Video: Has Obama read his own deficit reduction plan?

posted at 10:55 am on April 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama gave a much-anticipated speech on the budget and deficit spending last week, it turned into a disappointing mix of ambiguities and demagoguery. Most people couldn’t discern any “plan” at all in the speech, only hazy promises with few specifics. As it turns out, Obama himself doesn’t appear to be aware of even those few specifics he did offer. In yesterday’s Facebook townhall event, Obama not only mischaracterized the scope of the Republican plan to cut deficits, he also mischaracterized his own:

“In the short term, Democrats and Republicans now agree we’ve got to reduce the debt by about $4 trillion over the next 10 years. And I know that sounds like a lot of money — it is. But it’s doable if we do it in a balanced way.”

That’s actually wrong on three counts.  First, Obama’s plan doesn’t reduce the national debt at all.  It reduces by $4 trillion dollars the amount that Obama originally promised to add to the debt through deficit spending in his earlier budget projections.  Obama’s plan adds at least $7 trillion to the national debt by its end, with projections rapidly increasing thereafter.  Secondly, Republicans have a plan to cut deficit spending — not debt in the short term — by over $6 trillion, using the far less rosy baseline figures of the CBO over the Pollyannaish predictions of growth coming from the OMB.

And thirdly, Obama promised a twelve-year plan, not a 10-year plan, a point he made repeatedly in last week’s speech:

Today, I’m proposing a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years. …

The first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week – a step that will save us about $750 billion over twelve years. …

This is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next twelve years. It’s an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget.

It’s bad enough to have a President who confuses debt and deficit.  It’s worse to have a President who can’t keep his own plan scope straight.

Speaking of the 12-year scope, even Democratic Senator Kent Conrad is somewhat mystified by that approach:

Last week, President Obama introduced his own framework for reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years, a proposed measure relying heavily on cuts in military and domestic spending and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Conrad told ABC News he had never heard of a 12-year plan.

“I really don’t know the motivation. One thing I’ve learned around here is I don’t know people’s motivations. I just try to pay attention to what they do. And 12 years, it’s an interesting concept,” Conrad said.

Interesting?  It doesn’t appear to have interested even the man who proposed it.


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Comments

Ummmmm, nope

Maybe he would get it if it was in a picture book instead

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

He needs to be held to his words, take your pick of words though, that’s exactly what he does. Says everything even though it is contridictory and then can pick and choose.

hip shot on April 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

When you have no clue about a subject, it is easy to do this. Now back to the media asking Trump about “Privacy Rights” and abortion.

IlikedAUH2O on April 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Mr. President, all that you need to do is go in there, grab the microphone, demagogue and strawman a bit and spew some fuzzy math, mmkay?
/advisers

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM

He’s had lots of practice on those teleprompters… but I’m thinking that he still has miss Valerie help him with the big words.

Obama just throws out the stuff his handlers write.

tetriskid on April 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Obama votes “Present” yet again.

That’s enough for Lib voters. Just a vote of “Present.”

After all, judging by their actions, Libs don’t care about the debt, the deficit, the poor, or the less fortunate. All Libs care about, it seems, is making themselves feel better about themselves. They’re very selfish people.

visions on April 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Y’know, I could go in and grab a microphone and answer a few questions on how coal exposure is (un)related to asthma n’ such….but that doesn’t make me an epidemiologist

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Obama? A lie in a prevarication.

Slowburn on April 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM

+1 Ted c

Heh

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM

He makes it up as he goes, really. He knows the press won’t confront his BS and there is no one in the Dem party that will publicly refute him. The Dems need to primary his ass or they will be outcasts for a long while once people open their eyes and see what he has done. He’s just a sinister version of Chauncey Gardner.

MJZZZ on April 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM

ya’ll love me, ya’ll voted for me….ya’ll will certainly do it again, so just sit back, let me spew cool for a bit and enjoy the show….

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Truth is a stranger to him.

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM

This guy reminds me of a (do-all) vacuum cleaner salesman that having been told “NO” for the 5th time, starts his spiel all over again with, “Did I show the neat way it sucks dirt right out of the carpet?”

