According to former President Bill Clinton, the economic stagnancy of the Obama years is responsible for declining life expectancy rates among white, working-class Americans. He privately told Democratic donors that lower-income whites “don’t have anything to look forward to when they get up in the morning.”
Clinton made the comments while speaking at a closed-door fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in Canton, Ohio in November of 2015.
Seeming to echo a theme of Donald Trump’s campaign, the former president expressed his observation that white, working-class Americans have been left behind over the last eight years of Obama’s presidency.
Clinton expressed dismay with the a recent (at that time) Democratic debate, that he said failed to make a single mention of the fact that “84 percent of the American people, after inflation, had not had a raise of 1 cent since the financial crash.”
“We have incredible debates all over America that shouldn’t exist between people in different racial groups because they don’t trust law enforcement anymore,” he continued. “And in the middle of all this we learned, breathtakingly, that middle-aged, non-college-educated white Americans’ life expectancy is going down and is now lower than Hispanics, even though they make less money.”
“And the gap between African Americans and whites is closing, but unfortunately not because the death rate among African Americans is dropping but because the death rate among white Americans is rising.” Clinton continued.
“Why? Because they don’t have anything to look forward to when they get up in the morning. Because their lives are sort of stuck in neutral.”