During the arithmetical dodge ball that constituted much of the first debate, Mitt Romney said the US deficit 'doubled' under Obama. In fact, it has declined, though it is still more than $1 trillion.
Washington’s red ink was a big topic in the presidential debate on Wednesday night. That’s unsurprising – it’s an important issue, and the federal government is spending a lot more than it's taking in. But President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney kept throwing numbers at each other like they were playing arithmetical dodge ball. For those without accounting skills it was hard to keep up.
So as part of our effort to explain some of the discussion we’ll address this point: Mitt Romney said the deficit has doubled under President Obama. Is that right?
Well, let’s look at the numbers. When President Obama took office in 2009 the deficit was already running at close to a record-setting pace. At the end of that fiscal year, it was $1.4 trillion. That’s “trillion” with a “T”. Ouch.
Fiscal 2012 ended on Sept. 30. The final figures aren’t yet in, but at the moment the Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit will be ... (drum roll) $1.1 trillion. So smaller. Not doubled at all.