Speaking in Waterloo, Iowa, President Obama said last week, “When I walked into office we already had a $1 trillion deficit. … That’s the track record of the other party the last time they were in charge.” While the first part of that statement is technically true, Obama leaves out the effects his own policies have had on deficits since.
When Obama was sworn into office on January 20th 2009, the most recent Congressional Budget Office report estimated that the fiscal year 2009 deficit would be $1.2 trillion. But that deficit was due almost entirely to the recession, not Republican policies. In March 2008, the CBO had estimated the budget deficit would be just $342 billion in 2009. That same report also estimated that the budget would balance by 2012.
Similarly, even with the recession added to their economic model, the CBO only projected deficits of $703 billion (2010), $498 billion (2011), and $264 billion (2012) for Obama’s first three years in office. But after Obama’s stimulus was implemented, those deficits ended up being $1.3 trillion (2010), $1.3 trillion (2011), and $1.3 trillion (2012).
All told, when Obama was sworn into office, the CBO projected $3.1 trillion in debts through 2019. Instead, Obama has racked up $5.31 trillion in debt in just his first four years in office.