OkieDoc on April 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Today, I’m proposing a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years. …

Even if we accept this at face value, $4 trillion in DEBT reduction in 12 years is an average of $333 billion per year of spending cuts, and Obama couldn’t even accept more than $38 billion this year. He would need almost 9 times more spending cuts, and with a current deficit of $1.6 trillion per year, even that would only cut the DEFICIT by about 20%.

Forget about the scalpels…bring out the machetes!!!

Steve Z on April 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

a President who confuses debt and deficit.

Why he’s a business genius! He knows all about profit-to-earnings ratios, and how automobile liability insurance covers collision damage, and how doctors make extra money by lopping off diabetics’ feet and scooping out healthy tonsils.

Thank goodness we have someone so well educated and experienced in charge during these challenging economic times. Just imagine how bad things would be if we had some arrogant, clueless, know-it-all in the White House.

AZCoyote on April 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

This guy reminds me of a (do-all) vacuum cleaner salesman that having been told “NO” for the 5th time, starts his spiel all over again with, “Did I show the neat way how much it sucks dirt right out of the carpet?”

OkieDoc on April 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

FIFY.

Steve Z on April 21, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Little Bammie doesn’t write speeches, appears to not proof them, and doesn’t rehearse them. He’s like a TV network news reader. This is why he doesn’t know what he said yesterday.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM

You are assuming he knows how to read.

Vashta.Nerada on April 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I sit here and shake my head.Does he think we don’t have the internet to check,do the people that surround him keep him so sheltered that he really thinks he is okay? Manchurian Candidate keeps coming to mind when I read what he has said.

ohiobabe on April 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Conrad told ABC News he had never heard of a 12-year plan.
“I really don’t know the motivation. One thing I’ve learned around here is I don’t know people’s motivations. I just try to pay attention to what they do. And 12 years, it’s an interesting concept,” Conrad said.

Let me be clear about the motivation for a 12-year plan. No cuts over the first 6 years, then the next President has to cut twice as much over the following 6 years. It’s all about the O.

Steve Z on April 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Some of this has got to be just woeful unpreparedness rather than outright lying. It’d be one thing to know the hard facts of both the Ryan plan and then your own…but to goatf**k both plans on live TV…sheesh.

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Let’s be clear on one thing: if someone isn’t proposing to cut government spending by 1/3 immediately, they are blowing smoke.

It is past time to start making severe cuts to entitlement programs, and to start shuttering entire federal departments.

Vashta.Nerada on April 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Let’s be clear on one thing: if someone isn’t proposing to cut government spending by 1/3 immediately, they are blowing smoke.

It is past time to start making severe cuts to entitlement programs, and to start shuttering entire federal departments.

Vashta.Nerada on April 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

The progs don’t want to do anything because they favor the do-nothing default option, which is to keep buying our own debt and let massive inflation run its course. Inflation is just another way to tax us, and of course it affects those that have money, and the progs’ base is unaffected.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

He’s just a sinister version of Chauncey Gardner.

MJZZZ on April 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM

It seems that way, except Obama and progressives don’t really care about breaking the bank and collapsing the economy as long as they are in a position to “fundamentally transform America!” These people have an agenda they deny publicly, but constantly work towards.

cartooner on April 21, 2011 at 11:33 AM

You are assuming he knows how to read.

Vashta.Nerada on April 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I think that has been established by the slight pause when he shifts from one teleprompter to the other. Now tying his shoelaces, and doing up his zipper I’m not so sure of.

Slowburn on April 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

disappointing mix of ambiguities and demagoguery.
==================================================

Speaking of,at the Town Hall in Annandale,Virginia!

For Immediate Release April 19, 2011
Remarks by the President at a Town Hall in Annandale, Virginia(Transcript)
*****************************
****************************

For a long time, Washington acted like deficits didn’t matter. A lot of folks promised us a free lunch. So I think everybody needs to recall, we had a surplus back in 2000, 11 short years ago, but then we cut taxes for everybody, including millionaires and billionaires. We fought two wars and we created a new and expensive prescription drug program, and we didn’t pay for any of it.

