Lincoln’s last blast (for now)

Throughout the campaign, Bill Halter has distorted Sen. Lincoln’s record and attacked her vote on President’s Clinton 1993 budget, all the while remaining mum about his own position.  It is THE vote that is credited with creating the federal budget surplus, the same surplus Bill routinely takes credit for in his role as an unelected Washington bureaucrat.

In Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Bill Halter finally revealed his position: after weeks of attacking Sen. Lincoln’s vote that balanced the federal budget, Bill now tells us he would have voted FOR it, just like Sen. Lincoln.

On at least five documented occasions, Bill’s campaign has recklessly thrown “hypocrisy” accusations toward Sen. Lincoln.  What does Bill call his admission that he would have cast the same vote as Sen. Lincoln after attacking her for that vote?

Halter Reveals He Would Have Supported President Clinton’s 1993 Budget, After Relentlessly Attacking Sen. Lincoln For Her Courageous Vote…

Halter Says He Would Have Supported 1993 Budget Deal. When asked by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette how he would have voted on the 1993 budget measure that is credit with creating a record surplus and long-lasting economic prosperity, Halter answered, “I would have voted for the final version of the bill.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 6/6/2010]

Yet Halter has spent much of the campaign attacking Sen. Lincoln’s vote…

Halter Attacks Sen. Lincoln’s Vote On His Website. On his website, Halter repeatedly attacks Sen. Lincoln’s vote for the 1993 budget, calling it a “$240 billion tax increase.” [Halter Website, 5/14/2010; 4/28/2010; 4/23/2010]

Halter Attacked Sen. Lincoln’s Vote on Television. In a TV ad released in April, Halter attacked Sen. Lincoln’s vote for the 1993 budget, saying “Lincoln voted to raise taxes on Social Security.” [“Protect,” Halter TV Ad, 4/15/2010; Talking Points Memo, 4/15/2010]

While he takes credit for the surplus that Sen. Lincoln’s vote helped to create…

Bill Halter Boasts of His Work to Balance the Budget Under President Clinton. On his campaign website, Bill Halter takes credit for creating a budget surplus working for President Clinton: “Bill Halter first joined the Clinton administration in 1993, working to help trim bureaucratic waste with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Executive Office of the President. During his six years at OMB, the government’s $290 billion budget deficit was transformed into a $125 billion surplus. The United States enjoyed its first balanced budget in 40 years.” [Halter Campaign Website, accessed 4/15/2010]

Bill Halter Took Credit for Helping to Create a “Surplus for the First Time in 40 Years.” At a recent press conference, Bill Halter said he was “proud” of his work in the Clinton Administration where “we took a $250, $290 billion budget deficit that was projected to go much higher and worked hard to get that turned around into a surplus for the first time in 40 years.” [Halter Press Conference, 4/14/2010]

And while Bill’s campaign recklessly throws “hypocrisy” accusations toward Sen. Lincoln …

The Halter campaign, which also released a fresh ad showing clips of the candidate’s speech from the night of the primary election, waved off Lincoln’s spot as “typical Washington hypocrisy.” Campaign manager Carol Butler noted that Lincoln asked on election night for Halter to end “all his negative ads and I will too” – a promise Butler said “didn’t last long.” [Politico.com, 5/24/2010]

“Lt. Governor Halter’s new ad illustrates his commitment to standing up for Arkansas families who are hungry for a change in how things work in our nation’s capital,” said Halter campaign manager Carol Butler.  “Sen. Lincoln’s new ad reflects typical Washington hypocrisy as she continues to lie about Bill Halter.” [Arkansas Times’ Arkansas Blog, 5/21/2010]

“This is typical Washington hypocrisy,” Halter spokeswoman Laura Chapin said in an e-mail. “Senator Lincoln has benefited from almost $2 million spent in the last two weeks from shadowy Republican front groups and corporate special interests attacking Bill Halter.” [Washington Post, 5/19/2010]

Here’s an example of how that goes: Jackson on Tuesday accused Lincoln of being “hypocritical” for taking union money over the years and now “criticizing” unions for supporting Halter. Lincoln should return $575,000 in contributions she’s received from unions since 2000 through the current campaign, Jackson said. “Clearly Blanche Lincoln is lashing out in a deliberate attempt to divert attention away from her voting record that has rewarded Wall Street,” he said. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/21/2010]

“Blanche Lincoln’s actions reflect the hypocrisy Arkansans continue to see from people who go to Washington and put the needs of special interests ahead of the people.” [Halter Press Release, 3/12/2010]

In 1998, President Clinton called the 1993 budget vote a “courageous action” that “reduced the deficit by more than 90 percent.”

“And so in 1993, the members of our party in Congress, some at the cost of their careers, took the courageous action which began the road we celebrate today, a new economic strategy that reduced the deficit by more than 90 percent,” Clinton said.

1993 Budget Act Reduced the Deficit by $433 Billion. According to the Congressional Research Service, “the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 reduced the deficit by an estimated $433 billion.” [CRS Report RS22098, 8/30/2005]

1993 Budget Helped Create Record Surplus. As was noted in 1999, the 1993 deficit-reduction act “helped create today’s budget surplus and is credited with contributing to the long-running economic expansion.” [Dallas Morning News, 5/13/1999]

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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