What Was Romney’s Biggest, Flatest-Outest Debate Lie? “Obama Doubled The Deficit”

Dave Johnson

Mitt Romney said a lot of “sketchy” things in Tuesday night’s debate. He again and again said jobs were lost under Obama, when all of that happened right after Obama took office and before the stimulus turned things around. He said “government does not create jobs” after earlier saying that he wants to hire teachers (after saying a while back he wants to fire them). But I think the biggest, flatest-outest lie Romney told was when he said – more than once – that Obama “doubled the deficit.” Just wow.

The US budget fiscal year goes from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. On the day that President Obama took office the 2009 budget year — Bush’s last budget year — was in its 5th month. The projected deficit for that budget year — again, Bush’s last budget year — was already $1.2 trillion. Click that link, and look at the date that article was published. Check the date on this one. Or this one from a conservative news outlet with the slogan: “The Right News. Right Now.” It is dated January 7, 2009, two weeks before Barack Obama took office, and the title is Congressional Budget Office Projects $1.2 Trillion Deficit for 2009,

The federal budget deficit will hit an unparalleled $1.2 trillion for the 2009 budget year, according to a Capitol Hill aide briefed on new Congressional Budget office figures.

That was two weeks before Obama took office. That is the first of “four straight trillion-dollar deficits” upon which Romney is basing much of his campaign rhetoric. Except it was Bush’s last budget year, not Obama’s first.

The third budget year of Obama’s presidency just ended two weeks ago. The deficit was $1.1 trillion. That is not “double” as Romney claimed, it is lower than when he took office. Here is Reuters reporting on it: Federal deficit shrinks, still tops $1T in fiscal 2012

The federal budget deficit for the just-ended 2012 fiscal year shrank by $207 billion from the prior year, but still marked its fourth straight year above $1 trillion, Congress’ budget referee estimated on Friday.

The deficit equaled about 7 percent of U.S. economic output, down from 8.7 percent in 2011, 9 percent in 2010 and 10.1 percent in 2009…

Got that? The deficit dropped from 10.1% of GDP in the 2009 budget year — Bush’s last budget year — to 7% in the 2012 budget year. That is not “double,” that is a 30% drop.

But Mitt Romney says, again and again, that Obama “doubled the deficit.” No, he didn’t, he reduced it.

See also: Huge 2009 Budget Deficit — Just One More Conservative Failure.


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