I know this will come as a surprise to the fake Fox News followers, but the facts are indisputable.
The federal budget deficit fell more sharply than in any year since the end of World War II, the Treasury Department reported on Thursday that the deficit for 2013 dropped to $680 billion, from about $1.1 trillion the previous year.
In nominal terms, that is the smallest deficit since 2008, and signals the end of a five-year stretch beginning with the onset of the recession when the country’s fiscal gap came in at more than $1 trillion each year. As a share of the nation’s economy, the budget deficit fell to about 4.1 percent, from a high of more than 10 percent during the depths of the Great Recession.
The report comes days before the White House is scheduled to release a new budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 that avoids cuts in spending and focuses on ways to help spur the still-tepid recovery through additional government investment.
We all know that Republicans are not being honest when they say President Obama is increasing the deficit. And what makes that lie even worse is when they try to tie the sequester into their false claim.
But facts don’t lie, and Rachel Maddow used one of her segments last night to debunk both Republican lies – that Obama has increased the deficit and that reducing the deficit is their reason for favoring the sequester.
Without further ado, Rachel Maddow…
Here’s the official report that put all their talking points about the President raising the deficit to rest. The report comes from Center for American Progress.
Since the start of fiscal year 2011, President Barack Obama has signed into law approximately $2.4 trillion of deficit reduction for the years 2013 through 2022. Nearly three-quarters of that deficit reduction is in the form of spending cuts, while the remaining one-quarter comes from revenue increases. As a result of that deficit reduction, the projected rise in debt levels from today through 2022 has decreased by nearly 10 full percentage points of gross domestic product. In fact, under today’s policies, debt levels in 2022—as a share of GDP—will be only slightly higher than they are expected to be by the end of next year. That doesn’t mean there is no more work to be done, but it does show we’ve come a long way already.
They’re all politicians, regardless of what Mitt Romney wants to call himself. But what does it say of the Romney campaign and the Republican leaders when they chose three major lies to base an entire convention on?
Lie Number 1. – “You Didn’t Build That.”
Those were the words President Obama used at a campaign event. The President was talking about all the different factors that contribute to all successful businesses. But Republicans are only focusing on the you didn’t build that phrase and they are telling their followers that President Obama is against businesses.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you have a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
Anyone with a hint of common sense can look at that quote and conclude that the President was correct. Somewhere along the line, somebody gave entrepreneurs some help. Yes, business owners formulate a business plan, some invested every dollar they had and put in the long hours. But doing that alone does not make a successful business. It helps to have a proper education and good teachers. It helps when customer have access to a business whether it be through roads, public transportation or the internet. And yes, it helps when there is a system already in place that facilitates the business plan and allows that plan to be successful.
So Republicans can focus on the “you didn’t build it” part of the President’s speech all they want. The facts… the simple facts show that the president is correct.
Lie Number 2. – “Obama increased the deficit by $5 Trillion”
This lie is another example of what Republicans and the Romney campaign is famous for – placing a laser focus on one part of a political argument and enlarging that argument to a point where it becomes the whole story.
Yes, $5 Trillion dollars were added to the deficit under the Obama administration, but that’s not the whole story. For anyone who is genuine and want to know more, the full story is about where this $5 trillion comes from.
Here are the facts on the $5 trillion:
- The George Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were conducted on a credit card. In his infinite wisdom, George Bush did not include these wars in any budget. Mr. Obama on the other hand chose to bring this information to the American people and $853 billion – the price of both Bush wars – were added to the deficit.
- The George Bush Tax Cuts – Another Bush policy that the Bush administration chose not to add to the deficit. In an effort to be transparent President Obama budgeted this cost and $2.2 trillion appeared on the deficit, thanks to Bush.
Other Bush Credit Card Policies – The costs of these Bush policies were also hidden from the American people, and these cost were finally budgeted by the Obama administration:
- Defense – $616 Billion
- Non Defense – $608 Billion
- Entitlements – $293 Billion
- Troubled Assets – $294 Billion
- Prescription Drug costs – $180 Billion
And there you have it. The whole story on the $5 trillion deficit increase, all items from the George Bush-era.
How much did Obama’s policies add to the deficit? According to the chart below, when the expenses and revenues are taken into consideration, the Obama policies adds just about $983 billion. It breaks down like this:
- The Stimulus – $874 Billion
- Extending the Bush Tax Cuts – $620 Billion
- Other mandatory spending – $324 Billion
- Other revenue – $113 Billion
And the Republican’s claim in itself makes no sense. A recent article by MarketWatch details that spending under President Obama is at a 60 year low. How can he “increased the deficit by $5 trillion if he’s not spending? The graph below explains:
In addition to the study by MarketWatch, PolitiFact did their research and agrees – spending is less under Obama. From PolitiFact:
Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention.
