Watch as Josh Earnest is forced to admit that Obama misled the public

posted at 4:41 pm on January 30, 2015 by Noah Rothman

Speaking before a group of Democratic supporters on Thursday night, President Barack Obama took a victory lap of sorts when he touched on the pace of the economic recovery.

“There is no economic metric by which we are not better off than when I took office,” Obama asserted. “And that is because of the extraordinary will and dedication of the American people, but also because all of you have done a terrific job. And I’m proud of you for that.”

During Friday’s press briefing, CBS News reporter Mark Knoller probed White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest about the president’s claim and asked if Obama included the national debt in his list of positive metrics.

Pockets of muted laughter from the press corps could be heard as Earnest responded. “What the president has noted is that when you evaluate the deficit, and the deficit is actually fallen by two-thirds since he’s taken office,” Earnest evaded, “and the way that we measure that is actually the way that economists measure that.”

“They don’t look at just the sum total,” Earnest noted. Of course, because “sum totals” are often so frustratingly grim. “What they do is they evaluate the deficit as the percentage of the economy.”

Knoller , observing that his question has not yet been answered, again asked about the national debt. “Which has gone up 70 percent on [Obama’s] watch” the CBS reporter observed.

While he pondered how to respond to this damning line of questioning, Earnest conceded that he had no way of massaging the national debt by evaluating it as a relative percentage of some other index more favorable to the administration. Instead, he tried to again evade Knoller’s question by making note of Obama’s proposals to attempt to lower the debt – including and apparently limited to rising taxes.

“Might you concede that the debt is not a metric that shows we are better off?” Knoller asked for a third and final time.

“I think you would concede, as I would, that the raw math shows that the debt had increased,” Earnest finally answered.

While the president’s supporters were trumpeting a Congressional Budget Office report released this week which showed that the deficit has indeed been falling – inexplicably, if you were to believe the left, amid two of the least productive Congresses in living memory – that same report indicated that the debt is increasing rather rapidly.

When the president took office, Obama inherited $10.6 trillion national debt. Today, it stands at $18.1 trillion. “Through 2018, the budget deficit will remain at around $500 to $600 billion a year, or about 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States,” read a report via The Blaze. “After 2018, however, the budget deficit will rise past 3 percent of GDP, and then hit 4 percent of GDP by 2025.”

According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s fiscal confidence index, while Americans are increasingly satisfied with the pace of the recovery, they remain deeply troubled by the increasing debt.

“A majority of respondents — 83 percent — agreed in the survey that the nation’s national debt is an issue that President Obama and Congress should be spending more time addressing, including 64 percent who say that lawmakers should spend ‘a lot’ more time on the issue,” The Hill reported last August. “This concern over the nation’s $17.6 trillion debt spans party lines, with 92 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats agreeing that Washington needs to focus more on the issue.”

The fact that the debt has increased by $500,000,000,000 (five hundred billion) in the space of just five months justifies the public’s concerns. Good for Mark Knoller for acknowledging them, and for forcing the administration to concede that Americans are, in fact, not better off in at least one deeply troubling way.

An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the CBS News reporter Mark Knoller as Mark Knowler.


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President Obama’s approval will continue to go up as economy continues to rock.

Ned Pepper on January 14, 2015 at 12:09 PM

BAHAHAHAHAHA

Chuck Schick on January 30, 2015 at 4:46 PM

…which confirms that just because his lips are moving doesn’t mean he’s using the voice of truth. Or, just because Prezzy says so doesn’t make it true.

Willys on January 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM

Why is it that every Press Secretary has been a lying little crap weasel during Obama’s administration? Are men of testicular fortitude frowned upon by the pup muncher or has none ever inquired about the position?

HotAirian on January 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM

“There is no economic metric by which we are not better off than when I took office,” Obama asserted. “And that is because of the extraordinary will and dedication of the American people, but also because all of you have done a terrific job. And I’m proud of you for that.”

