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WASHINGTON – "That wasn't me," President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One.
It actually was partly him — and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years — who shaped the latest in a string of precipitously out-of-balance budgets.
And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.
Obama met citizens at an Arnold, Mo., high school Wednesday in advance of his prime-time news conference. Both forums were a platform to review his progress at the 100-day mark and look ahead.
At various times, he brought an air of certainty to ambitions that are far from cast in stone.
His assertion that his proposed budget "will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" is an eyeball-roller among many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits and economic calamity that the government is negotiating.
He promised vast savings from increased spending on preventive health care in the face of doubts that such an effort, however laudable it might be for public welfare, can pay for itself, let alone yield huge savings.
A look at some of his claims Wednesday:
OBAMA: "We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs." — from news conference.
THE FACTS: This assertion is flawed on several levels. For starters, the U.S. has lost more than 1.2 million jobs since Obama took office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even if Obama's stimulus bill saved or created as many jobs as he says, that number is dwarfed by the number of recent job losses.
But Obama's number is murky, at best. The White House has not yet announced how it intends to count jobs created by the stimulus bill. Obama's number is based on a job-counting formula that his economists have developed but have not made public. Until that formula is announced — probably in the coming week or so — there's no way to assess its accuracy.
Whatever the formula, economists who study job creation say it will require some creative math. That's because Obama has lumped "jobs saved" in with "jobs created." Even economists for organizations that stand to benefit from the stimulus concede it probably is impossible to estimate saved jobs because that would require calculating a hypothetical: how many people would have lost their jobs without the stimulus.
Originally posted by j2000
I would not want to have to add the phase, "typical politition", even though he is not typical as to the extent of damage, the taking of our freedoms and in general taking our country into the crapper.