Obama to cut deficit in half… After quadrupling it.

“Obama plans to slash deficit in half” is the title of this AP story. The attribution of fiscal responsibility to our current president is rather misleading.

Here’s a graph from a Wall Street Journal article of the annual federal budget deficits over the last 30 years.

Graph Showing Federal Budget Surplus/Deficit Since 1980 (30 years)

Graph Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123457407865686565.html

Bush’s worst deficit was less than $500 billion. Obama’s 1st might be $2 trillion. Then in four years, he says he might decrease it to $533 billion.

That’s still the worst annual deficit in the entire history of the United States. Then that AP story tries to portray him as a fiscal conservative.

Preposterous, indeed!

  • Anonymous

    What you're failing to recognize is that the first two years of budgeting under Obama involve a rise in fixed costs to the government (social security/ unemployment/ medicade/ military expenditures) that pushes the deficit up independent of any budgeting decisions. Don't make the problem worse by underreporting the obvious.

  • Mike P. Sinn

    Interesting point! Thanks for commenting.

    I agree that increases in mandatory spending have a great deal to do with the deficit. However, social security and medicare demographics can't explain a deficit quadrupling in one year and the getting cut in half the next year. It's just silly that Obama's acting like creating a deficit double Bush's worst deficit is some kind of accomplishment. It's not like Bush was known for his deficit hawkishness.

    Obama could have vetoed enough spending to prevent a quadrupling. Discretionary examples include the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 comprised 40% of the deficit that year.

    The $150 billion Obama's spent on wars in 2009 comprised about 8% of the deficit.

    Obama spent $90 billion on other corporate welfare in 2009. Another 5%.

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