Most of the hard working American people did not vote for you… Also the only people who saw their wages increase under Obama are the top 10% of earners… In other word the economy under Obama was very bad for the vast majority of American and worst of all for the vast majority of his own base of voters i.e. blacks, Hispanics, single women, and people under the age of 30, but most of his voters are living on welfare either fully or to a large degree or they are living on their parents expense…

mnjg on January 30, 2015 at 4:52 PM

If the economy is so great why are there 49 million people on Food Stamps???

PatriotRider on January 30, 2015 at 4:53 PM

Why is it that every Press Secretary has been a lying little crap weasel during Obama’s administration? Are men of testicular fortitude frowned upon by the pup muncher or has none ever inquired about the position?

HotAirian on January 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Silly question. Look who hired them.

dorkintheroad on January 30, 2015 at 4:54 PM

For each of the past six years, more businesses have closed in the United States than have opened. Prior to 2008, this had never happened before in all of U.S. history…

PatriotRider on January 30, 2015 at 4:55 PM

“There is no economic metric by which we are not better off than when I took office,” Obama asserted. “

Another lie.

The U.S. workforce participation rate is lower than it has been in nearly 40 years — and it’s also lower today than it was when Obama took office in January of 2009.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/09/how-much-is-obama-to-blame-for-the-worst-labor-participation-rate-in-40-years/

So in six short years, Obama managed to run up $8 Trillion in new debt, and shrink the percentage of Americans who actually have jobs.

Heckuva job, Barry!

AZCoyote on January 30, 2015 at 4:56 PM

It is the plan and it is working as plans by Obama and his commie buddies.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 30, 2015 at 4:56 PM

If the economy is so great why are there 49 million people on Food Stamps???

PatriotRider on January 30, 2015 at 4:53 PM

Because, duh, as Nancy Pelosi would say, handouts create jobs.

RBMN on January 30, 2015 at 4:56 PM

Obama is dishonest? Why I’ve never heard that before.

warmairfan on January 30, 2015 at 4:58 PM

O/T Canda can see what is going on but the GOP can’t.

http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/11/07/fasten-your-seatbelts-canada-and-get-ready-for-the-battle-for-america

ctmom on January 30, 2015 at 4:59 PM

Buy a gun, save your money for ammo.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 30, 2015 at 4:59 PM

“Through 2018, the budget deficit will remain at around $500 to $600 billion a year,

“remain”?? When did the deficit ever drop that “low”?

US National Debt – from the Treasury, itself – for the last calendar year:

1/02/2014 17,315,970,933,899.63
12/31/2014 18,141,444,135,563.30

So, the national debt rose by over $800 billion through the calendar year of 2014 … but these liars are claiming that it will “remain” around $500 to $600 billion – and, after all, what’s $100 billion between governments and subject slaves, anyway, even if it were true, which it most definitely is NOT.

And, of course, this doesn’t take into account the funny money printed by the Fed and the shadow borrowing of artificially low interest rates on the massive debt, not to mention the cost of having a national debt concentrated in the shortest maturities thereby exposing the service to every move in interest rates without any defense.

I can’t wait until the Fed finally loses control of interest rates and actually has to start unwinding its balance sheet. That’s when the good times are REALLY going to roll! Right over the US dollar – R.I.P.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 30, 2015 at 5:00 PM

From those infamous right-wing rags, the New York Times and the World Socialist Web Site:

Income inequality grows four times faster under Obama than Bush

Resist We Much on January 30, 2015 at 5:01 PM

Another economic metric where we are not better off, is the number of people participating in the workforce has grown as unemployed people have decided to…whatever. New normal! It’s just as good.

Fleuries on January 30, 2015 at 5:02 PM

Why is it that every Press Secretary has been a lying little crap weasel during Obama’s administration? Are men of testicular fortitude frowned upon by the pup muncher or has none ever inquired about the position?

HotAirian on January 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM

It’s in the job description. If you’re not one before you take the job, you will be after.

Occams Stubble on January 30, 2015 at 5:03 PM

As long as the ecomy rocks? You call this a rocking economy? The longest recovery in the history if man. Geesh.

