Watch the ad here:
CLAIM: "And every day we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and the children we love. Rather than putting out that spending fire, President Obama has been feeding it."
TRUTH: Romney's words are opinion. But it is true government spending has increased while President Obama has been in office.
OMB Historical Budget Tables
Government spending is expressed in budgetary language as "outlays" or expenditures. Aside from a slight respite from 2009-2010, federal outlays have increased since President Obama took office in 2009. In 2009, the federal outlays were $3.517 trillion. In 2010, they were $3.456 trillion; 2011, $3.603 trillion; 2012 estimates the outlays to reach $3.795 trillion and the projection for 2013 is $3.803 trillion in outlays according to OMB Historical Budget Tables. There is some debate as to who deserves credit for the 2009 budget; the budget was signed 6 months prior to Obama taking office by President George W. Bush. But, Obama signed additional legislation immediately after taking office that increased the 2009 budget. Remember, though, a bi-partisan Congress has to approve the budget.
CLAIM: "[President Obama] has spent more, and borrowed more."
TRUTH: More than whom, or what? The ad doesn't say. But it's true, the U.S. national debt has increased since President Obama took office. Right now, it stands around $16 trillion. In order to determine the total federal debt, you need to first calculate the deficit or surplus for each year and add that to the preexisting debt. This number is based not only on the amount the government spends but also on the revenue it brings in. Receipts (Revenue) - Outlay = Deficit (or Surplus). During the Obama presidency, receipts have increased as well as outlays. The deficits for these years (and the amount per year that is added to the total federal debt) are as follows: 2009, a deficit of $1.413 trillion; 2010, $1.293 trillion; 2011, $1.299 trillion; 2012, $1.327 trillion; and 2013, $901 billion. Because all of these years have resulted in a deficit, not a surplus, the result is a greater amount of federal debt than existed prior to President Obama taking office.
The federal debt currently stands at about $16 trillion. But the national debt has risen since George W. Bush took office in 2001. And remember, both Republicans and Democrats reached a deal with President Obama to raise the debt ceiling another $2 trillion this summer. The claims made Mitt Romney's advertisement have been batted back and forth between both parties for the past few years.
For more analysis and information on these claims and the context in which they have been raised by both sides, you can go to PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, or Washington Post Fact Checker. It's pretty simple. Government spending and the national debt has increased since President Obama took office.
Whether it's worth the prairie fire analogy is up to you to decide.
SEE A TRUTH TEST ON PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S NEW AD ATTACKING MITT ROMNEY HERE.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)