Clinton adulation eclipses his trial
Thursday 21 January 1999
"This is not obstruction of justice," Ms Mills recited like a mantra through her two-hour presentation to the senators held spellbound by her youthful poise and passion.
But the sense of optimism and even victory that swept across the Clinton camp did not go unchallenged, as one of the key policy proposals in Mr Clinton's State of the Union address - and one particularly praised by his supporters - came under attack from no less a figure than the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Alan Greenspan.
Answering questions from members of a Congressional committee yesterday morning, Mr Greenspan said he opposed any measure which would lead to funds from the US state pension scheme being invested in stock markets. Mr Clinton had suggested that a part of the massive US budget surplus be put into stocks to help to head off the system's bankruptcy as the baby-boom generation reaches retirement.
In a remarkable and swift rebuff to this idea, Mr Greenspan said he believed that investment by the government would cause big problems for the stock market.
"Because I do not believe that it is politically feasible to insulate such huge funds from a governmental direction," he said, "I'm fearful that we will use those assets in a way, which one, will create a lower rate of return for Social Security recipients, but even a greater concern, that it will create sub-optimal use of our capital resources and those assets which create our standard of living."
Mr Greenspan's remarks indicated an unusual divergence of opinion between the two who are credited with the unprecedented eight-year run of growth enjoyed by the United States. Even though the ideas in the State of the Union address are presidential intentions rather than national policy, and must be enshrined in bills or the Budget and passed by Congress, such an early rejection of a proposal from so authoritative a source is rare.
An exultant Mr Clinton meanwhile was back on the stump, "selling" his State of the Union message in the heartland of snowy Buffalo in New York State and was then due to travel to suburban Philadelphia. Accompanied by his wife, Hillary, and Vice-President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, Mr Clinton treated a 20,000-plus crowd - one of the largest to greet him since the 1996 Democratic Convention - to a rousing rally-style address that offered a foretaste of the presidential campaign in the year 2000.
The first opinion polls following the State of the Union address showed Mr Clinton's job approval ratings put on three to five points, reaching 76 per cent in one poll. Aside from the pension scheme initiative, one of the most popular points was the announcement that the federal government would sue the big US tobacco companies.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£33000 - £35000 per annum + Pension and holidays: The Jenrick Group: Project E...
£35200 per annum + Pension and holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Engine...
£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing specialist merchant co...
£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...