ABC: Obama continues “factually incorrect” statements on budget proposal

posted at 3:35 pm on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, Barack Obama continued to insist that his budget balances spending and outlays.  In an interview in Cincinnati with ABC affiliate WCPO, Obama told interviewer Carol Williams that his budget will “solve the short term problem” of deficit spending, emphasis mine:

“The one that we can solve right now if we get together in a sensible kind of way is the amount of debt we’re working with on an annual basis, our annual deficits,” The president said. “My budget freezes spending for five years and what that does is solve the short term problem by saying we’re not going to spend anymore money than we’re taking in. That requires some painful cuts in certain areas, some cuts that I’d prefer not to have to do, but I think it’s important for us to get that right.”

At ABC headquarters, however, Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller politely call this assertion “factually incorrect“:

That is factually incorrect. Even after the president’s proposed budget – with its optimistic prediction of 3.9% growth – achieves a point, in 2017, when spending is roughly equivalent to taxes coming into the government, the U.S. government will continue to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars a year to pay for interest on the national debt accrued until that point – including debt racked up during the Obama presidency.

Indeed, the U.S., according to Obama’s own budget projections, would borrow $627 billion in 2017 to pay the interest on past debt; $618 billion in 2018; $681 billion in 2019; $735 billion in 2020; and $774 billion in 2021.

Or: $3.435 trillion.

On Monday, the Heritage Foundation looked at the rosy predictions on which Obama based his budget projections, and “factually incorrect” doesn’t begin to cover it:

Having pushed discretionary spending up rapidly in the prior two years, the President proposes to reduce 2012 discretionary spending by 5 percent, though he does so only by virtue of three simple and obvious budget gimmicks:

  1. Redefining Pell grants as mandatory spending. Stripped of this gimmick, discretionary spending jumps by $14 billion in 2012.
  2. Reclassifying $54 billion of surface transportation spending from discretionary spending to mandatory spending.
  3. Spending the peace dividend. The budget proposal includes spending for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, referred to as “overseas contingency operations,” as discretionary spending and reduces funding for these operations by $38.2 billion in 2012.

Reversing these budget tricks lifts 2012 discretionary spending by $106.2 billion for an overall $31 billion increase in discretionary spending.

Earmarks. Once again, the President has promised to oppose earmarked spending. He also claimed that the 2009 stimulus bill was free of earmarks. One can only hope he is more vigorous in keeping his promise going forward than he was in the past.

Total Spending. Under the President’s budget, total spending would rise 49 percent over the next 10 years of the budget window. Even after inflation, this represents a 30 percent increase in spending.

Taxes. The President continues to play games with the scoring of tax policy. For example:

  • He proposes to raise the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent from 15 percent and lists this as a tax cut that reduces revenues by $124 billion over 10 years.
  • He proposes to extend the Bush tax cuts for low- and middle-income families and correctly includes this extension in the revenue baseline. But then, breaking with past practice, he leaves the tax relief for upper-income individuals and small businesses out of the baseline and thus conveniently has no reporting of the resulting tax hike.
  • He proposes to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from rising in 2013, and then in classic Washington style proposes $321 billion in new tax hikes to offset the cost of not raising taxes.

Debt. Under the President’s budget, despite the proposed tax hikes, publicly held debt (net of financial assets) rises from $9.5 trillion in the current year to $16.7 trillion by 2021.

In other words, Obama’s budgets don’t actually cut overall spending at all.  Spending rises by 30% in real terms over the ten-year projections, and publicly-held debt (which excludes that held by the Social Security Administration) rises by 57% in the same period.  Instead of limiting mandatory spending, Obama attempts to hide discretionary spending by transferring pet areas of spending into the mandatory category.  It’s a three-card Monty attempt to distract from Obama’s agenda of continued federal spending and regulatory adventurism while claiming fiscal responsibility.

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

Update: Glenn Reynolds talks to Sen. Bob Corker about a spending cap at PJTV.


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You lie!

WisCon on February 17, 2011 at 3:38 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

Is said politician a Democrat? If so, then I am guessing a lot.

Kataklysmic on February 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

Obama doesn’t even pass first grade math.

Dummies also surround him.

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Is Jake Tapper trying to get hired at Fox?

ctmom on February 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

“It’s not lying lying.”
-Whoopee, Carney, et al

Brat on February 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Is Jake Tapper trying to get hired at Fox?

ctmom on February 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Perfect timing, as FOX has been inching toward the toilets exponentially.

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

We all know he lies.

Even Bill O’Reilly can barely keep a straight face when talking about how he believes the president is trying to be honest yada yada yada…

MeatHeadinCA on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Palin comes out against an increase in the DEBT ceiling without reform of entitlements and a slashing of the budget…

Asked about her speculated 2012 presidential bid, Palin said she’s “still thinking,” but that if she does decide to run, her campaign will be purely grassroots: “Nothing is more effective than being there with the people in the diner shaking hands,” she said

How else does the public know me though, than through the press?” she asked, complaining that the press “reports things that have really misrepresented my record.”

