare in order to ensure that people were using it properly rather than abusing the privileges, and helped make student loans much more accessible, with a reduced interest rate. President Clinton has always thought about the have-nots, and has always shown an awareness to the fact that it takes the entire community to make things run more smoothly, rather than the have-nots making things easier for the wealthy.
Perkel, Mark – website, page formed in 1996.
Nara.gov – unknown author.