At his press conference this week, President Obama made it seem as though the job of getting the government’s deficits under control is nearly done.
“The consensus is we need about $4 trillion to stabilize our debt and our deficit,” he told reporters, “which means we need about $1.5 trillion more.”
Obama claimed to have already cut spending $1.4 trillion, and this, combined with $600 billion in tax hikes he got as part of his fiscal cliff deal plus interest savings, “adds up to a total of $2.5 trillion.”
All that’s needed now to finish the job, he said, is “closing some additional loopholes (and) doing some additional cuts.” Sounds easy enough. In fact, Obama said he’s already put forward a plan to do that.
But a closer look at the numbers shows that Obama is exaggerating how much deficit reduction he’s actually achieved, and is being decidedly Pollyannaish about the nation’s still massive long-term budget gap and what will be needed to close it.