“I look at those poll numbers and I say if I’m going to do this then obviously I have to get out there,” she said. “I can’t rely on a liberal leaning press to do that for you. That’s why social media is going to be so important.”

But Palin also made clear that a recent staff shift had little to do with building a campaign organization.

“I hired a chief of staff because, to tell you the truth Todd’s getting kind of tired of doing it all for me,” she said

unseen on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Jake Tapper is slowly coming around. He schooled Carney the other day on the debt/interest question and now calls out Obama on his budget lies.

Please give this guy the This Week chair back!!!

davek70 on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

From Clinton’s “it depends on what the meaning of is is” of yesteryear to today’s Obama making things up as he goes along and fully expects everyone to believe in him. Sounds like a Cult leader more than a President.

Frankly, if Obama’s lips are moving, he is lying.

coldwarrior on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Can’t even call a liar a liar – pathetic

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM

We all know every time he opens his mouth, he lies.

karenhasfreedom on February 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

How long can an idiot President continue to carry “40% approval” while blatantly telling lies to the people? That’s a better question.

search4truth on February 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Obama is taking “image over substance” to absurdist levels. Who will call him on it.

Paul-Cincy on February 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Obama is taking “image over substance” to absurdist levels. Who will call him on it.

Paul-Cincy on February 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

He’s too dumb to know the differece.

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Jake Tapper is slowly coming around. He schooled Carney the other day on the debt/interest question and now calls out Obama on his budget lies.

Please give this guy the This Week chair back!!!

davek70 on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Tapper is probably the best reporter out there from the so-called mainstream media in terms of asking tough questions of members of the Obama Administration. Of course that’s not saying much since most of the White House Press Corps(e) simply regurgitates Obama’s talking points.

Doughboy on February 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Give him the Trump treatment!

You’re fired!

turfmann on February 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it he can be called a lie on it?

cjtony97 on February 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM

You’re fired!

turfmann on February 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

from your fingers to God’s ears…

unseen on February 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Anyone still think this mujahideen isn’t trying to destroy the country on purpose?

SirGawain on February 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I don’t mind Dear Liar’s lying itself so much. It’s what politicians do. But these are so transparent and easily refutable. Does He really think we’re that dumb? That’s really insulting.

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Ed, you’re just driving into the ditch! At least Obama is attempting to tunnel under the ditch to the fairy world to steal their pots of gold!

Nethicus on February 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

I don’t mind Dear Liar’s lying itself so much. It’s what politicians do. But these are so transparent and easily refutable. Does He really think we’re that dumb? That’s really insulting.

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Liberals are willing to insult the intelligence of 49% of the people if doing so will enable them to fool 51% of the people.

Kataklysmic on February 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

How can this bozo determine how much money will be coming in through taxes? Given the rate at which jobs have drained away, who will have income to pay into this gluttonous pig?

I will wager that ObaMao never has balanced his own checkbook in his life.

onlineanalyst on February 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Joe Wilson was only slightly ahead of his time…

PatriotRider on February 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

The BLM will never call him a liar….it was always stay at factually incorrect

cmsinaz on February 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM

You mean the same ABC who asked Michelle Bachman about Lady Gaga?

Knucklehead on February 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM

“The one that we can solve right now if we get together in a sensible kind of way is the amount of debt we’re working with on an annual basis, our annual deficits,”

I wonder if he knows the difference, that sentence asserts they are the same.

fourdeucer on February 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I get a little bewildered when Obama’s media, the MSM, say anything negative about him. Sunspots hitting the earth?

SWChance on February 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM

He proposes to raise the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent from 15 percent and lists this as a tax cut that reduces revenues by $124 billion over 10 years.

Does any one understand this? He is raising the capital gain rate but listing it as a tax cut?

I must be missing something (quite possible as I did have wine with lunch…)

Ann on February 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM

crr6, sesquipedian, Dave Rywall and Grow Fins will be unable to join this thread due to an impromptu hackysack circle.

Chuck Schick on February 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Obutthead is a liar. We’ve known this since day one.

The real question is…..how many, knowing he’s a liar, are still under the spell, and will cast their vote for him, again. *sigh*

capejasmine on February 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Leftists have no choice but to lie. The Progressive philosophy can not and will never work over an extended period of time. Pick a century, any century…

Every other developed country seems to be at least inching to the Right these days. The Progressive utopia of Sweden is even moving Right.

Yet our Dems are lurching to the Left. Politicians such as Nancy Pelosi used to be considered fringe. Now they are mainstream Dem.

visions on February 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM

@rbj on February 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

He sure gets away with it alot these days.Wonder why?

docflash on February 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM

TASS was less “factually incorrect” than this administration.

Anyone surprised?

hillbillyjim on February 17, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I originally thought that Obama just “punted” on this budget because he knew he’d never get what he wanted out of a Republican house. He pulled a “go big or go home” play. His idea would be to let the Republicans do the heavy lifting so he could demagogue them until election day.

