On 60 Minutes recently Obama tried to put 90% of the blame for his destructive deficit spending and debt escalation on George W. Bush. The WSJ smacked that down the other day, but, hey, that’s the right wing nutters at the WSJ op-ed page, right? The Washington Post will give Obama a fair shake and vindicate the President’s thoughtful and not-one-bit-self-serving analysis, right?
Um, how does four Pinocchios sound? Ed at HotAir has the play by play…
KROFT: The national debt has gone up sixty percent in — in the four years that you’ve been in office.
OBAMA: Well, first — first of all, Steve, I think it’s important to understand the context here. When I came into office, I inherited the biggest deficit in our history. And over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but ninety percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren’t paid for, as a consequence of tax cuts that weren’t paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now we took some emergency actions, but that accounts for about 10 percent of this increase in the deficit, and we have actually seen the federal government grow at a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower, in fact, substantially lower than the federal government grew under either Ronald Reagan or George Bush.
So how many Pinocchios does Obama get? One hundred percent of them:
Obama certainly inherited an economic mess, and that accounts for a large part of the deficit. But Obama pushed for spending increases and tax cuts that also have contributed in important ways to the nation’s fiscal deterioration. He certainly could argue that these were necessary and important steps to take, but he can’t blithely suggest that 90 percent of the current deficit “is as a consequence” of his predecessor’s policies — and not his own.
As for the citing of the discredited MarketWatch column, we have repeatedly urged the administration to rely on estimates from official government agencies, such as the White House budget office. It is astonishing to see the president repeat this faulty claim once again, as if it were an established fact. Four Pinocchios[.]
And as Kessler points out, the real structural bomb to annual deficits has yet to be triggered. ObamaCare may be deficit neutral in its first ten years — which is still arguable, and based on a fiscal shell game — but after that, “all bets are off.”