Actor Jason Alexander (best known for his role on “Seinfeld”) has been a vigorous supporter of President Barack Obama recently. In tweets posted yesterday and today, he argued strenuously that U.S. budget deficits have declined since Barack Obama became president.

Some Twitter users, however, aren’t buying it:

So who is right? The following budget deficit data come from the White House Office of Management and Budget (see Table 1.1 here, and note that the 2012 figure is an estimate):

Year Deficit (in millions)
2001  $          (128,236)
2002  $            157,758
2003  $            377,585
2004  $            412,727
2005  $            318,346
2006  $            248,181
2007  $            160,701
2008  $            458,553
2009  $         1,412,688
2010  $         1,293,489
2011  $         1,299,595
2012  $         1,326,948

Most people look at these data and think, “Wow, budget deficits are a lot higher recently than they were five or ten years ago.” So what exactly is Jason Alexander getting at?

We can only assume that he is completely ignoring the 2001-08 data and believes President George W. Bush deserves sole responsibility for the massive 2009 budget deficit, despite Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” plan (enacted shortly after he took office in January 2009) that was supposed to reduce unemployment to less than 6 percent by now.

Does that seem convoluted to you? If so, join the club.