Techster64 on January 30, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Why is it that every Press Secretary has been a lying little crap weasel during Obama’s administration? Are men of testicular fortitude frowned upon by the pup muncher or has none ever inquired about the position?

HotAirian on January 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM

It’s in the job description. If you’re not one before you take the job, you will be after.

Occams Stubble on January 30, 2015 at 5:03 PM

You either have to be a lying crapweasel, or a low-watt brained Sorority Girl who looks like she applies her makeup in the rear view mirror on the way to work to be a spokesperson for The Regime.

ConstantineXI on January 30, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Lies, lies, lies and the American people gobble them up like free Obamaphones and Food Stamps.

albill on January 30, 2015 at 5:09 PM

BTW, the $100 billion difference I was talking about was in their lying estimate of future deficits “between $500 and $600 billion”, not the more than $200 billion difference between that lying estimate and the actual calendar year rise in the national debt.

I wonder why no one ever asks any of these douchebags what their projected “deficits” will be if interest rates return to normal? $18 trillion (just for today) at %5 interest costs over $900 billion in yearly debt service … as opposed to the $250 billion or so that is the number used for all their fanciful calculations. And that’s only %5!! What about %7 or %8? Well over a cool $1.25 trillion a year to service that bad boy. Just an extra trillion in yearly costs … no biggie.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 30, 2015 at 5:12 PM

Lies, lies, lies and the American people gobble them up like free Obamaphones and Food Stamps.

albill on January 30, 2015 at 5:09 PM

What American people? Those who gobble up his lies are the parasites living on tax payers expense or the younger people still living on their parents expense… Don’t you do everything under the sun to avoid this type of American people? I do…

mnjg on January 30, 2015 at 5:14 PM

Knoller , observing that his question has not yet been answered, again asked about the national debt. “Which has gone up 70 percent on [Obama’s] watch” the CBS reporter observed.

I would lay money that this question from CBS White House press corp(se) reporter does not make it into any CBS News television report, or radio report. This guy will be lucky to get a bare bones minimal mention of his work on their website.

Bank it.

Brian1972 on January 30, 2015 at 5:16 PM

The federal debt held by the public has more than doubled in the last 6 years.
01/20/2009: $6,307,310,739,681.66
01/29/2015: $12,970,704,211,784.51

agmartin on January 30, 2015 at 5:16 PM

“There is no economic metric by which we are not better off than when I took office,” Obama asserted…

You have to remember that Obama is speaking of himself, as in the Royal “we”…

… His policies of printing Trillions and only the top 0.01% political elite ruling class, which he considers himself ruler over, are doing quite handsomely.

In his mind, everything is peachy for “we”, so SHUT UP, and PAY YOUR TAXES!!!

Seven Percent Solution on January 30, 2015 at 5:17 PM

paid troll ned pepper avoids these threads like the plague.

lol

renalin on January 30, 2015 at 5:19 PM

Husband: Every single economic metric associated with your life is better since you married me.

Wife: My debt has increased 70% since I married you.

Husband: I’m not sure how that’s relevant.

blink on January 30, 2015 at 5:24 PM

Hey honey, check out our new Corvette!

Isn’t this so much cooler than that minivan you wanted?

Brian1972 on January 30, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Obama drove the deficit up to 1.4 trillion and the, over 6 years cut it 2/3 from the high that he created, which left it still higher than Bushes 2008 deficit.
In the 8 years of Bush we had expenditures from 9/11, Katrina, aid to the victims of the tsunami at Banda Ache, earthquakes in Afghanistan, and Pakistan the war in Iraq and Afghanistan etc.
Obama came out and Grubered everyone again….and it looks like he will get away with it again.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

The 2009 deficit attributed to Bush is because of the rushed “stimulus” that Bush thought could not wait until Jan 20 when Obama took over.

Mimzey on January 30, 2015 at 5:36 PM

Duh, the deficit always goes down the first year after you raise taxes, because the damaging effects on the economy of the tax increase aren’t felt until the increased taxes actually are paid. 2014 was the first year the Treasury started receiving the revenue from the income taxes that Boehner, Reid and Obama agreed to at the end of 2012.

