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The Big Fail: Not On His Watch

- May 14, 2012

Obama Has Avoided Making “The Hard Decisions” On The Debt, Leaving The Situation Worse After Almost Four Years Under His Watch

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President-Elect Obama In 2009: “We Have To Signal Seriousness In This By Making Sure Some Of The Hard Decisions Are Made Under My Watch, Not Someone Else's.” (Michael D. Shear, “Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform,” The Washington Post1/16/09)

OBAMA SAW THE DANGER IN ADDING TO OUR DEBT, BUT HIS RECORD MAKES HIM THE “UNDISPUTED DEBT KING OF THE LAST FIVE PRESIDENTS”

THEN: Obama Recognized That If We Failed To Control Our Debt, It Could Lead To A Double-Dip Recession. OBAMA: “It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.” (Fox News, “Interview With Major Garrett,” 11/18/09)

NOW: 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)

  • Obama Is Responsible For “The Most Rapid Increase In The Debt Under Any U.S. President.” “The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama's watch. The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased $4 Trillion Under Obama,” CBS News, 8/22/11)
  • The National Debt Has Increased More Under Three Years Of Obama Than It Did In The Previous Eight Years. “The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency. The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office. The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased More Under Obama Than Under Bush,” CBS News, 3/19/12)

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: Obama’s Record On The Debt “Looks Pretty Bad For Obama.” “If the chart were recast to show how much the debt went up as a percentage of GDP, it would look pretty bad for Obama after not even three years in office. In fact, Obama does almost twice as poorly as Reagan — and four times worse than George W. Bush.” (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)

  • 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 National Debt Will Continue To Rise As Far As The Eye Can See.” “The federal budget sent to Congress last month by Mr. Obama, projects the National Debt will continue to rise as far as the eye can see. The budget shows the Debt hitting $16.3 trillion in 2012, $17.5 trillion in 2013 and $25.9 trillion in 2022.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased More Under Obama Than Under Bush,” CBS News, 3/19/12)

OBAMA PROMISED TO CUT THE DEFICIT IN HALF, BUT INSTEAD RACKED UP THE THREE HIGHEST DEFICITS IN HISTORY

PROMISE: Obama Pledged To Cut The Deficit In Half By The End Of His First Term. OBAMA: “And that's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Washington, D.C., 2/23/09)

  • “President Barack Obama Plans To Cut The U.S. Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By The End Of His First Term …” (Hans Nichols, “Obama Plans To Reduce Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By 2013,” Bloomberg, 2/21/09)
  • One White House Official Told Politico “We’ll Cut It At Least In Half.” “Under White House projections, this year’s inherited budget deficit of $1.3 trillion will be cut to $533 billion by fiscal year 2013, the end of the first term. ‘So we’ll cut it at least in half,’ the official said.” (Mike Allen, “Obama Vows To Cut Huge Deficit In Half,”Politico, 2/22/09)
  • President Barack Obama Reaffirmed His Pledge To Halve The Deficit In 2011. OBAMA: “And that’s what we’ve done with this year’s budget.  When I took office, I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term.  Our budget meets that pledge and puts us on a path to pay for what we spend by the middle of the decade.” (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, 2/15/11)

FAIL: The CBO Projects The Deficit At The End Of Obama’s First Term Will Be $1.253 Trillion, Obama’s Fourth Straight Trillion Deficit. (“An Analysis Of The President’s 2013 Budget,” Congressional Budget Office, 3/16/12)

  • Politifact: “Obama Made A Pledge To Cut The Deficit In Half By The End Of His First Term. And He’s Falling Short So Far.” (Gregory Trotter, “Tim Pawlenty Says President Obama Is Going To Break Promise On Deficit And Will Double It,” Politifact, 6/10/11)

The Deficit “Remains Very Large By Historical Standards.” “‘The fundamental story about the federal budget has not changed: Although the deficit is starting to shrink, it remains very large by historical standards,’ it says.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO: Deficit Is 493 Billion Larger,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 3/13/12)

