The Obama administration has been patting itself on the back in recent days, claiming that its done its job of cutting the national deficit — ignoring the fact that Obama is merely cutting the deficit he ran up during his first years in office.
On Wednesday, during the first speech of his big economic tour, President Obama bragged about the deficit cuts he’s made during his time in office and scorned House Republicans for worrying about excessive government spending.
“If you ask some of these folks, some of these folks mostly in the House, about their economic agenda how it is that they’ll strengthen the middle class, they’ll shift the topic to ‘out-of-control government spending’ — despite the fact that we’ve cut the deficit by nearly half as a share of the economy since I took office,” Obama said to the crowd at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.
The Congressional Budget Office reported in May that 2013 would see a $642 billion budget deficit, the smallest annual deficit since Obama took office. Cutting the deficit was one of President Obama’s biggest first term promises, and now he wants everyone to know he apparently made good on it.
He drove his point home on Wednesday by criticizing Republicans for not having a “concrete” economic plan and instead taking “meaningless” votes to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.
“Repealing Obamacare and cutting spending is not an economic plan,” Obama said. “It’s not.”
And on the Sunday shows this week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also lauded the Obama administration’s deficit reduction strategy, claiming that the nation is in a better place that 2011.
“We have seen several pieces of legislations enacted that have reduced the deficit very substantially,” Lew said. “We are seeing the the most rapid reduction of the deficit since the end of World War II when we demobilized. We’re actually outperforming expectations in terms of how quickly we’re reducing the deficit and we’re controlling healthcare costs because of the Affordable Care Act.”
“We cannot cut our way to prosperity,” Lew added later. “We have already done a lot of deficit reduction.”
But as The Heritage Foundation pointed out following Obama’s big economic speech, the deficit hasn’t really been cut in half. Obama’s ‘claim to fiscal responsibility fame’ ignores the fact that he’s cutting back the historically huge deficit he ran up during his first term.
Plus, the federal debt is projected to grow by 50 percent over the next decade anyway, despite Obama’s so-called ‘cuts.’
So don’t celebrate just yet, Obama. There’s still work to be done.