34 - Chapter 34 TELESCOPING THE TIMES The United States in...

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Chapter 34: TELESCOPING THE TIMES The United States in Today’s World CHAPTER OVERVIEW President Bill Clinton locks horns with a Republican Congress, reflecting the heated national debate over the country’s direction. Americans face economic, technological, and demographic changes that are reshaping their lives and redefining the main issues that concern citizens. Section 1: The 1990s and the New Millennium MAIN IDEA The Democrats gained control of the White House by moving their party's platform toward the political center. After the Gulf War, President George Bush had an almost 90 percent approval rating. When a recession struck, however, his support crumbled. Bush struggled in his reelection campaign against independent Ross Perot and Democrat Bill Clinton. Clinton, skilled at the television-centered campaigning, won a wide electoral majority but took only 43 percent of the popular vote. Clinton and first lady, Hillary Clinton, devised a complex plan offering health insurance for all Americans. The plan was criticized and never got a vote in Congress. To reduce the rising national debt, Clinton raised taxes on wealthy Americans and cut spending. Republicans criticized the tax increases and wanted deeper spending cuts. Both parties avoided making cuts in social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which were popular programs. A booming economy, high employment and a soaring stock market capped a surplus in the federal budget. Enlarged police forces and the improved economy led to lower crime rates. But horrifying acts of terrorism in public places, including schools, raised fears among many. Some people called for tougher gun laws; others wanted less violence in the media. In 1993, Congress approved the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The treaty with Canada and Mexico lifted all trade barriers among the three countries. Opponents argued that American workers would lose their jobs to lower-paid workers abroad. Clinton tried to shape a new foreign policy suited to the world situation after the Cold
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2010 for the course GOVT 131 taught by Professor Kenroberts during the Fall '07 term at Cornell.

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34 - Chapter 34 TELESCOPING THE TIMES The United States in...

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