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%.

  • allshallpass

    uh, if you count 2009 as the deficit he started with, then by 2013 he will have more than halved it. you act as though he started with the 2008 deficit, but you well know that most of 2009 spending/revenue policy was beyond his control. bush would have had a very similar deficit in 2009 had he stayed on. what is it that they say about psychopaths?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Uh, since taking office, the Obama administration has run record deficits, including 2013. See above.

  • Madley

    Fiscal Year 2009 was from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009 Almost all the spending was approved prior to the start of the year. The first budget year Obama actually owned was Fiscal year 2010 so he did cut the deficit in more than half from what Bush left him.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      By the same logic by which you assert “The first budget year Obama actually owned was Fiscal year 2010″ we can say that the last budget year Bush actually owned was FY 2008. Ergo, Obama only increased the deficit, including the 2013 deficit that was still higher than 2008′s. Much of FY 2009 in fact came under Obama’s administration (inaugurated in Jan ’09, less than 4 months into FY2009). Yes, Bush owned most of it, e.g., TARP. However, Obama took the Bush FY2009 deficit and increased it, e.g., the “stimulus”, to run record deficits every year for 5 years straight.

      • Madley

        Funding is set prior to October 1. For fiscal year 2009 that means October 1, 2008. at that point either John McCain or Barack Obama was going to be the next President. Facts are facts. What is not set is how much revenue is going to be collected. The 2008 recession caused revenues to drop by over 16% going from 2.5 trillion to 2.1 trillion. A portion of the Obama stimulus was spent in Fiscal Year 2009 (approximately 250 billion) but that was off the books like all the war spending during the Bush administration. Starting in Fiscal Year 2010 the Obama administration started putting the war spending in the budget. That’s 200 billion per year right there.

        http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/budget.php

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

          Yes, facts are facts, such as the fact that Obama increased the deficit in 2009. I don’t know what you mean by saying the “stimulus” was “off the books”. The fact is that it increased FY2009 spending by nearly $200 billion, thus significantly contributing to that year’s deficit (http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10640/10-2009-mbr.pdf). You might have a case if Obama didn’t increase the FY2009 deficit upon taking office and if he didn’t then run continue to run record deficits every year, rendering it disingenuous at best for him to say “since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half.” Cutting the deficit back down to a level that is still higher than that for which any previous administration was 100% responsible from his own increases to it is hardly something to brag about.

          • Madley

            http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/07/news/economy/cbo_2009_budget_outlook/

            This article was written before he took office and before we knew that the economy shrank by 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            So? My point remains.

          • Madley

            The National Debt increased from 10.025 Trillion to 11.91 Trillion
            in Fiscal year 2009. That’s an increase of 1.885 Trillion.

            The National Debt increased from 16.066 Trillion to 16.738 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2013 or an increase of 672 Billion.

            That’s a decrease of 64%. You can be a partisan hack or you can take the time to actually get to the bottom of things.

            Don’t you find it interesting that our deficit decreased by 733 Billion in those 4 years. Last year Fiscal 2013 it was 680 Billion yet we borrowed 1.213 Trillion less?

            and you have the balls to call this President a liar when the last one lied about the actual deficit every single year since he launched two wars by keeping all that spending off the books.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            A “partisan hack”? Me? ROFLMAO!

            Yes, Bush was also a liar. Fact remains that Obama increased the FY2009 deficit and then continued to run record deficits every year after.

          • Madley

            Our economy was cratering when he took office. We were losing 700 thousand jobs per month. Was he supposed to do nothing to stop the free fall?

            Have you ever run a business or own any stock in a long running business. You can’t change things overnight. He slowed the increase in spending. If you include the supplemental spending for Afghanistan and Iraq for Fiscal Year 2009 you’ll finding spending in 2013 to be about the same amount as when he came into office. The annual deficit was 10.1% of GDP in Fiscal 2009, 9% in Fiscal 2010, 8.7% in 2011, 8.5% in 2012 and 4.1% in 2013.

            More jobs have been created under this President in 5 year than Bush in 8 years. All the job creation has been in the private sector also. They’re are less federal employees today than there were when he took office.

            If you don’t do BS accounting like Bush did the Deficit was closer to 1.7 Trillion maybe more (it depends on what the social security surplus is) and four years later it’s 680 Billion with everything on the books. That’s a real reduction of over 50%. For arguments sake let’s say 300 Billion was the stimulus. A reduction from 1.4 Trillion to 680 Billion in four years is cutting the deficit in half.

