Saturday, August 4, 2012

Memo to the Media: Newt Gingrich and The Republican Congress Did NOT Balance the Budget With Spending Cuts Only

I was watching one of the less popular MSNBC morning shows that no one really cares about that's NOT Morning Joe, and on the panel was former Newt Gingrich flak, Rick Tyler. He's been on MSNBC several times throughout the past several months, and I'm pretty sure he's a permanent fixture on the network now. It seems every time this dude's invited, he can't help but mention how his former boss balanced the budget all by his lonesome. Not only that, but he balanced it only via spending cuts with no tax increases whatsoever.

Of course, it's not really surprising Tyler would want to defend his former boss's honor, even if he has to "creatively exaggerate" if you will. The bigger problem I have is that this annoying myth about spending going down under Republicans in congress during the 90s appears to be common beltway conventional wisdom now. I've seen many, many occasions where even intelligent people who should know better are parroting this fairy tale.

So I guess it's up to me to put an end to this farce. Here's a list of the federal outlays for the entirety of the Clinton Administration, with data provided by the kind folks at the currently communist Tax Policy Center:

1993 - 1,409.4 trillion
1994 - 1,461.8 trillion
1995 - 1,515.8 trillion
1996 - 1,560.5 trillion
1997 - 1,601.1 trillion
1998 - 1,652.5 trillion
1999 - 1,701.8 trillion
2000-  1,789.0 trillion
2001 - 1,862.9 trillion

Notice how the numbers keep getting higher as you go down? There was not a single year since Republicans took over where spending was LESS than it was in the prior year. Now here's a list of the same period, but with revenues:

1993 - 1,154.3 trillion
1994 - 1,258.6 trillion
1995 - 1,351.8 trillion
1996 - 1,453.1 trillion
1997 - 1,579.2 trillion
1998 - 1,721.7 trillion
1999 - 1,827.5 trillion
2000-  2,025.2 trillion
2001 - 1,991.1 trillion

If you'll notice, the revenues kept getting higher and higher every year of Clinton's term, minus that last year, which was most  likely affected by the dot com bubble bursting. It's a very inconvenient fact, but our friends on the right would prefer it if people weren't aware that during every single one of these years (except 2001), the tax rates on the rich were higher than what we have now. Yes, that 39.6% top marginal tax rate DIDN'T in fact cause every millionaire and billionaire in the country to flee to China or Russia to escape such oppressive socialism, as the Republicans back then -among whom, was the Newtster - claimed would happen.

So take note, liberal media. Next time some asshat right winger tries to claim that Newt's Republicans balanced the budgets strictly with spending cuts, you all can point out that it's a load of malarkey.

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