"I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan," President Obama said during his debate with Mitt Romney on Wednesday night. "It's on a website. You can look at all the numbers, what cuts we make and what revenue we raise."
ABC's Jon Karl correctly calls Obama's claim "mostly fiction."
Does President Obama have a plan to cut the deficit by $4 trillion?
No. The “$4 trillion plan” he is referring to includes about $1 trillion Congress has already agreed to and $1 trillion in savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are already ending.
This would be Mostly Fiction.
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler has also noted Obama's claim is "simply not accurate," and pointed out that “virtually no serious budget analyst agreed” with the administration’s accounting. Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon has more on Obama's false budget claim:
Keith Hennessey, a former director of the National Economic Council, estimated the true value of Obama’s deficit reduction—minus these gimmicks—to be about $2.8 trillion, and called even that reduced figure a "generous" assessment.
The president’s budget, for instance, takes credit for about $1 trillion in spending cuts that were already signed into law in 2011, and should already be incorporated given that they fall outside the 10-year budget window.
The budget also includes another $800 billion in phantom savings related to the military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan—money that would never have been spent to begin with—and another $800 billion in projected savings due to reduced interest payments on the debt, something not traditionally cited in federal budget documents as a form of government “spending” that can be “cut."
As Bill Clinton's chief of staff Erskine Bowles has said, the president's budget is simply not a serious budget like Paul Ryan's budget:
“Have any of you all met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you this guy is amazing. ... He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did, by $4 trillion. … The president as you remember, came out with a budget and I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously. The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing."