“Well, here’s what happened. We had a surplus when Bill Clinton was president,” Obama said. “It was projected to continue to be a surplus. We decided to launch two wars on a credit card. We cut taxes twice without finding offsetting costs for it or ways to pay for it, a prescription drug plan and then we had a massive recession.”
“When I walked into office we had a trillion dollar deficit, debt had mounted and then we had to take a bunch of emergency measures, that cost money, saving the auto industry, making sure that the financial system got back on track,” Obama said.
“So now what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to pare down that deficit, get that debt under control and I think the only way we’ve ever been able to do that effectively is when you do it in a balanced way,” Obama explained.
When asked if he remember what the national debt was when he entered office, President Obama said “I don’t know what the number was precisely.” Obama told Letterman “we don’t have to worry about it short term. [emphasis mine]”
See, here’s a dirty little secret: He knows what the number was. He knows what it is now. He knows that if too many voters remember that he’s added over $6 TRILLION to our debt, instead of cutting annual budget deficits, he’s toast. He can’t allow his litany of broken promises to come back to haunt him.