Obamateurism of the Day

If you wonder how a President who has presided over the biggest deficits in American history can scold people over the budget gaps, perhaps it’s because Barack Obama can’t do math. In his speech at Arcadia University yesterday, Obama extolled the benefits of his ObamaCare package, claiming that it would save a trillion dollars over the next decade. Cut the man a little slack, though — he was only off by $868 billion:

“Our cost-cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current Senate bill, which reduces most people’s premiums and brings down our deficit by up to $1 trillion dollars over the next decade because we’re spending our health care dollars more wisely,” Obama told an audience at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., a suburb north of Philadelphia.

Obama was so proud of these cost-saving numbers in the latest version of health care reform, he delved into a bit of Washington-speak to back them up.

“Those aren’t my numbers,” Obama said to the rising applause of the estimated 1,300 in attendance. “They are the savings determined by the Congressional Budget Office, which is the nonpartisan, independent referee of Congress for what things cost.”

But the budget office did not say the Senate health care bill would save $1 trillion over the next decade — or even close to that figure.

It estimated the bill would save $132 billion from 2010 to 2019, leaving Obama’s “next decade” estimate $868 billion short.

Those aren’t his numbers? They weren’t the CBO’s numbers, either. Maybe they were Nancy Pelosi’s numbers. Heck, he’s outsourced the entire bill to the House Speaker … why not its math, too?

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.

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