The president is correct when he says that he inherited the biggest deficit in our history, as he recently told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. But he's looking to stretch this premise to its limit, claiming that his policies, from the stimulus to the rebooted war in Afghanistan, only account for a small portion of the deficit over the past few years. He blames the rest on President Bush.
The facts are these:
- In fiscal year 2009 Obama was responsible for adding $203 billion to the deficit, which in the end topped $1.4 trillion that year. But Factcheck.org reminds us that "this was just the first of four years of trillion-plus deficits."
- The last three budgets fall squarely under Obama. And, during that time, the federal government ran up deficits of "$1.3 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, and about $1.2 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30—for a total of nearly $5.2 trillion in deficit spending," also according to Factcheck.org.