(WOMENSENEWS)–Susan Feiner’s April 30 commentary about the economic legacy of Bill Clinton and how it reflects on Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, "Deficit-Hawk Clinton Preens Her Populist Feathers," ignited an emotional response.

The editors are delighted so many took the time to e-mail us and express their views. Two points were made repeatedly by the critics of the column. Using the expression "Billary" was disrespectful and Feiner should address the other candidates’ economic plans. Weagree with our readers about the use of "Billary" and will avoid it in the future. As for asking Feiner to dissect the economic ideas of the othertwo presidential candidates, the editors’ reply is: Yes indeed! Watch for Feiner’s next commentary.

Because of the high volume of response, Feiner is not able to respond to each e-mail individually and offers a general reply.

After her response we offer a sampling of readers’ comments supporting and criticizing her viewpoint.

–The Editors

The Author Asks . . .

Where to begin? My harshest critics will find this too little, too late.

There were some real economic gains for workers during the Clinton presidency. The purchasing power of hourly wages did grow modestly inthe later part of the 1990s.

Federal Reserve policies, initiated by Chairman Alan Greenspan permitted an unprecedented and unwarranted run-up in stock values, makingthe boom his second bubble and set off a spree of consumer spending large enough to boost the whole economy.

About me: My 1994 book "Race and Gender in the U.S. Economy: Views from Across the Spectrum" is acknowledged as the text responsiblefor kicking off interest in and research on multicultural approaches to economics.

The vitriol sparked by my use of the term "Billary" surprised me. My editors and I didn’t intend to suggest that all wives are circumscribedby their husbands. This is obviously a special marriage and a famous political partnership. A probe of the Clinton economic legacy and what arepeat could mean for U.S. women–particularly low-income women–is particularly suited for Women’s eNews, where the merits of the 1996welfare law are a live area of coverage. The program created in 1996, T.A.N.F., is primarily a safety net for single mothers.

One careful reader mentioned my plans to start a blog where I will discuss economics, and answer readers’ questions. The good news is thatthis blog is up and running. Visit me at where my first topic will be "Fiscal Policy as a Feminist Issue."

–Susan Feiner


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