Inherited or Not, We’re Still Spending Too Much
Four Years Later Americans Still Know What Obama Inherited—They Just Don’t Know What He Has Done To Fix It
In a recent “60 Minutes” interview with President Obama, host Steve Kroft began with a statement: “Most Americans think we’re spending too much money.” When asked about the national debt (which has grown 51 percent under President Obama) the president went on to say he inherited the debt:
“Over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren’t paid for, as a consequence of tax cuts that weren’t paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then theworst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now we took some emergency actions, but that accounts for about 10 percent of this increase in the deficit, and we have actually seen the federal government grow at a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower, in fact, substantially lower than the federal government grew under either Ronald Reagan or George Bush.”
The facts say otherwise. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler put Obama’s claims to the test, and many did not hold up. In particular, Obama’s remark that the federal government has grown at “a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower” has been disproven time and time and again by the Associated Press, FactCheck.org and PolitiFact. The Washington Post gave Obama’s deficit comments a 4 out 5 on their “Pinocchio” test, and fact checker Glenn Kessler went on to say, “At some point, a president has to take ownership of his own actions.”
Accounting gimmicks aside, the numbers clearly show that President Obama has contributed to the deficit in a fashion nearly identical to President Bush’s last year in office. Inherited or not, using the record deficit in 2009 as a baseline for the “new normal” in Washington hardly justifies the reckless and wasteful spending Americans have seen over the last four years. Here are the facts:
- Since 2009 the national debt has increased by more than 51%.
- 2012 marks the fourth straight year of trillion dollar deficits.
- At this rate, America’s national debt is on track to top $21.3 trillion by 2017.
A recent polling analysis released by Public Notice shows voter concern over spending and the debt has increased by 10 points this year, and for the first time polls show Americans are more worried about the debt than the economy and jobs. Clearly Americans want Washington to stop playing the blame game and start doing something about the problem. The national debt has hit $16 trillion, the deficit is holding steady more than $1 trillion, and according to Public Notice’s polling analysis, Americans are not confident that either candidate can solve these spending issues.