SOTU FLASHBACK: President Obama’s Failed Promise to Cut the Deficit in Half by the End of His First Term
In his first speech to a joint session of Congress in 2009, President Obama promised to “cut the deficit in half” by the end of his first term. As the Associated Press said at that time: “In calling for a deficit of about $530 billion in four years, [President] Obama has established a marker by which to measure his first-term performance as president. The dollar figure could be his albatross or his badge of success.” Three years and three trillion-dollar deficits later, it’s clear that President Obama will not be brandishing any badges at this year’s State of the Union Address. Here’s more on President Obama’s broken promise to rein in the deficit:
- The President’s Budget, Released Last Year, Projected a Deficit of $1.1 Trillion for 2012. (Office of Management and Budget, Accessed 1/22/12)
- President Obama and Washington Democrats Have Run the Three Largest Deficits in U.S. History:
FY2009 Deficit: $1.413 Trillion, the Highest in U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
FY2011 Deficit: $1.299 Trillion, the Second Highest in U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
FY2010 Deficit: $1.294 Trillion, the Third Highest in U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
- President Obama Has Added More Than $4.6 Trillion to the Debt Since Taking Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/22/12)
- The Nation’s Debt Has Now Eclipsed the Size of the Entire U.S. Economy. (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 12/22/11; U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/22/12)
Far from fulfilling his promise to the American people, President Obama – aided by Democrats in Congress – has engaged in a reckless spending spree that is damaging the economy and making it harder to create private-sector jobs. Instead of putting forth a serious, credible plan to cut spending and address the major drivers of our debt, President Obama punted – offering a budget last year that failed by a vote of 97-0 in the Senate.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reaffirmed Republicans’ commitment to “real reform of our entitlement programs and real controls on spending here in Washington.” Republicans, led by Speaker Boehner, tried to work with the president to enact a major deficit reduction law -- including new revenues, through tax reform with lower rates for all -- but the president insisted on job-killing tax hikes on small businesses, opposed real spending cuts, and declined to support reforms to strengthen entitlement programs. House Republicans have led where President Obama has failed, and it is now up to Senate Democrats to do their job and pass a budget for the first time in 1,000 days. The American people “can’t wait” another three years for an economy that creates jobs, and a government that fulfills its “most basic responsibility of governing,” and they shouldn’t have to.