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Obama’s Numbers: July Update

This is another in our series of regular quarterly updates of key statistical indicators of the Obama presidency. Our intent is to provide accurate measures of what’s changed — for better or worse — since Obama first took office in January 2009.

A Misleading Attack on McConnell

A conservative group misleadingly claims Sen. Mitch McConnell “funded the implementation of Obamacare.” McConnell voted to fund the government — including the department responsible for the Affordable Care Act.

Obama’s Numbers (Quarterly Update)

Reviewing some key statistical measures of Barack Obama’s presidency so far, we find: The economy has added more jobs since Obama took office than it did in his predecessor’s entire eight years in office. Despite the improved economy, the number of people receiving food-stamp assistance has continued to grow …

Spinning Obama’s Budget

Both parties are putting political spin on the deficit reduction contained in President Obama’s $3.78 trillion budget plan.

Ted’s Twisted History

In Sen. Ted Cruz’s twisted vision of economic history, Ronald Reagan cured double-digit unemployment by cutting spending and reducing the federal debt, and Jimmy Carter was guilty of “out-of-control regulation.”
In the real world:

Total federal spending soared during Reagan’s deficit-plagued first term, and the national debt nearly doubled. His budget director later resigned and wrote a book criticizing Reagan’s failure to cut spending.
And Carter signed landmark bills freeing airline, railroad and trucking rates from federal regulation,

Charting Ryan’s Debt Exaggeration

Rep. Paul Ryan exaggerates future growth of the federal debt in a chart contained in his newly released budget plan.
The chart relies on Congressional Budget Office projections from last year that do not account for actions taken since then to reduce federal deficits by nearly $2 trillion over 10 years. The chart also projects debt levels out to 2060, although CBO warns that such long-term projections are “highly uncertain.”
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee,

Paying People to Play Video Games

House Speaker John Boehner tweets that the Obama administration is spending $1.2 million “paying people to play video games.” That’s misleading. The government did pay $1.2 million for university research that includes the study of how video games can stimulate the cognitive abilities of seniors. A fraction of that cost went to compensate seniors who participated in the study, researchers say.
Boehner was one of several prominent Republican congressmen who sent out a flurry of tweets – hashtag #cutwaste – distorting the research.

McConnell Fudges Fiscal Facts, Too

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell twisted some fiscal facts in his appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit:

McConnell said the Obama administration has “driven spending as a percentage of our economy from 21 percent up to almost 25 percent.” But it was already projected to be almost 25 percent — actually 24.9 percent — in fiscal year 2009 even before Obama took office.
He also said “99 percent of Americans will not see their taxes go up”

Chained Explained

Using a more accurate cost-of-living adjustment for federal benefit payments and tax brackets would cut the federal deficit by perhaps $300 billion over the next 10 years. But it faces opposition from both right and left. Economists generally agree …