It’s not my fault!
“That wasn’t me,” President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One.
It actually was partly him _ and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years _ who shaped the latest in a string of precipitously out-of-balance budgets.
And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.
A look at some of his claims Wednesday:
OBAMA: “We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs.” _ from news conference.
THE FACTS: This assertion is flawed on several levels. For starters, the U.S. has lost more than 1.2 million jobs since Obama took office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even if Obama’s stimulus bill saved or created as many jobs as he says, that number is dwarfed by the number of recent job losses.
OBAMA: “Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. … That wasn’t me. Number two, there is almost uniform consensus among economists that in the middle of the biggest crisis, financial crisis, since the Great Depression, we had to take extraordinary steps. So you’ve got a lot of Republican economists who agree that we had to do a stimulus package and we had to do something about the banks. Those are one-time charges, and they’re big, and they’ll make our deficits go up over the next two years.” — in Missouri.
THE FACTS: Congress, under Democratic control in 2007 and 2008, controlled the purse strings that led to the deficit Obama inherited. A Republican president, George W. Bush, had a role, too: He signed the legislation.
Obama supported the emergency bailout package in Bush’s final months — a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.