This is one case where I was ahead of the good folks at Reason.TV. The Nanny of the Month award-winner for June is the Montgomery County, MD, bureaucrat who fined children $500 for running a lemonade stand without a permit:
I covered the story a couple of weeks ago, but now, having seen the video, don’t those kids look like dangerous scofflaws?
In my opinion, this qualifies as one of those “pants on fire” lies, but three Pinocchios will do just fine. Here’s the debunked quote:
“I think we ought to go back to the people and the party that was the only party and the only people to balance the budget in 40 years. I hate to break it to my Republican friends, but that is the Democratic Party. We are the ones who did it. We did it when Bill Clinton came into office. We did it after hard work. We did it after painful cuts. We did it with smart investments.”
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), June 29, 2011
Glenn Kessler’s summary conclusion:
The Pinocchio Test
Boxer’s staff suggests her floor statement should be read in the context of Republicans coming to floor this week and lecturing Democrats about the tide of deficits, without acknowledging their own role in promoting tax cuts, higher military spending and other programs that have helped erode the nation’s fiscal standing. Fair enough.
But one alternative history does not give license to invent another one. When we started examining this question, we thought Boxer’s comment might be worth a couple of Pinocchios. But the more we dug, the more we decided that her comments had begun to cross a line, especially since she had been an active member of the Budget Committee during the 1990s.
Boxer literally wipes away any Republican contribution to the process — and also claims credit for creating 23 million jobs while ignoring broad historical changes in the U.S. economy that had little to do with inside-the-Beltway sausage-making. This is more than just spin; it is a rewriting of history that borders on the absurd.