Obama’s Debt/Deficit Disconnect
Arlington, Va.—Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, today issued the following statement in response to reports that an essay signed by President Obama in the official program for the Democratic National Convention confuses the terms “debt” and “deficit”:
Today’s report that the president doesn’t understand the difference between our national debt and our annual deficit is frightening. But for an administration that has overseen wasteful spending projects such as Solyndra and whose lack of responsible oversight allowed federal employees to party in the GSA, this lack of attention to detail isn’t surprising. Responsible budgeting isn’t glamorous or fun, but it is a necessary, core function of government. For reference, our national debt is at a historic high of $16 trillion and our annual deficit is about $1.2 trillion, exceeding the trillion dollar mark for the fourth straight year. Additionally, Congress has failed to pass a budget into law for the past three years. President Obama may be hoping the American people award him an “incomplete,” but on his understanding of budgetary issues he’s clearly failing.
Obama essay confuses debt and deficit
From USA Today
There’s no question budgets are complicated. In President Obama’s first-person essay in the official program for the Democratic National Convention, he appears to have mixed up the words debt and deficit.
“Our plan will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion by cutting spending we can’t afford,” he wrote. …
Deficit refers to the annual amount the United States goes over-budget, currently about $1.2 trillion. The debt refers to the total amount of money the U.S. owes other countries, currently just over $16 trillion.
If Obama had it right, that would mean replacing the annual budget deficit with the highest surplus in history — $2.8 trillion dollars — an unlikely scenario.