I’m starting to doubt my initial thoughts. Obama actually thinks that this is the way to WTF. He’ll defend every dollar in this budget while calling it investments and every tax hike by pointing to the debt and deficit.

I should have known better, he ALWAYS doubles down.

Mord on February 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Blatant lie.

the_nile on February 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM

We keep looking for some sign of life in the LSM…we hang on “factually incorrect” as if this will lead to some wave of honesty…sadly.

d1carter on February 17, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Makes me wonder if Obama does not know what’s in this budget. Healthcare bill deja vue?

jeanie on February 17, 2011 at 4:08 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

Apparently as many times as they want…if you are not a conservative.

right2bright on February 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Every one of them capejasmine

Gotta prop him up

cmsinaz on February 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Does any one understand this? He is raising the capital gain rate but listing it as a tax cut?

I must be missing something (quite possible as I did have wine with lunch…)

Ann on February 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM

I’m pretty sure that he knows raising capital gains taxes actually brings in less revenue (remember, he was challenged on this in the primary debates) so, by the government taking in less taxes, it’s a “tax cut”.

It’s about “fairness” in his mind, not maximizing revenue and wealth.

Mord on February 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

If it’s a Republican, once. If it’s a Democrat, an infinite amount.

simkeith on February 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

It’s only a lie if your name ends in (R).

hawksruleva on February 17, 2011 at 4:13 PM

ABCnews acted stupidly

faraway on February 17, 2011 at 4:14 PM

How long can an idiot President continue to carry “40% approval” while blatantly telling lies to the people? That’s a better question.

search4truth on February 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I am surprised it is not higher.

Union people still love him.
Latinos still love him.
Blacks still love him.
Young college kids still love him.
single women with kids still love him.
Jews, not sure, probably.

jsunrise on February 17, 2011 at 4:17 PM

How many times does a politician get to repeat an easily disprovable “factually incorrect” statement before it can be called a lie?

Democrat: There is no limit.
Republican: Why even ask? You’re called a liar even when you tell the truth.

JustTruth101 on February 17, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Tired: “Total Bullsh!t”

Wired: “Factually Incorrect”

ZenDraken on February 17, 2011 at 4:18 PM

JEFF SESSSION GETS GEITHNER TO ADMIT: Obligations in President’s Budget “Unsustainable”

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today admitted under questioning from Sen. Sessions that the president’s own budget, submitted Monday, calls for interest payments and obligations that are “excessively high” and “unsustainable.”

Brat on February 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Even worse, Obama’s economic assumptions assume we are going to see the the highest productivity growth, highest tax revenue growth (65% in 2 years!), lowest inflation, and lowest interest rates over an extended period. Should any of those not hold, interest rates are already a good deal above Obama’s projections from last year and rising (and would be faster if not for the Fed buying 1/4-1/2 of debt issued), the deficit will not be anywhere close to Obama’s laughably small projections.

That or I don’t have enough faith in our Lightworker and should stop worrying and learn to love the coming economic golden age.

jarodea on February 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Obama never was, nor ever will be a leader.

Leaders have steely spines.

Even President Barack Obama, who has taken heat from the press this week for his spending cut proposals, is following this unfortunate script. “Are we willing to cut millions of young people off when it comes to student loans that help kids and families on their college education? … If we’re cutting infant formula to poor kids, is that who we are as a people?” he said at his press conference Tuesday.

Obama added that he wants a “full, open debate with the American people” about how to get spending and deficits under control.

The media are leeches and bloodsuckers of society. Hate them with all you have.

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

but but bOosssh had the slowest job recovery growth in history….oh right, unemployement was at 4.5%

joeindc44 on February 17, 2011 at 4:44 PM

If he was really making any cuts at all, he would have protesters at the WH, wouldn’t he? I mean they are rioting in WI, OH, and WA.

Mirimichi on February 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM

I will never understand for he life of me why people in the media, even in conservative talk radio(with the exception of Mark Levin) refused to call Obamby what he is.

A Got Damn LAIR!

jawkneemusic on February 17, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Comrade B. Hussein jest be talk’in smack…..

joe btfsplk on February 17, 2011 at 6:28 PM

It is no longer news that Obama and his administration lie repeatedly to America. It is worth noting that under Islam it is entirely appropriate to lie to infidels.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I’d say this is getting embarrassing but we’re waaaaaaay past that….

karl9000 on February 17, 2011 at 7:31 PM

It’s a spin lie, not a lie, if one is to understand liberal think. Seems Obama’s upping the ante from Clinton speak…

As I recall from (my sometimes faulty) memory, Obama’s budget statement was something like “by 2017, the debt on my budget will be paid off”.

Which in liberal think means, by 2017, they’ll have collected enough to pay off all they plan to spend this year. This may or may not include interest on that debt, or debt incurred on other years, before or after this year.

It’s sort of like your college kid saying they just bought a new car for $20,000 bucks and they plan to pay it off in 4 years with 4 payments of $5000. Then they’ll be debt free — not counting their other existing and future college debts, the interest on the loans to pay for college, etc, etc.

drfredc on February 17, 2011 at 8:55 PM