I know it seems as though Barack Obama has been President a lot longer than 18 months to conservatives, business owners, the unemployed, and even Congressional Democrats — but apparently it’s also been confusing to the President himself.  The White House rolled out its new strategy to fight HIV/AIDS, which this year comes with no extra money; it instead relies on reallocating funds for more efficient and effective use.  Obama anticipated criticism over the decision and tried to pre-empt it by reminding everyone of his, er, lengthy track record as President:

HIV/AIDS activists said there is no new federal money in this strategy. Rather, it redirects money that has already been allocated. …

Obama acknowledged that these are challenging times for Americans living with HIV/AIDS because the economy is forcing states are being forced to cut back on assistance for drugs.

“I know the need is great,” he said. “And that’s why we’ve increased federal assistance each year that I’ve been in office, providing an emergency supplement this year to help people get the drugs they need, even as we pursue a national strategy that focuses on three central goals.”

“Each year”?  He’s been President in two calendar years … and didn’t increase assistance in this year.  In fact, Obama didn’t increase it much last year, either :

  • FY2008: $6.031 billion
  • FY2009:  $6.68 billion
  • FY2010 (present): $6.835 billion
  • FY2011: $6.99 billion

Given the decline of the dollar’s value, that’s probably effectively less buying power year on year from FY09 forward.  And maybe that’s a smart move in terms of policy, but it’s certainly not a track record of expansion.  In the two budget years in which Obama had input, it looks like each were essentially flatlines for PEPFAR.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day! Chris has started his annual fund drive, so be sure to visit the DBD site and keep DBD in action!