As has been demonstrated many times, including in its recent cover-up and weaselly non-correction of his "Gulf ports" gaffe, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, continues to do its level best to keep President Obama's misstatements and misleading statements from wider public visibility.
Two such instances occurred in one speech on Friday in Binghamton, New York, where Obama told the audience at a "town hall" meeting that "we don't have an urgent deficit crisis," and that the deficit has "now dropped at the fastest rate in 60 years." Neither statement made it into Julie Pace's onsite coverage of Obama's visit. Later that day back in Washington, the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn was still running cover for Obama (bolds are mine):
Republicans are demanding long-term spending cuts, with some insisting that any deal must jettison money to pay for Obama's health care law. The White House argues that the attention on cutting spending is misplaced because the combination of existing cuts, higher taxes on the rich and an improving economy has reduced the deficit.
Without the opportunity to cut a grand bargain on taxes and entitlement spending, however, there are fewer incentives to make a big deal on the debt ceiling and fewer opportunities to attract lawmakers who are reluctant to raise the politically unpopular debt ("debt limit" -- Ed.) in the first place.
"When we get back to Washington, when Congress gets back to Washington, this is going to be a major debate - it's the same debate we've been having for the last two years," Obama said in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. But now, he said, deficits are coming down and "what we should really be thinking about is how do we grow an economy so that we're creating a growing, thriving middle class, and we're creating more ladders of opportunity for people who are willing to work hard to get in the middle class."
In the bolded instances, Kuhnhenn chose to note the administration's woefully incomplete assertion about a "falling deficit" without exposing the its unseriousness about spending restraint.
Even though the deficit is falling, it is still on track to exceed the highest shortfall ever recorded before Barack Obama came along. The deficit of $455 billion seen in fiscal 2008 is almost 30 percent lower than the projected full-year fiscal 2013 deficit of $642 billion the Congressional Budget Office estimated in May.
As to how the deficit has "dropped at the fastest rate in 60 years," that's only true because no other administration in history has run even a single trillion-dollar fiscal year shortfall, let alone four in a row.
This kind of statement is analogous to one we might hear from a spendthrift couple carrying excessive debt who had been going to fine-dining restaurants ten times per month. If they suddenly decided to increase their frequency to 20 and then "cut back" to 16, they might brag that "We've economized by more than we ever have!" No one would take such an argument seriously. We shouldn't take the argument being made by Obama, his administration and his party seriously either. What the AP and the rest of the press should be doing is exposing how singularly unserious this president is about fiscal responsibility. If someone other than a Democrat were in the White House, they would be.
To top it all, today the AP ran an unbylined report called "ECONOMISTS: FUTURE DEFICITS TOP US FISCAL PROBLEM," which asserted that "The biggest fiscal challenge facing the U.S. is the size of projected deficits in the 2020s and 2030s, according to a survey of business economists." Since the size of those deficits will be largely determined by decisions made or not made today, the story's opening assertion makes a mockery of Obama's claim that "we don't have an urgent deficit crisis." Obama's name wasn't even in the article, let alone his erroneous claim.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.