After the historic midterm elections in 2010, when the GOP took control of the House on a wave of public concern over spending and debt, many believed President Obama would seize the moment as an opportunity to reach a long-term debt agreement. Instead, the opposite happened. Democrats savaged House Republicans for passing a budget with needed reforms and savings, at the same time refusing to lay out a credible plan of their own. It was a calculated and craven political strategy.
At the heart of this strategy was Jack Lew. As the president’s budget director he submitted to Congress the most dangerously irresponsible plan we’d ever seen, one panned by virtually every major editorial board in the country. Mr. Lew then launched a nationwide PR campaign designed to mislead the public about the budget that included false statements in congressional testimony. Most infamously, Mr. Lew claimed his plan “would not add to the debt” and defended this statement as “accurate” when testifying before the Budget Committee. But that plan, according to the White House’s own budget tables, would have added $13 trillion overall to the debt and never once had a deficit of less than $600 billion — with the deficits getting larger with time. In just ten years, mandatory spending would increase by more than 80 percent.
But the truth did not concern Mr. Lew. He had a public-relations campaign to execute. Consider just a few of his many egregious falsehoods: