FactCheck.org called out Senator Harry Reid for being doubly wrong in his claim that Congress has already cut $2.6 trillion from projected future deficits by reducing non-defense programs alone.
The site explained that not only did the legislation he referred to applied to both security and non-security spending, but that a considerable part of the deficit reduction came from tax increases and not spending cuts.
The worst part? The senator made the same erroneous statement twice. Reid made the affirmations on ABC's "This Week" on Feb. 3rd, were he also added that further deficit reduction should include more tax increases and cuts in military spending.
"The American people need to understand that it's not as if we've done nothing for the debt. $2.6 trillion, $2.6 trillion already we've made in cuts. And all those cuts have come from non-defense programs. We need to keep our eye on the prize and continue doing something about spending, but I think that what we need to do is do some of the things that Mitt Romney talked about. He said there's some low-hanging fruit; there are a lot of tax loopholes that should be closed. I agree with him. We haven't done that.," he said.
Later on, after host George Stephanopoulos probed the Senator on the issue, he repeated his claim saying,
"I repeat: $2.6 trillion already, all coming from non-defense. If we're going to have a sequester, defense is going to have to do their share"
According to FactCheck.org Reid inflated the $2.6 trillion figure for the show. The senator referred to the same figure as being $100 billion less, three days before on the Senate Floor.
“We have already made nearly $2.5 trillion in historic, bipartisan deficit reduction,” he said on the floor Jan. 31.