Posted by: Donna
Awesome. Newly elected Congressman Matt Salmon on Face the Nation this morning:
SALMON: I was here during the government shutdown in 1995. It was a divided government. we had a Democrat [sic] President of the United States. We had a Republican Congress. And I believe that that government shutdown actually gave us the impetus, as we went forward, to push toward some real serious compromise. I think it drove Bill Clinton in a different direction, a very bipartisan direction. In fact, we passed welfare reform for the first time ever, and we cut the welfare ranks in the last decade and a half by over 50%. These are good things. We also balanced the budget for the first time in 40 years in 1997, 1998, 1999. And when I left we had an over $230 billion surplus. This was with a Democrat [sic] president, A Republican —
HOST: You think that’s a good idea?
SALMON: Yes, I do. I really do. I think it’s about time!
Ah, “Democrat President”. You stay statesmanlike, Matt! Naturally, Salmon has his facts wrong, as Ian Millhiser of Think Progress points out:
Gingrich claimed that the shutdown led to the misleadingly named Balanced Budget Act of 1997, but the law was so laden down with conservative pet projects that it actually increased the budget deficit. In reality, the principal policy driver of the Clinton era surpluses was something that every single Republican in Congress voted against — the Clinton tax hikes on the rich. These surpluses, of course, were wiped out almost immediately after President George W. Bush took office, thanks to Bush’s tax cuts that largely benefited the very wealthy.
In addition to serving 3 terms in Congress in the 90s, Matt Salmon was the Republican candidate for Governor in 2002 and was chair of the state Republican Party. He also served in the Arizona Senate in the early 90s and was a corporate lobbyist and Mayor Scott Smith’s campaign manager. Salmon isn’t some random tea party newbie who just burst on the scene. Hate to break it to all of you who still think the GOP can be rescued from itself, but it’s not gonna happen. Matt Salmon is the Republican establishment.
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