Barbara Boxer’s blatant rewriting of history (via The Fact Checker)
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011
By Glenn Kessler
“I think we ought to go back to the people and the party that was the only party and the only people to balance the budget in 40 years. I hate to break it to my Republican friends, but that is the Democratic Party. We are the ones who did it. We did it when Bill Clinton came into office. We did it after hard work. We did it after painful cuts. We did it with smart investments.”
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), June 29, 2011
Each party in Washington seems to have their own narrative. Sen. Boxer’s comment above, from a long floor speech Wednesday lambasting Republicans for pushing a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, is a case in point.
In Boxer’s telling, the budget surplus that emerged in 1998 and continued for four years sprang forth from a critical moment — the passage of Bill Clinton’s 1993 deficit-reduction bill. For those who don’t remember, it was a cliffhanger vote in both houses of Congress, with not a single Republican lawmaker supporting it.
“Lucky for us, a lot of us are still here who made that fateful vote. We didn’t have one Republican voting for that budget, and when they came to the floor — I have all the quotes, chapter and verse–they said: This is horrible. It will never balance the budget. This is going to lead to a depression. This is the worst thing,” Boxer recounted.
Boxer added: “But we know what happened. We not only balanced the budget, but we had a surplus. We not only had a surplus, but the debt was going down so fast we thought we would never have to have Treasury bonds again. On top of that, we created 23 million jobs.”
But is that really what happened? Were Republicans — who controlled the House and essentially the Senate when the budget was in surplus in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 — irrelevant to the process?