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An Alternative Look into the Deficit

How much has Obama added to the deficit? There are two answers: $4 trillion, or about $983 billion, only one of which is closer to being correct.

The first is calculated by subtracting $10.5 trillion, the national debt when Obama took office, from $15.2 trillion, the current debt amount. Simple subtraction yields just over the $4 trillion mentioned above ($4.7 trillion). The second deficit amount involves a more complicated calculation as it takes into account legislation that was set into motion prior to Obama taking office. For example, the Bush tax cuts already in effect and the two ongoing wars.

Ezra Klein and The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities made this graph that attempts to illustrate a more accurate figure. In total, the policies Obama has signed into law can be expected to add almost a trillion dollars to deficits. On the other hand, the Budget Control Act — the legislation that resolved August’s debt-ceiling standoff — saves more than $1 trillion. Using the same method, beginning in 2001 and ending in 2009, George W. Bush added more than $5 trillion to the deficit.

Take a look at the graph and digest the numbers for yourself!

Full post here.