And as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. So we were left with a big deficit as I was coming into office, and then we had the worst recession since the Great Depression. And that made it worse, because in a recession two things happen: Number one, the federal government helps out states and localities to prevent teacher layoffs and firefighters and police officers from being laid off, and all that costs money. It requires more money to provide additional help to people who’ve lost their jobs or are in danger or losing their homes. So the federal government is putting more money out, but because of the recession it’s taking less money in in tax revenues, and so that grows the depression — the deficit further.
(More……..)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
we had a surplus back in 2000, 11 short years ago, but then we cut taxes for everybody, including millionaires and billionaires. We fought two wars and we created a new and expensive prescription drug program, and we didn’t pay for any of it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/19/remarks-president-town-hall-annandale-virginia

canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

This govt doesn’t read the Bills they pass so why should TOTUS read his “plans”.

Yakko77 on April 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

…a President who confuses debt and deficit.

Community organizin’ don’t need to know that @!#*.

cartooner on April 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Some of this has got to be just woeful unpreparedness rather than outright lying. It’d be one thing to know the hard facts of both the Ryan plan and then your own…but to goatf**k both plans on live TV…sheesh.

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I think it’s both. At first Obama was simply incompetent, now that things are becoming somewhat more difficult, I think he’s resorted to outright lying. But he’s still so incompetent, he doesn’t really understand what he’s lying about.

SlaveDog on April 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

So we were left with a big deficit as I was coming into office, and then we had the worst recession since the Great Depression. And that made it worse, because in a recession two things happen

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/19/remarks-president-town-hall-annandale-virginia
==========================

Boy can Hopey BS!!

canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

…a President who confuses debt and deficit.
Community organizin’ don’t need to know that @!#*.

cartooner on April 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

cartooner:MMM…..MMM…MMM!!(sarc)

canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Present!

Tim_CA on April 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

In Texas, which is far from the most ‘generous’ state in the union, a family of four can receive a maximum of $668 per month in food stamps.

Basically, my taxes are paying for the ‘entitled’ to have a higher monthly grocery budget than I the taxpayer have.

Vashta.Nerada on April 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Obama’s plan: Operation Chaos

Give so many different answers, no one knows what’s going on. They think they are too dumb to comprehend the details so they figure the President must know what he’s doing.

Obama is a closet Rush Baby…

Mr_Magoo on April 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

And it’s only Wednesday!

lorien1973 on April 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM

50/57

10/12

They’re only numbers – they don’t really mean anything. Why are you making such a big deal about them?

exhelodrvr on April 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Harvard Law Review
First rate intellect

I guess education isn’t what it used to be.
At least he’ll always have nice pant creases.

gwelf on April 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM

So, if someone wrote a script about a minority candidate who wasn’t vetted properly by the media and the voters prior to the election, and proved to be extremely incompetent as an administrator/manager/and leader, would Hollywood make a movie about it, or would they decry it as being racist?

exhelodrvr on April 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them

rockmom on April 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Obama should stop drinking his propagandists kool aid.

southsideironworks on April 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Has Obama ever read his own autobiographies?

logis on April 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

…But it’s doable if we do it in a balanced way…

This statement literally screams BONEHEADED COMMENT!

I mean, gee, let’s try doing it in an unbalanced way, for variety’s sake!

pilamaye on April 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Barak Obama as a candidate and now (oy!!!) as President just makes stuff up in order to sound good. He’s that annoying guy we all know or knew that is an expert on everything. Always has something to say, even if he doesn’t have any real clue. He says it because he thinks it sounds smart and because he honestly believes people just hang on his every word. He doesn’t make mistakes, remember. Just misspeaks, or isn’t clear enough. He’s right, period. How did this guy become President again?

BillyWilly on April 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM

It’s bad enough to have a President who confuses debt and deficit.

