Obama Lies That He Cut the US Deficit in Half


Barack Obama addresses the Wall Street Journal CEO Council on November 19, 2013 (White House)

Barack Obama addresses the Wall Street Journal CEO Council on November 19, 2013 (White House)

One of the characteristics of a psychopath is that they will unashamedly lie even if they know others will know that it is untrue. Barack Obama frequently illustrates this characteristic. Such was the case last month, when he told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council that he cut the deficit in half since talking office:

And after years of trillion-dollar deficits, we reined in spending, wound down two wars, and began to change a tax code that I believe was too skewed towards the wealthiest among us at the expense of the middle class.  And since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, from 2006 – 2008, the three years before Obama took office, the deficit was $248 billion, $161 billion, and $459 billion, respectively. Obama was elected in November 2008 and took office in January 2009. Here’s what the deficit has looked like every year since:

2009 – $1,413 billion

2010 – $1,294 billion

2011 – $1,296 billion

2012 – $1,087 billion

As you can see, what Obama actually did since he took office was to triple the deficit, not cut it in half. For year 2013, the CBO puts the deficit at $642 billion, which is still $183 billion more of a deficit than the worst year under Bush. So what Obama means when he says, “since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half” is that his administration tripled the deficit and spent well over a trillion dollars more than it had in revenues for four straight years, and then reduced it back down to a mere 40% increase from where the deficit was the year before he took the helm.

But even if Obama had worded his statement, “since last year, we have cut the deficit by more than half”, it would still be a lie. To have cut it in half from where it was in 2012, it would need to be reduced to $544 billion. This year’s deficit of $642 billion, obviously, is less than, not more than half, a 41% reduction, not more than 50%.

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