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 FY2013 Budget Increases The Deficit More Than His FY2012 Budget And Will “Have A More Negative Long-Run Effect.” “The effects of the 2013 budget differ from those of the preceding budget in four main ways. In particular, the proposals for 2013 would do the following: Increase deficits by a greater amount, largely because of a greater increase in spending compared with that in CBO’s baseline. Those larger deficits would provide a bigger short-run boost to output but then have a more negative long-run effect.” (“The Economic Impact Of The President’s 2013 Budget,” Congressional Budget Office, 4/20/12)

  • According To A CBO Report, Obama’s Policies Will Result in $6.4 Trillion In Deficits In The Next Ten Years. “The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that President Barack Obama’s tax and spending policies will yield $6.4 trillion in deficits over the next decade, more than double the shortfall in CBO’s own fiscal baseline — even after taking credit for reduced war costs.” (David Rogers, “CBO: Exploding Debt Under Obama,” Politico, 3/16/12)

OBAMA REFUSED TO ADDRESS ENTITLEMENT REFORM FOR POLITICAL REASONS; INSTEAD, HE KICKED THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD

PROMISE: Obama: “What We Have Done Is Kicked This Can Down The Road. We Are Now At The End Of The Road And Are Not In A Position To Kick It Any Further.” (Michael D. Shear, “Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform,” The Washington Post1/16/09)

  • Obama Said He Would Solve The Insolvency Of Our Entitlement Programs On His Watch. OBAMA: “We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's.” (Michael D. Shear, “Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform,” The Washington Post, 1/16/09)
  • Obama Said A “Discussion Around Entitlements” Would Be “A Central Part” Of Plans To Approach The Deficit. “‘We are beginning consultations with members of Congress around how we expect to approach the deficit,’ Obama said. ‘We expect that discussion around entitlements will be a part, a central part, of those plans.’” (Lori Montgomery, “Congress Urges Spending Restraint,” The Washington Post1/8/09)

FAIL: Obama Ignored His Own Fiscal Commission’s Proposals To Rein In Entitlement Programs. “With the budget he is to unveil Monday, President Obama has not opted for the bold, comprehensive approach to reining in the fast-growing federal debt that his own fiscal commission has said is needed, now.” (Jackie Calmes, "A Cautious Approach Seeking Bipartisan Appeal," The New York Times2/13/11)

  • President Obama’s FY2012 Budget “Declined To Propose Major Changes To Social Security, Medicare Or Medicaid.” “Even as the administration said it wants to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years, it declined to propose major changes to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, which combined account for more than 40 percent of federal spending.” (Perry Bacon Jr., “In Third Year, Obama Proposes A More Modest Course,” The Washington Post, 2/14/11)

DOUBLE FAIL: Obama Is Avoiding Social Security Reform Because His Political Team Says The Debate Could Be “Disastrous To His 2012 Reelection Hopes.” “But Obama's political team, led by David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jim Messina, are urging the president to understand that backing benefit cuts could prove disastrous to his 2012 reelection hopes, sources say.” (Alexander Bolton, "Social Security Reform Splits White House Political, Economic Teams," The Hill3/15/11)

  • Obama Avoided Changes To Entitlement Programs In His Supercommittee Proposal In Favor Of A “A Blueprint For Shoring Up His Restless Democratic Base.” “Suffering an erosion of support from the broad coalition that elected him, Obama has crafted a plan that reads more like a blueprint for shoring up his restless Democratic base than a vehicle for reaching across the aisle in search of bipartisan compromise.” (Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein, “Obama To Unveil $3T Deficit Plan,” Politico, 9/18/11)
  • Former Clinton Budget Director Alice Rivlin And Former Senator Pete Domenici: In Ten Years, “Entitlement Costs Spiral Out Of Control And Revenues Are Inadequate To Deal With A Wave Of Retiring Baby Boomers.” “‘While his budget stabilizes debt over the next decade, the real problem arrives thereafter, as entitlement costs spiral out of control and revenues are inadequate to deal with a wave of retiring baby boomers,’ former White House budget office director Alice Rivlin and former Senate Budget chairman Pete Domenici said in a statement.” (Jeanne Sahadi, “Obama Budget Fails To Tackle Entitlements,” CNN Money,2/14/12)

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