If spending actually decreased while revenue increased you would be able to reduce the debt, but that never happens. Something always comes up that Democrats want to spend money on to absorb the new revenue. Then the deficit will begin increasing again along with the debt.

txmomof6 on January 30, 2015 at 5:37 PM

When you consider that not only (as pointed out above) that the debt has exploded, that labor participation rate has declined but also that median wages have declined substantially in the last 6 years, this claim should get a full four pinnochios which is the “lier lier pants on fire” level of “misspoke”.

KW64 on January 30, 2015 at 5:38 PM

They should ask him if Democrats could be elected if they hadn’t given $10trillion to people too lazy to work.

cajunpatriot on January 30, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Obama could say:

If you like your gigantic increase in national debt, you can keep your gigantic increase in national debt!”

and a smidgeon more than half of the voters would think that was something positive just by his b.s. boosterish tone of voice.

And the media would spin it as a masterful win for him.

But if you substitute “credit card” for “national” maybe folks would grasp that this entire economy is built on insane borrowing, phoney money printing, stupendous lies and an inevitable reckoning.

Stockpile what you can for eating and bartering down the road.

Eventually these Ponzi bubbles burst.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2015 at 5:43 PM

How come we don’t have a black press secretary ? It seems like there’s a lock on the Atty Genl job, so why not Press Secretary ?

maybe Marc Lamont Hill ? nah, he’s too jumpy and the words come spilling out before the thought has crystallized.

Gibbs-Carney-Earnest – ugh. How can they keep a straight face ?

williampeck1958 on January 30, 2015 at 5:46 PM

When you consider that not only (as pointed out above) that the debt has exploded, that labor participation rate has declined but also that median wages have declined substantially in the last 6 years, this claim should get a full four pinnochios which is the “lier lier pants on fire” level of “misspoke”.

KW64 on January 30, 2015 at 5:38 PM

Not only that, but the increase in people with jobs is mostly? because of the ending of the extensions of unemployment compensation, which took effect last year. When the free checks stop comin’ in you get off the couch and get a job..

Mimzey on January 30, 2015 at 5:51 PM

How come we don’t have a black press secretary ? It seems like there’s a lock on the Atty Genl job, so why not Press Secretary ?

williampeck1958 on January 30, 2015 at 5:46 PM

That’s easy. It’s because blacks represent such a high percentage of successful attorneys that it is difficult to do a search for an Att Gen position that isn’t chock full of black candidates. Given the tremendous percentage of elite black attorneys, the probability of randomly selecting a black lawyer when searching for top attorneys is round about 83.87%. That’s why we keep getting black Attorneys General. It’s just plain old statistics and reality.

And the reason for blacks heading NASA and other such departments is because of the massive overrepresentation of blacks in the sciences.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 30, 2015 at 5:57 PM

Carnival Barkers.

Tard on January 30, 2015 at 6:01 PM

Honey, I cash advanced our credit cards and deposited in our checking account. Look at how much money we have! Last year, we had next to nothing, now, we’re doing great!

But, what about our credit card debt?

Don’t worry about it, honey. We make like, $100,000 a year and the credit card debt is only $50,000. Plus, I got one of those 0.0% interest things for 12 months. Look how low our payments are!

But honey, how will we make the payments when the interest rate kicks up?

We’ll be divorced by then, thats your problem.

BobMbx on January 30, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Nothing is better under obama. Nothing.

For every figure you fluff, for every calculation you intentionally dismember to get the desired number, there lays before you the raw frigging truth that cannot be escaped.

Unless you’re a completely clueless progressive sheep that runs around with their eyes and ears cemented shut. What do you need eyes and ears for anyway if the government runs your entire life?

Losers.

So, when it all collapses and the progressives blame conservatives, who will they come to for a rescue? Conservatives.

What will progressives get from me? Nothing more than a middle finger, maybe two at once.

Andy__B on January 30, 2015 at 6:21 PM

Pieces of shit, every last one of them. I hate progressives, and every one of their despicable enablers…..

Fathom on January 30, 2015 at 6:38 PM