            Again I suggest you figure out what supplemental appropriations are and how they’re accounted for.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Was he supposed to do nothing to stop the free fall?

            The reasons for it are irrelevant to the point (and I reject your premise that the “stimulus” helped the economy). The fact remains that, according to the CBO, the Obama stimulus contributed nearly $200 billion to the FY2009 deficit and that he then continued to run record deficits every year after that.

            He slowed the increase in spending.

            The fact remains that, according to the CBO, the Obama stimulus contributed nearly $200 billion to the FY2009 deficit and that he then continued to run record deficits every year after that.

            More jobs have been created under this President in 5 year than Bush in 8 years.

            Irrelevant to the point. The fact remains that, according to the CBO, the Obama stimulus contributed nearly $200 billion to the FY2009 deficit and that he then continued to run record deficits every year after that.

            If you don’t do BS accounting like Bush did… Again I suggest you figure out what supplemental appropriations are and how they’re accounted for.

            Go explain to the Government Budget Office their their accounting is bullshit. The above cited numbers are not their projections that didn’t take account for supplemental appropriations. They are the historical, after-the-fact numbers.

          • Madley

            Here’s an example of off the books. Fiscal Year 2008 which was October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008 before President Obama was even elected. The reported deficit was 461 Billion.

            What’s not reported in the budget was supplemental appropriations of 379 Billion. Those were the costs of the wars, The Bush stimulus in which checks were sent directly to US Taxpayers and assorted Earmarks. If everything was on the books that year the deficit would have been 834 Billion Dollars.

            I have an economics degree from Duke University and have run my own businesses or run the businesses for others since 1982 including all the accounting. You clearly don’t have a concept of how our budget works or how funds are appropriated once Federal Spending is set for the year.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deficit_to_Change_in_Debt_Comparison_-_2008.png

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            The fact remains that, according to the CBO, the Obama stimulus contributed nearly $200 billion to the FY2009 deficit.

          • Madley

            In addition real economists look at the deficit as a percentage of GDP. Last year it was 4.1% of GDP. Based on percentages they’re were 18 years where the deficit was higher than 4.1% of GDP going back to 1930 incuding 4 years under Reagan.

            Now had George W. Bush not used supplemental spending for all the war spending his deficit would have been higher than 4.1% in every year of his Presidency except for Fiscal Years 2002, 2006 & 2007. Also President Obama started putting the war spending in the budget in Fiscal Year 2010, the first budget he was responsible for.

            What kind of degree do you have Jeremy?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            The fact remains that Obama increased the FY2009 deficit and then ran record deficits for several years.

          • Hawk_TX

            President Bush was unable to sign a 2009 budget because the Democrat controlled congress didn’t pass one until after he was no longer president. The fiscal year 2009 budget was signed by Barack Obama on march 12, 2009. That means that the first year he was responsible for is 2009 not 2010.

            He also went on to spend the the remaining TARP funds that Bush had held back saying that it would not be needed. That alone adds another $200 billion dollars to his spending. In addition he went on to sign the American recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 on February 17 which spent an estimated $831 billion. As the last budget passed the 2009 budget with its inflated spending became the baseline for spending in subsequent years.

  • Madley

    “As you can see, what Obama actually did since he took office was to triple the deficit”

    If you believe this you’re a frigging moron or a liar. You’re clueless when it comes to the federal budget.

    On January 7, 2009 when the CBO said the budget deficit would be 1.2 Trillion they estimated tax revenues would

    “The CBO expects tax revenue in 2009 to fall by $166 billion, or 6.6%, from the previous year’s collection.”

    Well tax revenue in fiscal year 2008 was 2.524 Trillion. In 2009 it turned out to be 2.105 Trillion or a drop of 419 Billion dollars or 16.6%. Taken that into account 253 Billion in less revenue than the CBO predicted and adding that to their 1.2 Trillion projection at the time
    that’s a 1.453 Trillion deficit prior to President Obama’s inauguration. Why don’t you just admit you’re wrong and you’re the psychopath and not the President.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/07/news/economy/cbo_2009_budget_outlook/

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Dude, the fact remains that Obama increased the 2009 deficit.