Did CNN misreport Obama budget by at least $2.5 trillion?

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Even the optimistic numbers the Obama White House is floating don’t make this claim, but CNN is willing take a leap and give the administration a lot of credit.

On CNN’s Monday broadcast of President Barack Obama’s speech about his budget proposal in Annadale, Va., the network’s chyron said that the president would cut $4 trillion in spending and raise $1.5 trillion in taxes over 10 years, suggesting $5.5 trillion in deficit reduction. (RELATED: Krauthammer calls Obama budget ‘worthy of Greece,’ ‘truly scandalous’)

However, the White House doesn’t even make that claim. Obama says his proposal makes reductions of $4 trillion — $1 trillion agreed upon last year and $3 trillion in this budget. But since only $3 trillion are in this budget (including the $1.5 trillion in tax hikes), the CNN interpretation falls short by $2.5 trillion ($5.5 trillion – $3 trillion = $2.5 trillion off).

And that’s based on the Obama administration’s numbers.

However, if you base it on analysis from the Senate Budget Committee Republicans, there’s only $273 billion in deficit reduction, not $3 trillion or $4 trillion, making the CNN report incorrect by $5.2 trillion. It claims the gap between Obama’s math and “honest” math comes from a few budget gimmicks ($5.5 trillion – $273 billion = $5.2 trillion.)

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