Newt Gingrich Smacks Down Robert Reich on Debt Ceiling: 'This Is Historical Baloney'

Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich typically spouted Democrat talking points Sunday concerning the battle over raising the debt ceiling and defunding ObamaCare.

Fortunately for viewers of ABC's This Week, CNN's Newt Gingrich was there to smack down Reich saying, "This is historical baloney" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

ROBERT REICH: And the last time there was a threat, you recall, to actually not pay our debts, not pay interest on the debts, not repay our creditors, our entire bond system, the United States government was downgraded. That cost American taxpayers a huge amount of money.

That’s nonsense.

First of all, Standard & Poors downgraded America’s debt AFTER the debt ceiling battle ended in August 2011.

More importantly, as this chart of the 30-year Treasury Bond illustrates, interest rates declined after that downgrade. They’ve only recently gotten back to and above where they were before the downgrade (courtesy BigCharts.com):

As such, taxpayers didn’t lose a penny as a result of the previous debt ceiling debate or the downgrade.

As for this left-wing claim that anyone in the past or present threatened to not pay interest on the debt, that too is nonsense. There was then and is now plenty of money coming in each month to pay that interest.

This hysteria over a cataclysm if the debt ceiling is temporarily not raised is a media fiction.


JONATHAN KARL, SUBSTITUTE HOST: We could have another downgrade, but why is the White House not negotiating on this?

REICH: Because it isn’t, it should not be negotiable. I mean, the principle that you can, there’s a kind of scorched earth, anything goes set of tactics that can be used by one side in a political game in which the entire government of the United States, including the faith and credit of the government of the United States, can be thrown using that same game is absurd.

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, this is historical baloney. We have added something to the debt ceiling…

KARL: Better than pious baloney, I guess.

GINGRICH: Well, he’s not pious.

REICH: And it’s…

GINGRICH: Look, the fact is…

REICH: …totally wrong.

GINGRICH: Wait a second. The fact is since Dwight Eisenhower we have added things to the debt ceiling. Gramm-Rudman, which was a big change in spending, was on the debt ceiling. Obama has added things to the debt ceiling. So, when the president goes as he did to the Business Roundtable and says, “This is unprecedented and I won’t negotiate.” This is not a dictatorship. At some point members of the House are allowed to say, “Come sit at the table.” He doesn’t sit at the table. He goes out and makes partisan attacks.

Indeed he does, and his devoted media dishonestly cover his back.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.