Rep. Hensarling's main point and trick wording tries to dump the Great Recession on the Democratic congress, clearing Bush and the previous six years of Republican control of any responsibility. Unbelievable but true. How do they come up with these BizarroWorld strategies?
This time, Chris Matthews is not fooled, and pursues it with all his energy.
In the clip below, Hensarling admits tough decisions will have to be made with Social Security and Medicare. That means cuts in federal spending, sticking the bill with individual senior citizens on fixed incomes. This is how the Republicans will balance the budget folks. Be warned.
"Rep. Jeb Hensarling did some extreme cherry-picking to suggest that deficits have ballooned under Obama," the Web site writes. "
Obama said the question sounded more like a talking point from someone running a campaign and was an example of why it's so hard to achieve bipartisan legislation.
In a press release issued by Hensarling after the meeting, he noted that the monthly deficit in October 2009 was $176 billion … to begin with, Hensarling is choosing the highest number. Over his full, eight-year term (including much of the 2009 deficit that rightly falls to him), the country ran up $3.3 trillion in total deficits. That works out to an average of about $412 billion per year -- more than double the number Hensarling is using. If you want to just look at the six years Bush had a Republican Congress, the average drops to about $260 billion a year.
In October 2008, the month before Obama was even elected, the monthly deficit was $232 billion. That's higher than any of the monthly deficits under Obama. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget office estimated the 2009 deficit at nearly $1.2 trillion on the day Obama was sworn in. Obama increased it by about $250 billion.
In summary, Hensarling's numbers only work if you cherry-pick the highest month under full Democratic control and compare it to one of the lowest years under full Republican control. If you compare average months (about $112 billion a month for Obama and the Democratic Congress) to average years under Bush (about $412 billion a year if you include his full 8-year term, or about $260 billion a year if you only include the first six years with a Republican Congress), Hensarling's numbers are wrong. There are so many bookkeeping tricks in this one that he's far from the truth. We his claim False.