Contrary to the accepted political wisdom that Republicans were the big losers in the aftermath of the 1995 government shutdown, Newt
Gingrich says the GOP was responsible for the balanced-budget agreement that resulted.
"While the shutdown produced some short-term pain, it set the stage for a budget deal in 1996 that led to the largest drop in federal discretionary spending since 1969," Gingrich writes in an op-ed article for the Washington Post
. "The discipline imposed by this budget - overall spending grew at an average of 2.9 percent a year while I was speaker of the House, the slowest rate in decades - allowed us to reach a balanced-budget deal in 1997.
"This would all have been impossible had Republicans not stood firm in 1995 and shown the American people (and the White House) that we were serious about reducing spending."
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