Fact Chek: Obama's Recent Deficit Reduction Claim Not True



In recent speeches, President Obama has repeatedly claimed that “our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.” The White House says he’s referring to the decline in the deficit as a percentage of the nation’s economy from 2009 to 2012. But that’s not the “fastest rate” of deficit reduction in 60 years. It fell at a faster rate from 2004 to 2007.

Obama has dropped the talking point into no fewer than five speeches focused on “Jobs for the Middle Class” during the course of a week.
July 30 in Tennessee: Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.
July 24, in Illinois: And our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.
July 25, in Missouri: And our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.
July 25, in Florida: And our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.
July 27, weekly address: Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.


The deficit as a percentage of GDP fell 31 percent from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012. But there are two other four-year periods when the deficit fell at a faster rate — in fact, more than twice as fast:
  • The rate of deficit reduction was 64 percent from fiscal 1993 to fiscal 1996, when the deficit fell from 3.9 percent of GDP to 1.4 percent.
  • Similarly, the rate dropped 66 percent from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2007, when the deficit went from 3.5 percent of GDP to 1.2 percent.
The deficit as a percentage of GDP has fallen more over shorter periods of time. For example, it fell 3.2 percentage points in 1969 (from a deficit of 2.9 percent in 1968 to a surplus of 0.3 percent of GDP in 1969).
This chart gives a fuller picture of deficits over the last 20 years. (Note: The years showing as negative numbers are years of budget surpluses.)

 
 
Read More Here:  FactChek.org






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