Truth Squad: Gingrich's claim on surplus off base
December 16th, 2011
06:10 AM ET
2 years ago

Truth Squad: Gingrich's claim on surplus off base

(CNN) - The statement: "I balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt, pretty conservative." Newt Gingrich, during Thursday night's Republican candidates' debate in Sioux City, Iowa.

The facts: Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House from January 4, 1995 to January 3, 1999. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the nation ran a deficit in 1995 (-$164 billion), 1996 (-$107.4 billion) and 1997 (-$21.9 billion). It ran a surplus in 1998 ($69.3 billion) and 1999 ($125.6 billion).

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Republicans
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I am so glad that someone out there is conducting these sort of "fact check" articles. I wish that it were done for the political sound bites that we here on the evening news and that Sunday talk shows.

    December 16, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    No one will ever match Bush's $5.5 trillion added to our national debt, unless it is the president who has to get us out of the Bush/republican near depression.

    December 16, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. Jules

    Newt off base??? Naaaaahhhh – can't be. He is too smart for that, just ask him.

    December 16, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Maybe, but he helped to make Clinton the most popular Dem President, in modern history..........because the economy was good, while the GOP controlled the Congress.

    December 16, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Jariv

    @Wire Palladin, S.F. – Actually Bush added $6.6 Trillion to the debt for his 8 years in office. Obama has not completed his third(3) year and he has allready added $4.3. Not Good....

    December 16, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    "No one will ever match Bush's $5.5 trillion added to our national debt, unless it is the president who has to get us out of the Bush/republican near depression."
    ------–
    Accusatory of the right and apologetic for the left in a single post. Kudos!

    December 16, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Sandy

    About time someone called him out on it. He kept talking like he alone was the reason for the balanced budget and surplus. You'd think he was the President at the time. LOL

    December 16, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  8. Ralph

    Its interesting, but FALSE, that Newt Gingrich, (or any other republican in the last 30 years), had ANYTHING to do with the 200 Billion surpluses in 1998 & 1999. President Clinton inherited a 7.5 TRILLION dollar deficit from Presidents Reagan & Bush Sr.
    President Bush's outgoing budget, (federally mandated of every outgoing president), projected continuing massive deficits.

    So as to Gingrich's claim that he is the person responsible for ANY deficit reduction, is FALSE!

    For the record, when President Clinton Left office, he reduced the deficit to ~4.5 Trillion. President Clinton outgoing budget projected reducing the deficit to ZERO likely in 4 years if his fiscal policies were continued. Unfortunately, Bush jr got elected, and reduced taxes below what is cost to run the federal government, AND started 2 wars, and left office with a 11 TRILLION dollar deficit.

    December 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Larry L

    "Til death do us part..."
    "I was never a lobbyist for Freddie Mac"

    He wouldn't lie would he?

    December 16, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    Newter and the GOP always love to play fast and loose with the facts. I guess teh philanderer takes all the credit for this while not mentioning the Democratic president. What a surprise

    December 16, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Cea Wolff

    New Gingrich will say anything to make himself look good. It's just pathetic that this is what the Republicans have had to move backward to. They have no one because they represent the rich/poor, no middle class (who are the backbone of this country). People who are so stupid they can't see through these people deserve what they get.

    December 16, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |