The Numbers Clinton Ignored
12:55 AM, Sep 6, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In his speech Wednesday night, Bill Clinton said, "President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No president—not me or any of my predecessors—could have repaired all the damage in just four years." Yet, under FDR, who inherited a much weaker economy than Obama did, real GDP growth in 1936 (the year that he first sought reelection) was 13.1 percent. Under Obama in 2012, it has been 1.9 percent—or less than one-sixth as high. That’s according to the federal government’s own figures (see “Percent change from preceding period”).
Clinton said, "In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs." Yet according to the federal government's own figures, a higher percentage of Americans were employed 29 months ago (58.5 percent) than are employed now (58.4 percent). So any job growth in the past 29 months hasn't even kept up with population growth.
Clinton said, "Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the president for allegedly robbing Medicare of $716 billion. Here's what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None....President Obama and the Democrats didn't weaken Medicare, they strengthened it." Yet the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that $716 billion worth of Obamacare's mammoth costs would be paid for with money that would come out of Medicare. So if that Medicare money doesn't materialize—as Clinton suggests it wouldn't—then, according to the CBO, Obamacare would blow a $716 billion hole in the federal deficit.
Speaking of the deficit, Clinton said, "President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade." Yet the CBO says that, in his 2013 budget, Obama actually called for increasing deficits by nearly that same amount—he called for increasing them by $3.504 trillion over the next decade (see table 1).
For a guy who has such faith in the federal government (although not nearly as much as Obama does), Clinton sure doesn't have a lot of faith in its numbers.
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