Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fact Check: Ed Bryant On Fiscal Responsibility

Yesterday afternoon, the Bryant campaign released a press release touting Ed Bryant's record on fiscal responsibility.

Below are some of the excerpts:

"When Tennesseans elected me to Congress, I inherited a massive budget deficit, but I fought the Democrat naysayers who wanted to raise taxes on Americans and we balanced the federal budget for the first time in a generation by cutting discretionary spending, reforming welfare, and boosting the economy with tax relief for Tennessee's families and employers," stated Bryant. "Unlike my opponent Bob Corker, I reject the notion that tax hikes are a legitimate way to balance the budget because that liberal principle does not produce positive results."

"Bryant has previously called for a balanced budget amendment and biennial budgeting as supplements to the political will to balance the budget. A balanced budget amendment would require that the federal budget be in balance every year. Biennial budgeting would put the budget on a two-year cycle, in the first year actually passing a budget, and the second year reviewing federal programs to see what works and what does not. This allows Congress to act in a greater oversight role, and would reduce the opportunities for pork barrel spending."

This may be the most laughable I have ever read.

This press release is filled with nothing but out and about lies. The fact of the matter is Ed Bryant has never been fiscally responsible and his record shows that.

Ed's noteworthy failures on fiscal responsibility are below:
  • While Ed Bryant was in Congress, federal spending increased 43 percent and the national debt grew by $1.5 trillion or $5,800 for every Tennessean.

  • Ed voted to pass on our debt to our children and grandchildren by voting for over $1.1 trillion of federal debt limit increases while in Congress. HR 2586 on 11/09/95, HR 3136 on 03/28/96, and S 2578 on 06/27/02

  • Ed had the unique opportunity to vote for the first balanced budget in a generation, but instead decided to vote against it. He voted against the final version of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which passed 346-85.

This was legislation that even conservative Republicans like Tom Delay and Rob Portman hailed as a landmark piece of legislative history on the House floor the day of its passage, because of the fact that it would actually balance the federal budget for the first time in a generation :

  • "I rise in support of this legislation that finally balances our Federal budget. It is about time. I have waited my entire adult life for it." - Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Congressional Record, 07/30/97

  • "I think we need to step back a moment and think about what a victory this is for the American people. For the first time in more than a generation, we are actually going to balance the budget. We are going to stop spending more than we take in every year, an immoral practice that leaves the bill for the next generation." - Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH), Congressional Record, 07/30/97

For Ed to keep portraying him as someone with fiscal beliefs is just deceitful.

However, it is not out of character for him. It has come to be expected.