Lie Number 3 – “Obama removed the work requirement in Welfare.”
This particular lie was told (and will be told again and again) by the Republican Vice President candidate Paul Ryan. This lie was, like I’m sure you all know by now, debunked by every respectable fact-checker in the field. But the fact that this lie is already debunked did not stop the vice president candidate and he mentioned it in the biggest speech of his career – his speech to the nation.
The lie is based on a memo from the Obama administration to the states, where the states are granted a waiver from the federal program if they (the states) can show better more effective way to transfer welfare recipients from welfare to better training and work. But unfortunately, many in the Republican base choose fiction over facts and the Romney campaign is feeding this lie to these people.
And now that we’ve come to the end of the Republican convention, what can we really say we’ve learned?
Although a tad more of the Republican candidate was revealed to the American people, it was hard to believe what I was seeing and what I was hearing from the Convention podium. How can we believe anything coming from these Republicans when the very foundation of their Convention was based on lies?
The Republican governor of New Jersey and endorser of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is falsely attacking the President. What else is new? “What the hell are we paying you for?,” Christie askedyesterday, implying that the president could have changed the outcome of the failed Super Committee.
“I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said in Camden, N.J.
“It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?” Christie was contrasting the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements, saying both stemmed from “anger” with government’s inability to respond to the financial crisis.
But while Christie said “both parties deserve blame for what’s going on in Washington, D.C.,” he pointed the finger squarely at Obama for failing to strike a budget deal. “Why the president of the United States refuses to do this is astonishing to me. If he wanted to run for Senate again and just be 1 of a 100, I’m sure he could have gotten reelected over and over again in Illinois,” Christie said. “He’s the one in Washington and he’s got to get something done here. And it’s not good enough just to say, ‘Well, I’ll get it done after the election.’”
Of course, this claim that President Obama could have worked his magic and convince Republicans hellbent on protecting the taxes of millionaires, is false. Republicans would want you to believe that Mr. Obama was missing in action on deficit reduction.
The facts however, are very different.
It was, after all, President Obama who first introduced a proposal to cut the deficit by $4 trillion. And he spent the entire summer trying to work with Republicans to come to some agreement. He even played golf with John Boehner, trying to come to some understanding on what spending cuts to make and at what cost.
But because of Republicans’ secret pledge to make this president fail by tanking the economy, the possibility of a deficit reduction would work against their pledge. They unanimously said “no” to the President’s proposal, and decided to put their faith in the hands of the super committee – a group of 12 people who knew the dire importance of the job at hand, but chose ideological political positions instead.
So, now that the super committee has failed to do their job, it is obviously President Obama’s fault. He should have sat in with the Super Committee everyday, giving his input and recommendations to a group of people who want him to fail.
The failure of the super committee was inevitable. Republicans went into the negotiating process knowing they were going to agree to absolutely nothing thus, causing its failure. And nothing would have been more pleasing to Republicans like Chris Christie, than having President Obama take part in that failure.
If he had played a role in the negotiations, the super-committee’s failure would be his fault. If he didn’t take part, the failure of the super-committee would be his fault.
The Republicans already knew who to blame way before the committee failed. They were just waiting to see which card the President played. It’s classic Republican politics.
Today, President Obama outlined his plan for deficit reduction. He again called for a balanced approach to reducing the nation’s deficit through both spending cuts and raising revenue by asking the top 3% of the wealthiest Americans to pay the same rate middle class Americans already pay. Of course, Republicans used the last few days to get their talking points out, calling the President’s proposal “class warfare.”
But President Obama had an answer for them;
It comes down to this: We have to prioritize. Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount — by $4 trillion. So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal? Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we’re going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare. We can’t afford to do both.
Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get. We can’t afford to do both.
This is not class warfare. It’s math. The money is going to have to come from someplace. And if we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit and we are trying to reach that same target of $4 trillion, then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more: We’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor. We’ve got to scale back on the investments that have always helped our economy grow. We’ve got to settle for second-rate roads and second-rate bridges and second-rate airports, and schools that are crumbling.
That’s unacceptable to me. That’s unacceptable to the American people. And it will not happen on my watch. I will not support — I will not support — any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.
But explaining simple math to a group who thinks teachers are the enemy and wants to eliminate the Department of Education, may not be the easiest thing to do, but based on the President’s attitude today, I think he’s up for the challenge.