Romney off on deficits

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Mitt Romney needs to spend a little more time with his budget reports. 

"We are projected to have trillion dollar deficits for the next four years," Romney claimed.

It's true, as Romney said, that Obama has not kept his promise to cut the deficit in half from the $1.3 trillion gap he inherited in 2009. The deficit for the fiscal year that ended last weekend was about $1.1 trillion. And the Obama administration is forecasting another deficit that nudges close to $1 trillion next year. But that assumes Congress approves various stimulus proposals that are unlikely to pass muster on Capitol Hill. And Obama projects that the deficit would fall to around $600 billion under his policies in 2014 and the next few years thereafter. 

Meanwhile, government spending eats up nowhere near 42 percent of the national economy, as Romney claimed. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says outlays are on track to fall to about 23 percent of gross domestic product this year, down from about 24 percent of GDP in 2011.

Lori Montgomery covers U.S. economic policy and the federal budget, focusing on efforts to tame the national debt.
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Glenn Kessler | October 3, 2012