The Eight Year Itch

I see a lot of folks mocking this grandiose claim from Bill Clinton:

Folks, it's always a mistake to bet against America. It was tough in 1968, and we came back. It was tough in 1992 and we wound up with the eight best years we've had in modern history.

Is that really such a crazy thing to say? I doubt that eight out of the best eight years ever happened during Bill Clinton's term in office. Indeed, one cause of the GOP sweep in 1994 was lingering bad macroeconomic conditions and growth was slowing in the second half of 2000. But there was a solid 5+ year peacetime boom in there with few precedents, and American living standards really did reach a peak in 1998-2000 that was higher than anything in our earlier history and that we've yet to regain. If you'd been president then, you'd be bragging, too.