Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Balanced Budget

I just caught a clip of Rand Paul's appearance this morning on ABC's This Week. He proposed a balanced budget amendment. What's funny is President Bill Clinton proposed the same thing, if not something similar, when he was president and yet the Republicans chided him for it.

President Clinton's White House bio notes the balanced budget while he was in office:
During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history. He was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term. He could point to the lowest unemployment rate in modern times, the lowest inflation in 30 years, the highest home ownership in the country's history, dropping crime rates in many places, and reduced welfare rolls. He proposed the first balanced budget in decades and achieved a budget surplus. As part of a plan to celebrate the millennium in 2000, Clinton called for a great national initiative to end racial discrimination.
Here's some old news coverage from CNN back in September 2000.
President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year's record surplus of $122.7 billion.

"Eight years ago, our future was at risk," Clinton said Wednesday morning. "Economic growth was low, unemployment was high, interest rates were high, the federal debt had quadrupled in the previous 12 years. When Vice President Gore and I took office, the budget deficit was $290 billion, and it was projected this year the budget deficit would be $455 billion."

Instead, the president explained, the $5.7 trillion national debt has been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years -- $223 billion this year alone.

This represents, Clinton said, "the largest one-year debt reduction in the history of the United States."[...]

It is the third year in a row the federal government has taken in more than it spent, and has paid down the debt. The last time the U.S. government had a third consecutive year of national debt reduction was 1949, said the official.

The federal budget surplus for fiscal year 1999 was $122.7 billion, and $69.2 billion for fiscal year 1998. Those back-to-back surpluses, the first since 1957, allowed the Treasury to pay down $138 billion in national debt.
Just look at the Clinton Library...

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