Did Obama really cut the deficit the deficit by 2.5 trillion?

Democrats control the House and Senate in 2007
Democrats controlled the House and Senate in 2007. The last budget deficit with Republicans in control was $161 billion.

CNS News takes a look at the raw numbers.

Obama’s claim:

President Barack Obama claimed today that since he has been president both parties have worked together to cut the federal deficit by $2.5 trillion—despite the fact that the national debt has increased $5.9 trillion during Obama’s presidency, which is more than it increased under all presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined.

“Over the last few years both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion,” Obama said in a speech at the White House in which he called on Congress to avoid modest automatic cuts in anticipated spending that are set to begin on March 1.

The facts:

When Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, the federal government’s debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08. As of the close of business on Feb. 14, 2013, the federal government’s debt was $16,540,800,290,147.46. Thus, since Obama has been president, the federal debt has increased $5,913,923,241,234.38. That is more than all the debt accumulated by all the presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton.

[…]Federal spending and federal deficits have both increased sharply under President Obama. In fiscal 2008, the last full fiscal year before Obama took office, the federal government spent $2.9716 trillion. In fiscal 2012, the federal government spent $3.538 trillion.

In fiscal 2008, the federal deficit was $454.8 billion. In fiscal 2012, it was $1.2967 trillion. By this measure, President Obama did not reduce federal deficits by $2.5 trillion. He increased the annual deficit by $841.9 billion.

Not sure what Obama is talking about with this $2.5 trillion number, because both deficits and debt are WAY UP under his leadership. Why is he lying? And why do his supporters believe his lies?

8 thoughts on “Did Obama really cut the deficit the deficit by 2.5 trillion?”

  1. I have heard folks that the “true” deficit should be compared against the GDP, and I wonder if that’s what’s what was going on here. Whatever he’s doing, it’s obvious he’s not looking at the face-value of the deficit.


  2. I think the basic idea here is baseline budgeting…which projects 3-10% growth in every federal program every year for the indefinite future. So when President Obama claims to have reduced the deficit by 2.5 T, he’s really saying they’ve managed to cut that much from projected future spending, not actually reduce the amount of spending this year. It’s a cancellation of future spending – supposedly. But of course, what the president says today doesn’t have to be followed by the president of 2016 or 2022. President Obama’s claims are false because he’s not actually reducing current spending and deficits, only future ones that he has no control over and will not be held accountable for. In addition, we should remember the difference between deficits (annual) and the debt (total). Claiming to cut the deficit is quite a poor boast as it is essentially the same as saying, “Hey look, I’m still in debt and am a reckless spender, just a little less so than last year.” But even this is incorrect. Instead, it’s more like, “I’m recklessly spending now but I promise to cut back my indebtedness in the future.” He shouldn’t be boasting about supposedly reducing future deficits, because each deficit, little or big, still adds to the overall debt! We need SURPLUSES, not deficits to make a dent in the debt. And no, inflating the debt away via printing money won’t work either.
    Here’s a good article: http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/14/spending-cuts-are-mostly-fiction


  3. There is no other way to describe the 2.5 trillion dollar cut in the debt. It’s a LIE!!! In what world can you say you intended to increase spending by a whopping amount and when you don’t (or can’t) it suddenly becomes a cut. The sequester is not even a cut, it’s a reduction in the propose increase. There will be no truth and accountability until we the people demand it. So, write, call, email, comment. Do not let the liars off the hook.


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