President Obama during his July 22nd press conference:
Then we had to pass a budget, by law. And our budget had a 10-year projection -- and I just want everybody to be clear about this: If we had done nothing, if you had the same old budget as opposed to the changes we made in our budget, you'd have a $9.3 trillion deficit over the next 10 years. Because of the changes we've made it's going to be $7.1 trillion. Now, that's not good, but it's $2.2 trillion less than it would have been if we had the same policies in place when we came in.The Congressional Budget Office, A Preliminary Analysis of the President’s Budget and an Update of CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook, March 2009 at 11:
From 2010 to 2019, the cumulative deficit under the President’s proposals would total $9.3 trillion, more than double the cumulative deficit projected under the current-law assumptions embodied in CBO’s baseline.Readers are welcome to reconcile the two quotes--with each other and with reality.
Surprisingly, even the New York Times can't square the circle:
The president continued to take credit for deficit reduction by making a claim that has been challenged by many experts.
"If we had done nothing, if you had the same old budget as opposed to the changes we made," the deficit over the next 10 years would be $2.2 trillion greater, the president said.
In fact, $1.5 trillion of those "savings" are mainly based on an assumption that the United States would have had as many troops in Iraq in 10 years as it did when Mr. Obama took office. But before leaving office, President George W. Bush signed an agreement with Baghdad mandating the withdrawal of all American forces within three years.
So Mr. Obama is claiming credit for not spending money that, under the policy he inherited from Mr. Bush, would never have been spent in the first place.