Similarities Between Roosevelt And Bill Clinton

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Similarities Between Roosevelt And Bill Clinton

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Bill Clinton - 60-Second Presidents - PBS

Elected officials want to be able to take credit for the things they have done to help their constituents, and their opponents are all too willing to cast blame when policy initiatives fail. We can therefore think of policy as the formal expression of what elected or appointed officials are trying to accomplish. The president can also implement or change policy through an executive order, which offers instructions about how to implement law under his or her discretion.

Finally, policy changes can come as a result of court actions or opinions, such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka , which formally ended school segregation in the United States. Executive orders are an expression of public policy undertaken at the discretion of the president. Typically, elected and even high-ranking appointed officials lack either the specific expertise or tools needed to successfully create and implement public policy on their own. They turn instead to the vast government bureaucracy to provide policy guidance. For example, when Congress passed the Clean Water Act , it dictated that steps should be taken to improve water quality throughout the country. There is one more way of thinking about policy outcomes: in terms of winners and losers.

Almost by definition, public policy promotes certain types of behavior while punishing others. So, the individuals or corporations that a policy favors are most likely to benefit, or win, whereas those the policy ignores or punishes are likely to lose. Even the best-intended policies can have unintended consequences and may even ultimately harm someone, if only those who must pay for the policy through higher taxes. A policy designed to encourage students to go to liberal arts colleges may cause trade school enrollment to decline.

Strategies to promote diversity in higher education may make it more difficult for qualified white or male applicants to get accepted into competitive programs. Efforts to clean up drinking water supplies may make companies less competitive and cost employees their livelihood. Even something that seems to help everyone, such as promoting charitable giving through tax incentives, runs the risk of lowering tax revenues from the rich who contribute a greater share of their income to charity and shifting tax burdens to the poor who must spend a higher share of their income to achieve a desired standard of living. And while policy pronouncements and bureaucratic actions are certainly meant to rationalize policy, it is whether a given policy helps or hurts constituents or is perceived to do so that ultimately determines how voters will react toward the government in future elections.

During the Great Depression of the s, the United States created a set of policies and programs that constituted a social safety net for the millions who had lost their jobs, their homes, and their savings. As the effects of the Depression eased, the government phased out many of these programs. Other programs, like Social Security or the minimum wage, remain an important part of the way the government takes care of the vulnerable members of its population.

The federal government has also added further social support programs, like Medicaid, Medicare, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, to ensure a baseline or minimal standard of living for all, even in the direst of times. In recent decades, however, some have criticized these safety net programs for inefficiency and for incentivizing welfare dependence. Critics deeply resent the use of taxpayer money to relieve social problems like unemployment and poverty; workers who may themselves be struggling to put food on the table or pay the mortgage feel their hard-earned money should not support other families.

Their poverty is not my problem. So where should the government draw the line? While there have been some instances of welfare fraud, the welfare reforms of the s have made long-term dependence on the federal government less likely as the welfare safety net was pushed to the states. And with the income gap between the richest and the poorest at its highest level in history, this topic is likely to continue to receive much discussion in the coming years. Where is the middle ground in the public policy argument over the social safety net?

How can the government protect its most vulnerable citizens without placing an undue burden on others? Explore historical data on United States budgets and spending from to the present from the Office of Management and Budget. Public policy is the broad strategy government uses to do its job, the relatively stable set of purposive governmental behaviors that address matters of concern to some part of society. Most policy outcomes are the result of considerable debate, compromise, and refinement that happen over years and are finalized only after input from multiple institutions within government. Health care reform, for instance, was developed after years of analysis, reflection on existing policy, and even trial implementation at the state level.

People evaluate public policies based on their outcomes, that is, who benefits and who loses. Approval of a new policy requires government to recognize that a problem needs solving, and the approval of the elected branches of government. This process can take a long time. Privacy Policy. Skip to main content. For Johnson, the decision to continue the Vietnam commitment followed the path of his predecessors. He was committed to maintaining an independent South Vietnam and to achieving success in Southeast Asia. As a senator, he had embraced "containment theory," which predicted that if Vietnam fell to Communists, other Southeast Asian nations would do the same.

Johnson was deeply sensitive about the judgment of history, and he did not want to be remembered as a President who lost Southeast Asia to Communism. When Johnson took office, he affirmed the Kennedy administration's commitments. In August , after reports that U. By a vote of 98 to 2 in the Senate and a unanimous vote in the House, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing the President to take all measures necessary to protect the armed forces. Johnson would later use this as a "functional equivalent" to a declaration of war, though his critics would respond that he should have gone to Congress for a formal declaration. During the summer and fall of , Johnson campaigned on a peace platform and had no intention of escalating the war if it were not absolutely necessary.

