Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told the senate that Congress needed to act on the deficit by increasing taxes. Reid then said,
“It’s time we return to the type of fiscal discipline that democrats brought to Washington in the 90’s when democrats in the Congress and White House balanced the budget and used the surplus to do what Mr. President? To pay down the debt.”
This was another lie. Democrats opposed balancing the budget in the 1990s.
Harry Reid is shameless.
Steve Moore corrected the record in this report he wrote for the CATO Institute in 1998.
No, Bill Clinton Didn’t Balance the Budget
Bill Clinton didn’t balance the budget. Yes, he was there when it happened. But the record shows that was about the extent of his contribution…
…Newt Gingrich and company — for all their faults — have received virtually no credit for balancing the budget. Yet today’s surplus is, in part, a byproduct of the GOP’s single-minded crusade to end 30 years of red ink. Arguably, Gingrich’s finest hour as Speaker came in March 1995 when he rallied the entire Republican House caucus behind the idea of eliminating the deficit within seven years.
We have a balanced budget today that is mostly a result of 1) an exceptionally strong economy that is creating gobs of new tax revenues and 2) a shrinking military budget. Social spending is still soaring and now costs more than $1 trillion.
Skeptics said it could not be done in seven years. The GOP did it in four.
Now let us contrast this with the Clinton fiscal record. Recall that it was the Clinton White House that fought Republicans every inch of the way in balancing the budget in 1995. When Republicans proposed their own balanced-budget plan, the White House waged a shameless Mediscare campaign to torpedo the plan — a campaign that the Washington Post slammed as “pure demagoguery.” It was Bill Clinton who, during the big budget fight in 1995, had to submit not one, not two, but five budgets until he begrudgingly matched the GOP’s balanced-budget plan. In fact, during the height of the budget wars in the summer of 1995, the Clinton administration admitted that “balancing the budget is not one of our top priorities.”
And lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton and his wife who tried to engineer a federal takeover of the health care system — a plan that would have sent the government’s finances into the stratosphere. Tom Delay was right: for Clinton to take credit for the balanced budget is like Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel taking credit for delivering the pitch to Mark McGuire that he hit out of the park for his 62nd home run.
Democrats didn’t balance the budget. Republicans did.
But their cohorts in the media continue to let them get away with this lie… So they keep repeating it.