For example, on Aug. 14, he told a crowd in Waterloo, Iowa: "I'll make sure government still does its part to reduce our debt and our deficits. We've cut out already a trillion dollars' worth of spending we don't need."
On June 22, in Tampa, Fla., he said: "We're going to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion. I have a detailed plan. We'll cut spending we can't afford."
On June 12, in Philadelphia, he said: "And I've already signed $2 trillion of cuts into law already and have proposed $2 trillion in additional deficit reduction."
So, which is it?
Did Obama already cut spending by a trillion, or does he plan to cut the deficit by $4 trillion, or did he already sign legislation to cut it by $2 trillion and plans to cut it by $2 trillion more?
Is he making sure government "does its part to reduce our debt"?
The truth is: none of the above. Obama has not cut federal spending, and the fiscal 2013 budget plan he presented to Congress would dramatically increase deficit spending.
In fiscal 2008, when then-Sen. Obama was running for president, federal spending was $2.983 trillion, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. In fiscal 2009, when Sen. Obama voted for the $700 billion bank bailout and President Obama signed what the Congressional Budget Office now says was an $833 billion economic stimulus law, federal spending increased to $3.518 trillion. In fiscal 2010, federal spending dropped modestly to $3.456 trillion -- $62 billion below 2009 but $473 billion above 2008.
Then, in fiscal 2011, federal spending increased again to $3.603 trillion. This year, OMB estimates, it will increase yet again to $3.796 trillion.
If you generously take as your starting point fiscal 2010 -- the first year Obama had full power to submit a budget and veto any spending bills he did not like -- annual federal spending has increased $340 billion since then.
Fact: Obama did not "already" cut a trillion in federal spending.
Obama's claim that he "already signed $2 trillion of cuts" is a reference to the debt-limit deal he cut with House Speaker John Boehner last year. That deal's primary purpose was not to cut spending but to increase debt. At the time, the law prohibited the government from increasing the debt past $14.294 trillion. Obama and Boehner agreed to change the law so the government could borrow an additional $2.1 trillion and increase the debt to $16.394 trillion.
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