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“Do Not Buy Into The BS”

- May 29, 2012

When Obama Touts Math This Faulty It Begins To Make Sense That He Has So Much Trouble Managing The Nation’s Finances

WITH HIS BLINDERS ON, OBAMA CLAIMS THAT HE IS THE THRIFTIEST PRESIDENT IN NEARLY 60 YEARS

Citing A MarketWatch Commentary, Obama Claimed, “Since I’ve Been President, Federal Spending Has Risen At The Lowest Pace In Nearly 60 Years.” OBAMA: “And I’m running to pay down our debt in a way that is balanced and responsible.  After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law. My opponent won’t admit it, but it's been starting to appear in places -- real liberal outlets like the Wall Street Journal -- since I’ve been President, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years.  Think about that. Think about that.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Denver, CO, 5/23/12)

  • “Just Like That, An Online Column, Rather Than A Detailed Study By A Budget Office, Became Fodder For His Argument.” (Peter Baker, “Obama Finds Campaigning Rules Clock,” The New York Times, 5/27/12)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Claimed Obama “Has Demonstrated Significant Fiscal Restraint And Acted With Great Fiscal Responsibility.” CARNEY: “Not at all.  I think it is simply a fact that despite the enormous challenges that this country faced when the President took office and the absolute essential need for taking dramatic action and significant action in passing a stimulus bill, as well as the other actions the President took, this President has been -- has demonstrated significant fiscal restraint and acted with great fiscal responsibility.  That is also why he has put forward a balanced plan to further reduce our deficit and debt by over $4 trillion.” (Press Gaggle, The White House, 5/23/12)

  • Carney: “Do Not Buy Into The BS That You Hear About Spending… Doing So Is A Sign Of Sloth And Laziness.” CARNEY: “I simply make the point, as an editor might say, to check it out; do not buy into the BS that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration.  I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness.” (Press Gaggle, The White House, 5/23/12)

BUT FACT CHECKERS SAVAGED OBAMA’S CLAIMS AND THE SHODDY COLUMN HE RELIED ON

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: Obama’s Spending “Has Hit Highs Not Seen Since The End Of World War II — Completely The Opposite Of The Point Asserted By Carney.” “In the post-war era, federal spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy has hovered around 20 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points. Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney. Part of this, of course, is a consequence of the recession, but it is also the result of a sustained higher level of spending.” (Glenn Kessler, “The Facts About The Growth Of Spending Under Obama,” The Washington Post, 5/25/12)

  • Politifact: “As A Percentage Of Gross Domestic Product … Discretionary Spending Under Obama Reached Its Highest Level In About Two Decades …” “As a percentage of gross domestic product -- which is a measure of the nation’s economy -- discretionary spending under Obama reached its highest level in about two decades, according to figures released by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.” (Bill Wichert, “Cory Booker Claims Obama Has Overseen Nation’s ‘Lowest Discretionary Spending We’ve Had In Decades’,” Politifact, 5/28/12)
  • Every Year In Office, Obama Has Wanted To Spend More Money Than Congress Would Allow. “So in every case, the president wanted to spend more money than he ended up getting. Nutting suggests that federal spending flattened under Obama, but another way to look at it is that it flattened at a much higher, post-emergency level — thanks in part to the efforts of lawmakers, not Obama.” (Glenn Kessler, “The Facts About The Growth Of Spending Under Obama,” The Washington Post, 5/25/12)

The Wall Street Journal: “To Anyone Who Really Knows The Numbers, Mr. Obama's Spending Has Increased By Closer To 5% A Year.” “To anyone who really knows the numbers, Mr. Obama's spending has increased by closer to 5% a year. Comparing apples to apples, CBO says total federal spending was $2.98 trillion in 2008 and has risen every year to reach $3.72 trillion in Mr. Obama's fiscal 2013 budget.” (Editorial, “The History Boys,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/25/12)

  • As A Share Of GDP, Obama’s Spending Has Reached Unprecedented Levels Four Years In A Row. “Prior to Mr. Obama, the U.S. had not spent more than 23.5% of GDP—that was in 1983, amid the Reagan defense buildup—since the end of World War II. Yet Mr. Obama has managed to exceed that four years in a row: 25.2% in 2009, 24.1% in 2010 and 2011, and an estimated 24.3% in 2012, up from a range between 18%-21% from 1994-2008.” (Editorial, “The History Boys,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/25/12)

The Wall Street Journal: Nutting Falsely Claims Obama Is Responsible For Only $140 Billion Of Spending In 2009, Ignoring The Stimulus. “Mr. Nutting claims that Mr. Obama is only responsible for $140 billion worth of spending in his hyperactivist first year in office because . . . the fiscal year technically begins on October 1, 2009. Therefore he says Mr. Obama had no control over the budget, though in February 2009 he did famously manage to pass an $800 billion stimulus that was supposed to be a one-time deal. Mr. Nutting then measures Mr. Obama's spending growth rate against an inflated 2009 baseline that includes the spending Mr. Obama caused but which he attributes to Mr. Bush.” (Editorial, “The History Boys,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/25/12)

