White House data supports Romney claim that Obama will raise debt to $20 trillion

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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White House data supports Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney‘s warning that if President Barack Obama wins re-election, the national debt will hit $20 trillion.

America’s gross federal debt will reach $20.3 trillion at the end of 2016 under Obama’s budget path, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The national debt is currently $16.1 trillion.

“Nobody who looks at the numbers thinks it’s realistic for us to actually reduce our deficit in a serious way without also having some [added] revenue,” Obama said during a recent interview with the Des Moines Register.

“We’ve identified tax rates going up to the Clinton rates for income above $250,000; making some adjustments in terms of the corporate tax side that could actually bring down the corporate tax overall, but broaden the base and close some loopholes. That would be good for our economy, and it would be good for reducing our deficit.”

“In the short term,” Obama added, referencing the so-called budget “sequester” that is poised to deliver automatic cuts, “the good news is that there’s going to be a forcing mechanism to deal with what is the central ideological argument in Washington right now.”

Obama identified the “central” conflict as, “How much government do we have and how do we pay for it?”

In the last presidential debate, Romney said, “There are two very different paths the country can take” after the election.

“One is a path represented by the president, which, at the end of four years, would mean we’d have $20 trillion in debt, heading towards Greece. I’ll get us on track to a balanced budget,” Romney said.

“The president’s path will mean continuing declining in take-home pay. I want to make sure our take-home pay turns around and starts to grow.” (RELATED: Former Labor Dept. official: Friday’s jobs numbers won’t swing election)

FactCheck.org points out that Romney’s claim is factual, but “under the budget proposed by his running mate [Rep. Paul Ryan] and embraced by Romney, the total debt would still hit $19 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2016” — $1.3 trillion less than Obama’s projected budget path.

If Obama won re-election, the national debt would reach $17.4 trillion by the end of 2013, according to the “Mid-Session Review” published by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The report contains “revised estimates of receipts, outlays, budget authority and the budget deficit for fiscal years 2012-2022.”

The debt would hit $18.4 trillion at the end of the 2014, $19.4 in 2015 and $20.3 in 2016, the report says.

When President Obama took office in 2009, the debt stood at $10.6 trillion.

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