In February, 2010 Obama made the following remarks, which have been repeated in speech after speech since then:
Ten years ago we had a budget surplus of more than $200 billion with projected surpluses stretching out toward the horizon. Yet over the course of the past ten years the previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program, passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and funded two wars without paying for any of it, all of which was compounded by recession and by rising health care costs. As a result, when I first walked through the door the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion with projected deficits of eight trillion over the next decade.
That is a lie.
In his CNBC Townhall speech this past Sunday Obama said, “when I arrived…I had a $1.3 trillion deficit wrapped in a bow, waiting for me at the Oval Office.”
Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush got tough on spending increases.
For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.
And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period:
If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.
The truth is that Obama inherited a deficit that was largely the work of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, that he voted for, and that his administration acted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20, 2009.