  • The Associated Press Fact Check: Nutting’s Figures Are “Stunningly Low…Considering That Obama Rammed Through Congress An $831 Billion Stimulus Measure In Early 2009 And Presided Over Significant Increases In Annual Spending.” “The MarketWatch study finds spending growth of only 1.4 percent over 2010-2013, or annual increases averaging 0.4 percent over that period. Those are stunningly low figures considering that Obama rammed through Congress an $831 billion stimulus measure in early 2009 and presided over significant increases in annual spending by domestic agencies at the same time the cost of benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare and the Medicaid were ticking steadily higher. A fairer calculation would give Obama much of the responsibility for an almost 10 percent budget boost in 2009, then a 13 percent increase over 2010-2013, or average annual growth of spending of just more than 3 percent over that period.” (Andrew Taylor, “FACT CHECK: Obama Claim Of Thrifty Spending Falls Short Of Reality, Bailout Skewers Numbers,” The Associated Press, 5/26/12)

Obama Touted The Column But Did Not Mention It “Did Not Count Significant Spending In His Early Months In Office And Assumed Future Cuts That He Opposes.” “On the flight to Colorado last week, Jay Carney, his press secretary, read him an online column concluding that he has presided over slower growth in federal spending than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mr. Obama liked it so much he inserted it into his campaign speech. Just like that, an online column, rather than a detailed study by a budget office, became fodder for his argument. ‘Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years,’ he told supporters in a hotel ballroom in Denver. What he did not say is that the calculation did not count significant spending in his early months in office and assumed future cuts that he opposes.” (Peter Baker, “Obama Finds Campaigning Rules Clock,” The New York Times, 5/27/12)

  • Nutting Assumes CBO’s Baseline For 2012 And 2013, Giving Obama Credit For Events Unlikely To Occur. “As other critics have noted, including former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the MarketWatch analysis also incorporates CBO's annual baseline as its estimate for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. That gives Obama credit for three events unlikely to occur: $65 billion in 2013 from automatic, across-the-board spending cuts slated to take effect next January. Cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. The expiration of refundable tax cuts that are "scored" as spending in federal ledgers.” (Andrew Taylor, “FACT CHECK: Obama Claim Of Thrifty Spending Falls Short Of Reality, Bailout Skewers Numbers,” The Associated Press, 5/26/12)

AP Fact Check: The Wall Street Bailout “Ballooned The 2009 Budget Just Before Obama Took Office, Making Obama's 2010 Results Look Smaller In Comparison.” “The problem with that rosy claim is that the Wall Street bailout is part of the calculation. The bailout ballooned the 2009 budget just before Obama took office, making Obama's 2010 results look smaller in comparison. And as almost $150 billion of the bailout was paid back during Obama's watch, the analysis counted them as government spending cuts.” (Andrew Taylor, “FACT CHECK: Obama Claim Of Thrifty Spending Falls Short Of Reality, Bailout Skewers Numbers,” The Associated Press, 5/26/12)

  • AP Fact Check: “The Combination Of TARP Lending In One Year And Much Of That Money Being Paid Back In The Next Makes Obama's Spending Record For 2010 Look $261 Billion Thriftier Than It Really Was.” “The combination of TARP lending in one year and much of that money being paid back in the next makes Obama's spending record for 2010 look $261 billion thriftier than it really was. Only by that measure does Obama ‘cut’ spending by 1.8 percent in 2010 as the analysis claims.” (Andrew Taylor, “FACT CHECK: Obama Claim Of Thrifty Spending Falls Short Of Reality, Bailout Skewers Numbers,” The Associated Press, 5/26/12)
  • AP Fact Check: “The Federal Takeover Of Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Also Makes Obama's Record On Spending Look Better Than It Was.” “The federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also makes Obama's record on spending look better than it was. The government spent $96 billion on the Fannie-Freddie takeovers in 2009 but only $40 billion on them in 2010. By the administration's reckoning, the $56 billion difference was a spending cut by Obama.” (Andrew Taylor, “FACT CHECK: Obama Claim Of Thrifty Spending Falls Short Of Reality, Bailout Skewers Numbers,” The Associated Press, 5/26/12)

OBAMA’S BINGE SPENDING MAKES HIM THE “UNDISPUTED DEBT KING OF THE LAST FIVE PRESIDENTS”

