American Elephants

Basketball by The Elephant's Child
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I’m not arguing against addressing the debt, but new evidence has emerged that calls into question the mantra that the Obama administration has been a big spender. Most of the increase in spending took place in the FY 2009 budget bill, which was put together by the Bush Administration and the previous Congress, not Obama. Indeed, spending under Obama is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

Of course, we don’t have Obama to thank for that spending slowdown (he’d rather spend more, I’m sure), but Congress.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

Oh my, that Market Watch piece has already been laughed out of town. All smoke and mirrors. It’s not “new evidence” it’s an attempt to try to give Obama something to run on. Until Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. had never spent more than 23.5% of GDP, with the exception of the world War I years 1942-1946.
—2009, he spent 25.2% of GDP
—2010, he spent 24.1% of GDP
—2011, he spent 24.1% of GDP
—24.3% (estimate by the White House)
If Obama wins another term —spending— according to his own budget — would never drop below 22.3% of GDP. And remember his budget has twice been rejected unanimously by Congress.

Rex Nutting of Market Watch tries to portray the president as being stingy. The piece was titled “Obama’s spending binge never happened” What a whopper. Bush’s average up until the financial collapse was too high, but pretty moderate. Nutting arrives at his magic number by assigning 2009 to George W. Bush, when it was Obama’s from January 20 on. And I remind you that the incoming Obama administration begged Bush for a big TARP. Then Nutting does that clever little trick that’s a standard in DC He starts the amount of spending that he claims Obama did beginning at the level where Bush left off. That’s what federal agencies do, and why Republicans are always demanding “zero-based budgeting” meaning you describe your spending as the whole amount you are spending, rather than just the slight increase from last year.

Obama has spent more than all previous presidents put together. He doesn’t know much about economics, and the daily economic briefings Rham Emmanuel put together bored him and he canceled them. The link is to James Pethokoukis’ piece, but you will find the Nutting piece debunked everywhere.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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