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AP Fact Checks Obama’s Deficit Claims

John on April 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

A surprisingly sharp response to Obama’s disingenuous claims about the economy made at two townhall meetings today:

OBAMA: “Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit…. That wasn’t me. Number two, there is almost uniform consensus among economists that in the middle of the biggest crisis, financial crisis, since the Great Depression, we had to take extraordinary steps. So you’ve got a lot of Republican economists who agree that we had to do a stimulus package and we had to do something about the banks. Those are one-time charges, and they’re big, and they’ll make our deficits go up over the next two years.” – in Missouri.

THE FACTS:

Congress controls the purse strings, not the president, and it was under Democratic control for Obama’s last two years as Illinois senator. Obama supported the emergency bailout package in President George W. Bush’s final months – a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.

To be sure, Obama opposed the Iraq war, a drain on federal coffers for six years before he became president. But with one major exception, he voted in support of Iraq war spending.

The economy has worsened under Obama, though from forces surely in play before he became president, and he can credibly claim to have inherited a grim situation.

Still, his response to the crisis goes well beyond “one-time charges.”

He’s persuaded Congress to expand children’s health insurance, education spending, health information technology and more. He’s moving ahead on a variety of big-ticket items on health care, the environment, energy and transportation that, if achieved, will be more enduring than bank bailouts and aid for homeowners.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated his policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years, even accounting for his spending reduction goals. Now, the deficit is nearly quadrupling to $1.75 trillion.

This is just the first of three fact checks. Click over to read the rest.

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Category: Energy & Economy |

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