Romney blows call on Obama's budget-deficit record

McClatchy NewspapersFebruary 23, 2012 

WASHINGTON — Throw the flag against: Mitt Romney

Call: Offsides.

What happened: Romney claimed that President Barack Obama has doubled the federal budget deficit.

"He said he'd cut the deficit in half. He's doubled it. He's doubled it," Romney told a rally Wednesday in Chandler, Ariz.

Why that's wrong: Obama inherited a budget deficit that topped $1 trillion. He increased it, but nowhere near doubled it. The deficit doubled before he took office.

Two weeks before Obama became president, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit for 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion, not counting anything that the new president and Congress did.

"The ongoing turmoil in the housing and financial markets has taken a major toll on the federal budget. CBO currently projects that the deficit this year will total $1.2 trillion, or 8.3 percent of GDP," the CBO said on Jan. 7, 2009, referring to the gross domestic product.

"Under the assumption that current laws and policies remain in place (that is, not

accounting for any new legislation), CBO estimates that the deficit this year will total $1.2 trillion, more than two and a half times the size of last year's."

The 2009 budget deficit ended up at $1.4 trillion. That was an increase of about $200 billion, or 16 percent. Not a doubling.

The 2010 deficit totaled $1.3 trillion. Still nowhere near double.

The 2011 deficit totaled $1.3 trillion. Same.

Penalty: Offsetting penalties, since Obama did fail to cut the deficit in half as he promised. No loss of yards. Repeat down.


Jan. 7, 2009, CBO report: Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2009-2019

CBO deficit numbers


Romney, Santorum attack each other on spending records

Romney proposes 20 percent income tax cut to jump-start U.S. economy

Romney targets labor unions, which could be risky come fall

Follow Steven Thomma on Twitter.

For more McClatchy politics coverage visit Planet Washington

McClatchy Newspapers 2012

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service