Iowa Debate Fact Check
From Glenn Kessler:
Newt Gingrich: “I balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt — pretty conservative. The first entitlement reform of your lifetime — in fact, the only major entitlement reform to now is welfare.”
…the budget was balanced in part because of a gusher of tax revenues from Clinton’s 1993 deficit reduction package, which raised taxes on the wealthy and which Gingrich vehemently opposed. The budget was also balanced because the Democratic White House and Republican Congress were in absolute legislative stalemate, so neither side could implement grand plans to increase spending or cut taxes.
Gingrich is wrong to claim there were four years of balanced budgets when he was speaker. He left in January 1999; the budget ran a surplus in the fiscal years of 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. So he can at best claim two years.
As for reducing the debt by $405 billion, our math from looking at the White House historical tables shows that the publicly held debt fell $450 billion during the surplus years. (Look on page 134). But much of this was when Gingrich was no longer speaker.
Michele Bachmann: “After the debate that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true. And the evidence is that Speaker Gingrich took $1.6 million.”
Bachmann, defending herself against Gingrich’s statement that her attack on his association with Freddie Mac was “factually not true,” claimed that our colleagues at PolitiFact backed her up. PolitiFact immediately tweeted: “For the record, we did not say that everything Michele Bachmann said at last week’s debate was true.”
Indeed, Politfact did not rate any of her claims on Freddie Mac and even said her statement that Obama had passed into law “socialized medicine” was worthy of a “Pants on Fire” rating.
Mitt Romney: “This is a president, with the spy drone being brought down [in Iran], he says ‘pretty please’? A foreign policy based on ‘pretty please’? You got to be kidding.”
Romney appears to be making a rhetorical point, but President Obama did not say “pretty please.” He simply noted at a news conference that the United States had requested the return of the drone through diplomatic channels. He indicated he did not expect to ever receive the drone back.Click here for reuse options!
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