Either Barack Obama stinks at math or he’s a liar. Or maybe it’s a little bit from Column A and a little from Column B.
Consider: As Democrats begin their spin of the President new budget, the claim made over and over is that Obama cut the budget deficit in — half which is 100% true. The fact he and his handlers in the administration conveniently ignore however is that before he cut the deficit in half, he first doubled it.
The chart below shows the US Federal deficit by year since 2002 (Source, the White House):
Note: 2014 is an estimate.
On first glance it seems that George Bush raised the deficit to over $1.4 trillion dollars in 2009 and Obama shrunk the deficit every year through 2013. However, less than half the 2009 budget was on Bush’s watch.
The U.S fiscal year runs from October to September. The President who is in office at the beginning of the fiscal year gets the credit or blame for that year’s budget. Since he was in office in October of 2008, George Bush gets saddled with the 2009 budget.
If the deficits were meted out with the stimulus in mind they would look more like this:
Bu there’s more. In February of 2009, the Democratic Party controlled Congress and rammed through the stimulus bill under President Obama. The entire bill for the stimulus ($830 billion) was spent in the 2009 fiscal year. Thus Bush was assigned the stimulus spending even though it was an Obama bill.
George Bush was by no means a deficit hawk, but President Obama took Bush’s high-spending ways and ramped them up into overdrive. He doubled the already high Bush deficits before he cut them in half.
Finally, there’s this: Most of the spending cuts the White House now takes credit for were initiated by Republicans and grudgingly agreed to by Obama. Maybe that initial calculation needs to be adjusted to 75% from the liar column and 25% from the bad math column.