For those of you who understand math and have read a newspaper during the past 3 years, the title of this post is not groundbreaking. But for Leftists who struggle with math or for those who gobble up any Lefty blog post showering praise on Obama then this title is confusing to you.
Rex Nutting from Market Watch wrote a piece today that said all the Right Wing Nut Jobs were dead wrong about Obama being a big spender and, in fact, Obama is one of the most austere presidents in recent history. Here are the key conclusions from Mr. Nutting’s column:
“Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.”
“But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.”
How did Mr. Nutting come up with this trickeration and mathematical sleight of hand? He attributes all of the 2009 spending (except the Stimulus) to Bush instead of Obama and he uses the year to year percent increases as his comparison metric.
It is true that the government spending of the president’s first year in office is mostly approved by the previous president but Obama supported and voted for the Tarp spending and he didn’t try to reign in any of this spending during 2009. Obama actually wanted a larger stimulus in 2009 (to the tune of an additional $1 trillion) so that hardly sounds like someone who is austere and wanted to keep the US on a tight budget. So attributing the spending of 2009 to Obama is completely fair in my book.
Since the spending for 2009 was so huge (an increase of 16% over 2008 when comparing per capita spending), the subsequent comparisons of 2010 to 2009 would indeed show a lower (or in this case negative) spending increase as will comparing 2011 to 2010. But that doesn’t mean spending in 2010 and 2011 was reduced to pre 2009 levels and I’ll show that in a graph at the end of this post. Using this comparative metric is a mathematical sleight of hand and is not indicative of reduced government spending.
I have already debunked this meme earlier in response to another hack job which tried to paint Obama as an austere president and I encourage you to read that post since there is not only more detail in the earlier post but I provided a link to my actual spreadsheet calculations.
The only additional graph I’ll show on this post will be the one below showing actual government spending (per capita in 2005 dollars) for each year since 1969. There is no way you can look at the last 3 years and claim Obama isn’t spending our money like a drunken sailor on leave (all apologies to those in the Navy who like to blow off steam when off duty).