Not surprising. He demonstrated during the health care debate that he didn’t understand the difference between liability and collision auto insurance, something we all deal with.

iurockhead on April 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

“He’s that annoying guy we all know or knew that is an expert on everything”

Cliff Claven?

exhelodrvr on April 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

The media isn’t calling him out and we all know John Q. Public is dumber than a sandbag, people are still going to vote for him.

Mirimichi on April 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

President Obama: “But it’s hard!”(remembering which lies I’ve told…)

dominigan on April 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Obama’s plan: Operation Chaos

Give so many different answers, no one knows what’s going on. They think they are too dumb to comprehend the details so they figure the President must know what he’s doing.

Obama is a closet Rush Baby Manchurian President

Mr_Magoo on April 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

FIFY

dominigan on April 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Has Obama ever read his own autobiographies?

logis on April 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Has Obama ever written his own autobiographies?

dominigan on April 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I blame the teleprompter. And G Bush.

jbtripp on April 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM

The president is a liar. Congress is full of liars. Liars, thieves and murderers.

j_galt on April 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM

It’s bad enough to have a President who confuses debt and deficit.

Not surprising. He demonstrated during the health care debate that he didn’t understand the difference between liability and collision auto insurance, something we all deal with.

iurockhead on April 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

…”profit to earnings ratio”.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Geepers, Ed. You sure are ‘harsh’ evaluating the Prez. Cut the guy some slack. Details, details. Don’t worry, Barry KNOWS what he’s doing./s

JimP on April 21, 2011 at 12:50 PM

The 12 year plan is a ruse. CBO doesn’t score beyond a 10 year projection. Ergo, you can formulate any plan you want, put the baubles and trinkets in the first 10 years, then load the rest with cod liver oil.

BobMbx on April 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM

News saying moonbats interrupted little Bammie’s speech in LA (?). Hollering about Bradley Manning, lack of ‘change’, etc.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

12 years is how long theOne is going to be the president, after that he will declare himself an emperor and wont have to worry about deficits and debts, he will only worry about having enough gold to maintain his mercenary army.

anikol on April 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM

It’s bad enough to have a President who confuses debt and deficit. It’s worse to have a President who can’t keep his own plan scope straight.

Hey Ed! Leave Barry alone! It’s hard to keep things straight when you’re making it up as you go along.

GarandFan on April 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Obama votes “Present” yet again.

That’s enough for Lib voters. Just a vote of “Present.”

After all, judging by their actions, Libs don’t care about the debt, the deficit, the poor, or the less fortunate. All Libs care about, it seems, is making themselves feel better about themselves. They’re very selfish people.

visions on April 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

This picture explains everything.

GrannyDee on April 21, 2011 at 1:59 PM

He knows. He’s just lying.

It’s first degree lying with malice aforethought. They crafted a 12 year “plan” in order to get the number up to 4 billion knowing full well they would intentionally “overlook” the fact that they are comparing it to a 10 year plan. Same with the “debt” and “deficit” confusion. It’s on purpose. Same goes with 6 billion being “about” 4 billion. On purpose to make the plans appear to be similar in scope. He did the same thing by saying the “Republicans” were “in power” for “almost 10 years”. It was 6 years.

He just lies and lies and lies.

forest on April 21, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Y’know, I could go in and grab a microphone and answer a few questions on how coal exposure is (un)related to asthma n’ such….but that doesn’t make me an epidemiologist

ted c on April 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

And I could sit on the floor of my garage but that won’t make me a car either. And I’d still have a better grasp than that tool Obama.

Big John on April 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

“In the short term, Democrats and Republicans now agree we’ve got to reduce the debt by about $4 trillion over the next 10 years. And I know that sounds like a lot of money — it is. But it’s doable if we do it in a balanced way.

The only slight bit of truth here, and you have to read between the lines. “Doable in a balanced way” simply means he will raise taxes.

RJL on April 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM

He made it seem as if his mom and grandparents who raised him lived on the dole. His mother did seem to be a perpetual student but his grandmother had a good job at a bank. Didn’t he go to a prep high school in HI? Not exactly like he came from the Southside. He went to college on scholarships so there were no student loans to repay. We should be asking what’s the beef instead of where’s the beef.

Kissmygrits on April 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM