Meet The Press: Barney Frank Nails John Ensign

[media id=7296] Barney Frank never fails to deliver a brutal smackdown when paired up with lying Republicans. On Meet the Press this morning, Barney

Barney Frank never fails to deliver a brutal smackdown when paired up with lying Republicans. On Meet the Press this morning, Barney Frank hilariously corrects Senator John Ensign's bogus interpretation of the stimulus bill and his shameful revisionist history of Republican spending the past eight years.

SEN. ENSIGN: But the other thing, to get back to what Congressman Frank said, is that, you know, we're going to be laying off teachers and firefighters. You know, that's just fearmongering. We're not going to be doing that in any of the states. The states have grown, in their budgets, faster than population growth, faster than inflation for the last several year--actually, probably about the last 15 years. Their budgets are bloated, the federal government's budget is bloated. What we should be doing is cutting back. Instead of just spending money, we should eliminate wasteful Washington spending and also require the states to have some fiscal discipline.

REP. FRANK: Well, first of all, on the bloated spending, this comes from a man whose party controlled the federal government--House, Senate and White House--for six years. We've had it for two. And in fact, we didn't have the presidency. So the bloated spending, once again, you're getting...

SEN. ENSIGN: I agree to that, Barney. I agree.

REP. FRANK: But--may I finish now? Well, if you agree, we--I guess I would've been more impressed if you'd done something about it, not just agree. You were in power for six years. The spending that we have now was set by six years of Republican spending; excesses in a number of areas, I agree.

Awesome. And as ThinkProgress meticulously documents, Ensign couldn't be more wrong on the facts.

Full transcript below the fold...

MR. GREGORY: But why not separate some of the long-term spending, Senator?

SEN. ENSIGN: Absolutely.

MR. GREGORY: Separate it for a separate appropriations process.

SEN. ENSIGN: This is what I've been saying all along. There are some things that we need to go quickly on, but there are--the long-term spending, we should do it carefully and we should take our time on it. There's not a hurry on that. If it's not going to be spent for two years, let's take that out and let's do it right.

But the other thing, to get back to what Congressman Frank said, is that, you know, we're going to be laying off teachers and firefighters. You know, that's just fearmongering. We're not going to be doing that in any of the states. The states have grown, in their budgets, faster than population growth, faster than inflation for the last several year--actually, probably about the last 15 years. Their budgets are bloated, the federal government's budget is bloated. What we should be doing is cutting back. Instead of just spending money, we should eliminate wasteful Washington spending and also require the states to have some fiscal discipline. Here's what this bill does. It sends the money to the states, and not only do we have them not have to make the tough cuts that they should be making, we actually encourage them to spend more because to be able to get the money, they have to spend more. And, and this just encourages more wasteful spending.

MR. GREGORY: Congressman Frank:

REP. FRANK: Well, first of all, on the bloated spending, this comes from a man whose party controlled the federal government--House, Senate and White House--for six years. We've had it for two. And in fact, we didn't have the presidency. So the bloated spending, once again, you're getting...

SEN. ENSIGN: I agree to that, Barney. I agree.

REP. FRANK: But--may I finish now? Well, if you agree, we--I guess I would've been more impressed if you'd done something about it, not just agree. You were in power for six years. The spending that we have now was set by six years of Republican spending; excesses in a number of areas, I agree. Secondly, the notion that we're not laying off policemen, firemen and teachers is simply, factually untrue. And this argument that the states are bloated. I look at my state of Massachusetts, there are terrible problems in other states as well because of the collapse of the housing market, because of the lack of tax revenues, and I'm very prepared. Let's have that argument.

MR. GREGORY: All right.

REP. FRANK: Do the state--does sending money to the states mean that when they don't lay off people, that that's a bad thing?

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