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The Other $4 Trillion

- October 6, 2012

Obama Touts Fact-Challenged $4 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan While Running Up Fourth Straight Trillion Dollar Budget Deficit

THE CLAIM: Obama: "I've Proposed A Specific $4 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan." OBAMA: "I've proposed a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. ... The way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 in additional revenue." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)

THE FACTS: "Virtually No Serious Budget Analyst Agreed With This Accounting." "But virtually no serious budget analyst agreed with this accounting. Obama's $4 trillion figure, for instance, includes counting some $1 trillion in cuts reached a year ago in budget negotiations with Congress. So no matter who is the president, the savings are already in the bank." (Glenn Kessler, "Factchecking The First Presidential Debate Of 2012," The Washington Post 's The Fact Checker , 10/4/12)

THE IRONY: New CBO Numbers Indicate That This Is The "Fourth Straight Year Of Trillion Dollar Deficits On President Barack Obama's Watch." "A new estimate puts the deficit for the just-completed 2012 budget year at $1.1 trillion, the fourth straight year of trillion dollar deficits on President Barack Obama's watch." (Andrew Taylor, "CBO Tallies 2012 Deficit At $1.1T," The Associated Press, 10/5/12)

  • "It's Official: The Federal Budget Deficit Blew Past The $1 Trillion Mark For The Fourth Year In A Row." (Seung Min Kim, "CBO: Deficit Tops $1 Trillion Again," Politico, 10/5/12)

The CBO Estimates That The Federal Budget Deficit Was About $1.1 Trillion In Fiscal Year 2012. ("Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2012," Congressional Budget Office, 10/5/12)

  • The Deficit Thus Remains Greater Than That Of Any Year Since 1947. "At 7.0 percent of gross domestic product, the 2012 deficit was down from 8.7 percent in 2011 and 9.0 percent in 2010 but greater than in any year between 1947 and 2008." ("Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2012," Congressional Budget Office, 10/5/12)
  • "Social Security Outlays Rose By $42 Billion (Or 6 Percent) In 2012, Somewhat More Than In Recent Years." ("Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2012," Congressional Budget Office, 10/5/12)

Politifact: Gov. Romney's Statement That Obama Pledged To Cut The Deficit In Half Is "True." "Romney reminded Obama during the debate, 'you have said before you'd cut the deficit in half.' The statement is accurate. Obama made the pledge shortly after taking office in 2009. Today, the deficit is smaller, but it's not half the size it was. We rate Romney's statement True." ("Romney Says Obama Promised To Cut Deficit In Half," Politifact, 10/3/12)

  • The Figures Show That "The Government Borrowed 31 Cents For Every Dollar It Spent." "The administration will release the official deficit numbers around mid-October, but they should line up closely with the CBO estimate, which shows that the government borrowed 31 cents for every dollar it spent." (Andrew Taylor, "CBO Tallies 2012 Deficit At $1.1T," The Associated Press, 10/5/12)

Obama "Promised To Cut The Deficit In Half By The End Of His First Term, But Deficits Have Instead Remained At Eye-Popping Levels…" "Obama inherited an economy in recession and a deficit in excess of $1 trillion. He promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, but deficits have instead remained at eye-popping levels, including a record $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009 and deficits of $1.3 trillion in each of the past two years. The 2012 deficit was 7 percent of the size of the economy, an unsustainably high level." (Andrew Taylor, "CBO Tallies 2012 Deficit At $1.1T," The Associated Press, 10/5/12)

  • Obama Has Said His Budget Plan Shaves $4 Trillion From The Deficit, "But He Counts $1 Trillion From Savings Already Accomplished…" "In Wednesday night's debate, Obama said he has a budget plan to shave $4 trillion from the deficit over the coming decade, but he counts $1 trillion from savings already accomplished in budget deals with Republicans last year and $848 billion from winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." (Andrew Taylor, "CBO Tallies 2012 Deficit At $1.1T," The Associated Press, 10/5/12)

Obama Has Now Run The Four Largest Deficits In U.S. History

"This Is The Fourth Straight Year That The Deficit Will Exceed One Trillion Dollars, All Under President Obama." (Erik Wasson, "CBO Says 2012 Deficit Has Reached $1.17T," The Hill, 9/10/12)

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • FY2012: The Federal Budget Deficit Was $1.1 Trillion, The Fourth Highest In U.S. History. ("Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2012," Congressional Budget Office, 10/5/12)

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