Friday, December 19th, 2014

Looking for some truth about the federal budget

We check a claim on federal spending and tax receipts made by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad on ABC's This Week.
We check a claim on federal spending and tax receipts made by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad on ABC's This Week.

The federal budget was a big topic of discussion on the Nov. 14, 2010, Sunday talk shows. And in at least two cases, the politicians in the hot seat -- one Republican and one Democrat -- knew exactly what they were talking about.

On CBS' Face the Nation, Sen.-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, "We now consume at the federal level 25 percent of the gross domestic product. Historically we were at 20 percent. So we've taken 5 percent away from the private sector. And the private sector is the engine that creates all these jobs. I want to send that 5 percent back to the private sector."

We found that all the numbers Paul cited were very close to the actual statistics, so we rated his statement True.

Meanwhile, on ABC's This Week With Christiane Amanpour, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, said, "If you look at our spending, it's the highest it's been as a share of our economy in 60 years, revenue is the lowest it's been as a share of our economy in 60 years, so we're going to have to work both sides of the equation."

Here, too, we found that Conrad was either correct or very close to correct on the numbers. So we also rated his statement True.

We're also checking statements by New York Times columnist and This Week roundtable commentator Paul Krugman, which we'll post later.