Dick Cheney, Fiscal Conservative?

July 28, 2000 12:52 PM | | Bookmark and Share

Asked this week why he voted against Head Start when he was in Congress in the 1980’s, Dick Cheney said he was “motivated by a concern for fiscal responsibility in an era when the nation did not have the projected surpluses it now has.”

“I would not vote against Head Start today,” Mr. Cheney, the expected Republican vice presidential candidate, said this week. When later pressed about some of his votes in Congress, he underlined the point that the Reagan era of the 1980’s was a time “when we had huge budget deficits, no money and when we really had to be concerned about federal spending.”

One can easily understand why Mr. Cheney might have worried about fiscal responsibility as a congressman in the deficit-ridden 1980’s. But it’s pretty hard to swallow his claim that such concerns were why he was one of only a handful of legislators to oppose improving education opportunities for poor children.

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