Federal Outlays Have Increased By 20.4 Percent Since Obama Took Office. The federal government spent $3.1 trillion in FY2008 in inflation adjusted dollars. Under Obama, in FY2012 the federal government spent $3.8 trillion dollars. (“Table 1.3 – Summary Of Receipts, Outlays And Surpluses Or Deficits In Current Dollars, Constant (FY2005) Dollars, And As Percentages Of GDP: 1940-2016,” Office Of Management And Budget, Accessed 5/16/12; “Budget Of The United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013,” Office Of Management And Budget, 2/13/12)

  • Obama Proposed FY2013 Budget Calls For Increasing Government Spending Well Above Historical Norms. From 1969 To 2008 The Federal Government Spent An Average Of 20.6 Percent Of GDP, Obama’s Proposed FY2013 Budget Calls For Spending 22.8 Percent Of GDP By FY2022. (“Table 1.2 – Summary Of Receipts, Outlays And Surpluses Or Deficits As Percentages Of GDP: 1930-2016,” Office Of Management And Budget, Accessed 5/16/12; “Budget Of The United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013,” Office Of Management And Budget, 2/13/12)
  • Since President Obama Took Office, The Federal Government’s Workforce, Excluding The Postal Service, Has Increased 6.8 Percent, Adding 140,700 Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/8/12)

“Government Spending As A Share Of The Economy Has Hovered Around 24% During The Obama Administration…Elevated From The Historical Average Of 20.7% Over The Past 40 Years.” “Government spending as a share of the economy has hovered around 24% during the Obama administration, several percentage points higher than under President Bush, according to Congressional Budget Office data. It's also elevated from the historical average of 20.7% over the past 40 years.” (Tami Luhby, “Did Obama Really Make Government Bigger?” CNN Money, 1/25/12)

  • Once In Power, “The White House And The Pelosi Congress Then Blew Out The American Government Balance Sheet.” “In the name of saving the economy from panic, the White House and the Pelosi Congress then blew out the American government balance sheet. They compounded the problem of excessive private debt by adding unsustainable public debt. They boosted federal spending to 25% of GDP in 2009, 23.8% in 2010 (as TARP repayments provided a temporary reduction in overall spending), and back nearly to 25% this fiscal year. Meanwhile, debt to GDP climbed to 53.5% in 2009, 62.2% in 2010, and is estimated to hit 72% this year—and to keep rising. These are all figures from Mr. Obama's own budget office.” (Editorial, “America Gets Downgraded,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/8/11)

Obama Has Racked Up Three Record Deficits And Is Set For A Fourth

President Obama Has Racked Up The Three Largest Deficits In U.S. History. “The U.S budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 is $1.299 trillion, the second largest shortfall in history. The nation only ran a larger deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which included the dramatic collapse of financial markets and a huge bailout effort by the government.”(Erik Wasson, “Treasury Announces 2011 Deficit Is Second Highest In History,” The Hill’s "On The Money", 10/14/11)

  • FY2009: The Federal Budget Deficit Was $1.413 Trillion, The Highest In U.S. History. (“Monthly Budget Review: November 2011,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
  • FY2011: The Federal Budget Deficit Was $1.299 Trillion, The Second Highest In U.S. History. (“Monthly Budget Review: November 2011,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
  • FY2010: The Federal Budget Deficit Was $1.294 Trillion, The Third Highest In U.S. History. (“Monthly Budget Review: November 2011,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)

“Obama's Spending Blueprint For The Budget Year That Begins Oct. 1 Projects A Deficit For This Year Of $1.33 Trillion. That Would Mean Four Straight Years Of Trillion-Dollar-Plus Deficits.” (Martin Crutsinger, “The Fight Begins: Obama’s Budget Going To Congress,” The Associated Press, 2/12/12)

“Obama Is The Undisputed Debt King Of The Last Five Presidents”

Politifact: “Obama Is The Undisputed Debt King Of The Last Five Presidents.” “So by this measurement -- potentially a more important one -- Obama is the undisputed debt king of the last five presidents, rather than the guy who added a piddling amount to the debt, as Pelosi’s chart suggested.” (Louis Jacobson, “Nancy Pelosi Posts Questionable Chart On Debt Accumulation By Barack Obama, Predecessors,” Politifact, 5/19/11)

  • Congressional Budget Office: “The Amount Of Federal Debt Held By The Public Has Skyrocketed In The Past Few Years …” “The amount of federal debt held by the public has skyrocketed in the past few years, rising from 40 percent of GDP at the end of 2008 to reach an estimated 67 percent by the end of this year.” (“The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/24/11)
  • The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “[Obama’s] Record On The Growth Of National Debt Is The Worst Of Recent Presidents.” “But the fact remains that under basic economic measures, not phony ones, his record on the growth of the national debt is the worst of recent presidents.” (Glenn Kessler, “A Bogus Chart On Obama And The Debt Gets A New Lease On Life,” The Washington Post's "The Fact Checker", 9/29/11)

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