On March 8, , two Marine battalions, 3, troops, went ashore near Da Nang to protect the airfields, with orders to shoot only if shot at—this was the first time U. On April 3, Johnson authorized two additional Marine battalions, one Marine air squadron, and an increase in logistical support units of 20, men. He also authorized troops to go on active "search and destroy" missions. By mid-April, Marines had moved to full-scale offensive operations. By November , there were , troops and by , an additional , The number would surge to , by the end of Johnson's presidency.

Johnson's decisions were based on complicated political and military considerations. LBJ steered a middle course: The "hawks" in Congress and in the military wanted him to engage in massive bombing of enemy cities, threaten to use nuclear weapons, and even threaten to invade North Vietnam. This might have led to Chinese entry into the war, as had happened in the Korean War, or even Soviet engagement. The President's "middle way" involved a commitment of U. One of Johnson's major problems was that Hanoi was willing to accept the costs of continuing the war indefinitely and of absorbing the punishing bombing.

It would do so until the United States decided to give up its commitment to aid the South. McNamara and his "war game" analysts in the Department of Defense failed to account adequately for this eventuality. Fissures began to split American society. As so-called "hawk" and "dove" contingents took to constant, bitter debate over the war, antiwar activists began to demonstrate publicly against their country's involvement in the conflict. Another Democrat, Eugene McCarthy, did something all but unheard of: he announced his intentions to try to wrest the nomination from an incumbent wartime President in the election.

Six weeks into came the hammer blow to the Johnson presidency: The North Vietnamese, shrewdly discerning that America was losing heart for the endless bloodletting, staged dozens of near-suicidal attacks all over the South. Known as the Tet Offensive, it held some similarities to the unsuccessful strategy attempted by the Japanese two decades earlier with their kamikaze attacks: inflict great casualties regardless of cost to your own forces, sap enemy morale, and force the dispirited foe to adopt your terms. Only this time, the strategy worked. Despite fearsome losses by the North Vietnamese—nearly ,—American opposition to the war surged.

Although the North Vietnamese Army was never able to defeat U. Television screens brought images of endless and seemingly pointless battles to living rooms across the nation. Although Americans still supported the goal of a non-Communist Vietnam, public confidence in the President and Johnson's popularity continued their sharp declines. Just weeks from the early presidential primaries, Johnson was utterly vilified by those opposing our involvement in Vietnam. LBJ complained to his cabinet that the only place he could give a campaign speech now was on an aircraft carrier. A month after the Tet Offensive came New Hampshire, the site of the first presidential primary: McCarthy ran astoundingly well against the beleaguered President, winning 41 percent of the vote, and John F.

Kennedy's brother Robert entered the race as well. A few weeks later, Johnson stunned the nation by announcing that he would not seek another term as President. A terrible spring and summer ensued. The murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy and a bloody confrontation between police and protesters at the Democratic Convention in Chicago sent shock waves through the nation. Just weeks before the elections, Johnson announced a halt in the bombings of North Vietnam in a desperate attempt to portray his administration as peacemakers. In the fall, Richard Nixon won the presidency, defeating the Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey, by claiming he had a "secret plan" to end the conflict.

Meanwhile, the war dragged on. The Vietnam War cut short the promise of the Great Society. Democrats took large losses in the midterm elections of , though they retained majorities in the House and Senate. By late , Johnson could no longer get most of his domestic measures through Congress. Although Johnson's relationship with the Soviets was colored by the Vietnam War, the President nonetheless made some progress on arms control. In January , Johnson signed the Outer Space Treaty with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin, which banned nuclear weapons in earth orbit, on the moon or other planets, or in deep space.

In , the U. The two sides agreed to defuse tensions in the area. Johnson faced a series of minor crises in Latin America, all of which he handled to maximize U. When Fidel Castro, the Cuban Communist dictator, demanded the return of Guantanamo Naval Base and shut off the water to the installation, Johnson had the Navy create its own water supply. The Cubans backed down. And when Panamanians rioted against U. The blemish on Johnson's record in the region occurred in the Dominican Republic. Johnson backed an unpopular right-wing politician, Reid Cabral, who had taken power over the popularly elected Juan Bosch in A civil insurrection designed to restore Bosch was quelled when Johnson sent in 20, Marines. Later, troops from the Organization of American States replaced the Marines.

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