Debate Dissembling: Obama's Own Budget Proves His Deficit Reduction Claims Wrong
As political pundits delve into Obama's poor debate performance, not as much attention is being bestowed upon what he actually said Wednesday evening. The President repeated his thoroughly debunked deficit reduction claims, claims even his own budget plan proves to be false.
President Obama again told the American people that he has a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan that cuts $2.50 for every $1.00 in new revenue. "I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan," he said before urging people to go to his campaign website. "You can look at all the numbers, what cuts we make and what revenue we raise."
Certain Republicans have pointed out the fallacies in Obama's claimed deficit reduction plan. In a recent press release, Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) said that Obama's claims are "near-universally discredited."
Speaking of going to the website and seeing the President’s own numbers, Sessions noted that all one need do to learn the truth is to "review the President’s own budget document."
Tables S-1 and S-4 from the summer budget update show a $1.8 trillion tax increase. So for the President to promise 2.5 times as many spending cuts would require reductions of $4.5 trillion. But table S-4 shows outlays of $46 trillion—a spending request $1.4 trillion greater than what we are currently planning to spend. Overall, under the President’s plan, the federal budget will grow 58 percent larger—from $3.6 trillion today to $5.9 trillion in 2022. The gross federal debt, as shown in table S-14, will rise $11 trillion from last year’s debt total—to $25.4 trillion in 2022.
As for the President’s mysterious $4 trillion in deficit reduction, it’s nowhere to be found. The President’s net change in spending is a $1.4 trillion increase and his net change in taxes is a $1.8 trillion increase—leaving less than $400 billion in deficit reduction, one-tenth of what he pledges. As Glenn Kessler writes: ‘The repeated claim that Obama’s budget reduces the deficit by $4 trillion is simply not accurate… fake money is being used to pay for real spending projects.’
Many agree with Sessions. Glen Kessler of the Washington Post said, "Virtually no serious budget analyst agreed" with the President's claim. And on debate night, ABC News called the claim "mostly fiction."
Several others have noted that Obama's claims are wrong, too. But, unfortunately, too many Old Media sources continue to repeat the President's claim without any critical analysis.
Of course, that wasn't the only thing that Obama said in Wednesday's debate that is either false or misleading. For one, the President's jobs number claim is misleading and his claim that Romney's plan would raise taxes on the middle class is simply false.