Budget deficits have been getting bigger under Obama, right? No, they’ve been getting smaller!

The chart above demonstrates the extent to which Americans generally have the wrong impression abut federal budget deficits.

Steve Benen EXPLAINS:

A 62% majority believe the deficit is getting bigger, 28% believe the deficit is staying roughly the same, and only 6% believe the deficit is shrinking.

In other words, in the midst of a major national debate over America’s finances, 90% of Americans are wrong about the one basic detail that probably matters most in the conversation, while only 6% — 6%! — are correct.

For the record, last year, over President Obama’s first four years, the deficit shrunk by about $300 billion. This year, the deficit is projected to be about $600 billion smaller than when the president took office. We are, in reality, currently seeing the fastest deficit reductions in several generations.

And yet, 90% of Americans don’t believe the demonstrable, incontrovertible, entirely objective truth.



  1. I really don’t understand this love affair Pat has with Steve Benen. He appears to cite Benen’s posts much more frequently than any other writer. Which is fine, except that Benen is either highly deceptive, or flat out wrong in most cases.

    For example:

    Benen claims we are “currently seeing the fastest deficit reduction in several generations.” Well, the last time we had a real deficit reduction was under Clinton in the late 1990s. How is that “several generations?”

    Second, we are still adding to the federal deficit, and a dizzying pace. What has gone down slightly is the annual budget deficit. But the annual budget deficits under Obama are STILL higher than they were under Bush. And its universally accepted that Bush’s deficit growth was completely unacceptable. So why are liberals so accommodating to Obama’s deficit growth, when it’s worse than what Bush did?

    Yes, Benen is correct that most Americans are wrong about their perceptions of growth and size of the deficit, but who cares? I could care less about idiot opinions. Facts are what matters.

    Speaking of facts, the Washington Post came out with a article yesterday about the true costs of this nations debt problems. Its a story worth reading, unlike the liberal spin Benen puts forth.


  2. Craig Knauss

    Here are the numbers from OMB. 2009 was GWB’s last budget. Sorry about the formatting.

    Year Total
    Receipts Outlays Surplus or Deficit (–)
    2009 2,104,989 3,517,677 -1,412,688
    2010 2,162,724 3,456,213 -1,293,489
    2011 2,303,466 3,603,061 -1,299,595
    2012 estimate 2,468,599 3,795,547 -1,326,948
    2013 estimate 2,901,956 3,803,364 -901,408
    2014 estimate 3,215,293 3,883,095 -667,802
    2015 estimate 3,450,153 4,059,866 -609,713
    2016 estimate 3,680,085 4,328,840 -648,755
    2017 estimate 3,919,275 4,531,723 -612,448

  3. Craig –

    1. 2009 included the TARP bailout and the 1st auto bailout. If you include the earlier Bush years it tells a much different story.

    2. Your data is in current dollars which doesn’t adjust for inflation. OMB also provides the data in Constant Fiscal Year 2005 Dollars, which is a better measurement when doing a comparison across decades.

    3. Government revenue is NOT the problem. The average of the Bush revenue from 2002-2009 is $2.1195 Trillion The average of the Obama revenue from 2010-2013 (obviously including estimates) is $2.106.3 Trillion. The spending is the real problem. The average spending for Bush, including 2009, was $2.544.8 Trillion, if you omit 2009 it is only $2.455 Trillion, while for Obama it is $3.1443 trillion.

    4. Those projected receipts are hogwash. The small additional revenue from Obamacare and income taxes on the wealthy are not going to bring in those kinds of numbers. Those projections are calling for a return to over 19% of GDP in receipts, something that only happened during the boom years of the 1990s.

    5. As I’ve stated previously, take these alleged spending cuts that have been inacted by the liberals with a huge pile of salt. If you look into the details, the cuts do not actually happen for another couple of years down the road. Then they are broadcasted out in 10 years increments, which should be illegal because such language so deceptive. So for example, let’s say you plan on cutting spending for a certain program by $180 billion for the next 10 years starting in 2015. By golly, you just saved $1.8 Trillion!! Problem is of course that there is a new Congress, new leadership, etc, etc. When the date comes to actually make the cuts, it never happens. The Medicare “Doc Fix” is a prime example of that. The point is simply this: You can’t trust the liberals for what they’re saying.

  4. Has anyone taken the time to understand that the federal “debt” is different than the “budget deficit?” I see those terms bandied about interchangeably and they are two different things.

    From a household comparison, I suppose the amount you spend each year versus what you take in would be the “deficit” or the “surplus.” Meanwhile, your credit card or other revolving “debt” could be growing or shrinking at the same time.

  5. Craig Knauss

    Awwww, quit crying Nef.

    You whine that the savings are spread out over 10 years, but you don’t say a thing about when your con buddies bring 10 years of expenditures forward, example HCRA, “It’s going to cost blah, blah, blah trillion dollars….” And when I see the reductions quoted, if’s per year for the full term of the savings. Let’s see the cons quote an expense per year like they’re supposed to do.

    Ref your #4, please tell us how long have you worked for OMB? Oh, that’s right, you don’t! So you are in no position to classify something as “hogwash”.

  6. Craig your last post has some fallacies, and thats okay, I’ll give you some guidance here which you will find helpful. We cannot control the uninformed majority or media brainwash, so we have again elected leadership with little business acumen, and cons were philosophically unable to communicate with the vast majority of Americans duped by “hope and change.”

    Both the auto bailout and Obamacare are controversial and important bi partisan influences with real education on the matters say that while the auto bailout was not properly structured from a business standpoint; and Obamacare will overcomplicate the medical field and should immediately be brought to the table for a restructuring. simply watch recent interviews with Dr. Benjamin Carson of Johns Hopkins for some insight.

    Its not that the ideas are necessarily wrong, they seem to be a reflection of how America is still shaping its conception of financial “needs and wants”, and that we are still hungover from shocks to the economic system.

    Craig keep on learning and help make America great again.


    Keep your eye on your posts for fallacies and keep working hard.


  7. Craig Knauss


    So where are the fallacies? None were pointed out. Where is the guidance? None was provided. All I see is incoherent babbling, poor sentence structure, etc. from an obvious member of the undereducated minority.

    You did not provide anything that refuted my statement that the rightwing spreads all savings out over many years to minimize their apparent impact, and compresses any costs to a single up-front sum to concentrate their apparent impact.

    And Dr. Benjamin Carson is entitled to his opinion, which is all it is. There are plenty of other doctors and health care professionals out there that won’t agree with him. I married one.

    So, A-Lo, I will keep on learning. Make sure you do the same. And try to remove the BS from your future posts.

    BTW, maybe you should research GWB’s business successes, if you can handle the truth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *