Fact Check: Obama's deficit, debt claims
What is the real state of US finances?
- Duration 6:06
- Date Jan 17, 2013
What is the real state of US finances?
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Right now lawmakers are working on a strategy to try to keep the government running may only have about four to six weeks left.
Before the nation hits the national debt ceiling.
Republicans are calling for budget cuts in return for raising the debt -- the President Obama came out swinging during his news conference on Monday.
Claiming he's already got a long way toward closing the budget gap.
Joining us now out of fact checked some of his statements Stephen Hayes a senior writer for the weekly standard and a Fox News contributor.
Douglas Holtz Aiken is a former director of the Congressional Budget Office he is now president of the American action forum.
Just as a general rule Stephen when when you heard the president's.
Speaking in that news conference.
Was he generally being honest with the American people about the state of our finances.
Well I would say that there were some things he said there were true there are some things that he said that weren't true and there -- some things that he said that work.
I think misleading but importantly the president didn't in mind you put into proper context the discussion.
That we're having nationally about -- the debt ceiling at about the state of our our finances more broadly.
You look at where we are more than sixteen trillion dollars in -- the president is right when he says.
That what we're talking about it when -- we're talking about raising the debt ceiling is paying bills that we've already racked up but.
He's incorrect in my view when he suggests that.
-- the raising of the debt ceiling has nothing to do with limiting future spending it most certainly -- horrible let's.
Play for you a plot.
Sound bite from him that we played a moment ago in which he wouldn't.
Have a nation believe that he has been out there at the vanguard of trying to cut wasteful spending.
And for nearly two years now I've been fighting for such a plan.
When that would reduce our deficits by four trillion dollars over the next decade which would stabilize our debt.
Our deficit in a sustainable way for the next decade.
A Douglas I'm told and and the Washington Post actually published this that that the president is including in that four trillion dollar number.
Something like 850 billion dollars.
That he does not intend to spend on the -- -- in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yet the four trillion dollar number do you do you just can't make get out I mean that the key budget gimmicks in there are number one.
The wars that are in Iraq and Afghanistan not counting the savings money that would never be spent.
I if you look inside his budget proposals for a whole bunch of things which he counts as old spending that are really -- paying Medicare doctors increasing pell grants.
Paper disasters like sandy.
It doesn't count any of that -- that goes against this portrait makes it smaller.
So this is an exercise that's really riddled with budget gimmicks and -- the dominant or should know that present leans heavily on is the one point two trillion dollars in the so called sequester hands.
-- -- deserves credit for that is in the eye of the beholder but it is a law signed by the president -- pass by Republicans and Democrats in congress but the key is.
It hasn't happened yet and that all the evidence is no one wants it to happen so it's partially account one point two trillion dollars in savings or something that.
Doesn't happen and maybe never will happen all right let's let's listen to and others.
Piece of sound from the president -- about making our debt manageable place.
That would be enough not only to stop the growth of our death -- -- the size of our economy but it would make it manageable.
And that's the four trillion dollars that he he is talking about saying the suggesting Stephen that date if you can cut four trillion dollars.
In spending that's going to make things hunky dory.
Well no I would say no for the reasons that doesn't suggest that for found dodges and really -- dark haven't I think you could make the argument that if it were real -- -- -- It would be an effective pack to short term fix what it will not do however.
-- change the long term debt trajectory of the country and there's really no discussion particularly discussion.
That involves the white house on a serious level about changing the debt trajectory of the country -- not hearing from the president proposals for a long term.
Structural entitlement reform which everybody in Washington everybody who's paid even cursory attention.
To these issues understands is what's really.
And her dad and I just have to let our viewers know that Stephen is not a -- out there are cables behind his head for the I don't know why after just half a step up and -- ago.
Who who are getting ready to clean clearly knows they're in our Washington bureau all right let's let me play one more about spending cuts and tax revenue.
Over the past two years I've signed in the law about one point four trillion dollars in spending cuts.
Two weeks ago I signed in law more than 600 billion dollars in new revenue by making sure the wealthiest Americans begin to pay their fair share.
So how did the White House -- arrive at that number though one point four trillion -- what.
Well I just wanna say we all agree on the 600 billion dollars in tax increases that's the -- -- -- the president's talked about over the past week.
The one point portraying comes from the White House magic abacus I don't know where they get it it's got to be at least one point two trillion out of that sequester and and who knows what else.
But I think the important point -- what I wanna go back to what you're Mary met Saddam at that the president is talking.
About stabilizing the debt.
If we do that we will stabilize the debt at a dangerously high level that's what -- are now.
And so the playing and is to keep the United States and the danger zone a perpetual financial crisis and anemic growth and that's just not aggressive enough he needs to change the surge actually Stephen mentioned.
-- and -- and your point of view he's he's taking credit or or claiming.
Spending cuts that necessarily aren't that aren't necessarily there.
I think for the reasons that Doug laid out and look -- mean you know that this is the president I think.
Who hasn't shown much eagerness to get serious about the -- when David Axelrod -- -- advisor was asked about the president's second term priorities before the election.
He ticked off six different issues and never once mentioned debt and deficits I think that's an accurate reflection of how the -- how the president -- these issues.
Gotta pay attention to the word that's for sure Stephen thank you Stephen Hayes and Douglas Holtz Aiken Richard thank you thanks job of.