Deficit not my fault, Obama says
President Barack Obama doesn’t like all this flak from the Republicans who accuse him of running up the budget deficit.
Any why should he? His approval rating has dropped below 50 percent in at least two recent polls and you can assume the poor economy has something to do with it.
At his big speech at the Brookings Institution today, Obama said it was not his fault, that the $787 billion stimulus plan that he and his Democrats pushed through Congress is “only a very small part of our current budget imbalance” and that he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.
Who did he inherit from? Obama didn’t say, but his implication was clear.
“In reality, the deficit had been building dramatically over the previous eight years,” he said.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, interviewed by Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, said that under Obama, the deficit has gone way up and said “we don’t need any lectures from them about spending.”
Here’s what McConnell said:
“Well let’s put it in perspective. The deficit in the year that just ended is bigger than the last four years of the Bush Administration combined. The deficit spending that went on during the Bush years was almost entirely related to national security, the war. The war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq,” he said.
“It was done on an almost a totally bipartisan basis. They agreed that it was important to protect America. So yeah, I wish we’d had a smaller debt. I wish we hadn’t been attacked on 9/11. But these people have been on a spending spree that’s unprecedented in American history. They are on a track to double the national debt in 5, triple it in 10. Last year’s deficit bigger than the last four years combined. We don’t need any lectures from them about spending,” McConnell said.
For the record, Obama said he still feels he can cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Who do you think is at fault on the budget deficit?
Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama delivers speech on economy)