Barack Obama unveiled his new budget ten days ago, which had a deficit of $1.39 trillion for this year and a projected $901 billion for FY2013. That latter figure will only be achieved if Obama can convince Congress to pass $1.5 trillion in tax hikes, which is about as likely as John Boehner proposing Bill Ayers for the Medal of Freedom. Obama promised to cut deficits in half by the end of his first term, and $901 billion isn’t even close:
The FY2008 budget, the last one signed by a President other than Barack Obama, had a projected deficit of $239 billion and an actual deficit of $641 billion, just for comparative purposes. Even if we don’t give Obama credit for the FY2009 budget which Democrats refused to pass while George Bush remained in the White House and completed in an omnibus bill signed by Obama in March 2009, that actual FY2009 on-budget deficit was almost $1.6 trillion, which makes this new budget proposal [for FY2012] a decline in annual deficits only a 13% decline over his own first budget, and a 117% increase over George Bush’s last signed on-budget deficit.
Actually, the White House claims they “inherited” (from the same Congress in which then-Senator Obama served!) a deficit of “almost $1.3 trillion.” That would be make Obama’s FY2013 deficit a reduction of only 30%, not half, and again that’s only if Congress massively hikes taxes to meet even that threshold. The FY2013 budget year ends long after Obama’s first term does, more than eight months, in fact. National Journal reminds Obama that he made that pledge as President, after assuming office, and not just on the campaign trail:
Today, as Obama tries to explain his own pledge “to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office,” he might be tempted to just deny. The only problem with that is that he made the pledge not as a candidate but as president. And it came in the East Room of the White House at the opening of his Fiscal Responsibility Summit on Feb. 23, 2009. It would be a little hard to deny he was ever in the White House.
It’s worth pointing out that this pledge was made after Obama got his $800 billion stimulus package from Congress, too — the plan that was supposed to generate long-lasting jobs and growth. One might think that Obama would have changed his fiscal goals to reflect his own inability to deliver on that pledge. Yet Pundit Pete noticed that the White House website still carries the same pledge today:
That might be a little hard to read, so here’s a closer look:
Remember when Obama claimed that change was updating federal websites? Looks like we need some change in the White House.
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!