Obama is a Big Spender

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).

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15 Responses to Obama is a Big Spender

  1. Pingback: WSJ: Obama Spending Binge Never Happened - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums

  2. Pingback: WSJ: Obama Spending Binge Never Happened - Page 2 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums

  3. MadHatter says:

    Essentially, the real answers are:
    1) He decreased military spending, and increased social spending. It LOOKS like a wash.
    2) The 2009 numbers were special numbers to signal Europe that we were taking the economic meltdown seriously. Continuing to spend that way now is nuts.
    3) Tax receipts were down, yet he didn’t cut spending accordingly. If you get a decrease in salary from $50K to $45K, would I congratulate you for only raising your spending 1.4% from 70K to 71K?

    • cosmoscon says:

      Thanks MadHatter for taking the time to comment. You are dead on! Only the easily fooled will swallow the lie that claims Obama is an austere President.

  4. Tenant Sands says:


    1) The president decreased military spending by ending the unnecessary war in Iraq that the republicans under Bush started. He however got the job done and killed Osama.

    2) The predident wasn’t spending madly there has been a .04% increase in spending under Obama in response to the economic breakdown that occured under Bush. The percentage increase saved the American car industry even though the republicans were busy voting down the presidents jobs bill and telling him to let the American car industry die.

    3) Tax reciepts were down because the republicans refused to allow Obama to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the richest 1% of American. The republicans are also responsible for the first year of Obama’s budget as the presidents budget didnt go into effect until after a full year in office. The congress voted on and approved the first year of spending and this was done under the Bush presidency, yet they often claim Obama increased the debt 3 times in his first year in office which is a bold faced lie, and if it was true the culprit would have been the administration that signed said budget aka the Bush Whitehouse.Perhaps you should learn how the economy works before you make inane comments on it.

  5. Pierre says:

    Ahh Tenant Sands, repeating same left wing tripe over and over:

    1a) The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been ended (or are ending) on GWB’s timeline.
    1b) Obama was nothing but a spectator in the “Get Osama” raid and was all set to blame the military if it went south

    2a) The president did not present a “jobs” bill. Even he came to understand and laugh about the fact that there were no shovel ready jobs. His jobs agenda was nothing more than a payoff to unions and block grants to state governments to paper over their own budget deficits.
    2b) Republicans did not want the car industry to die and forcing a normal bankruptcy would not have killed it. When businesses go into bankruptcy they do not cease to exist. Look at the multiple bankruptcies in the airline industry. Instead, what obama did was subvert 100+ years of the best bankruptcy law in the world as a means of granting a payoff to his biggest constituency, the unions, at the expense of the rightful owners of GM, the bondholders.

    3) Increase taxes in the midst of the worst recession since the great recession. Great idea.


  6. Wayne says:

    He has’nt done anything in three years so sure he has spent less. He does ware the White House well at least for him.

  7. cosmoscon says:

    For those interested in a nice graphical representation of lies stating that Obama is a very austere president, go check out this site. http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=1786

  8. Pingback: WSJ: Obama Spending Binge Never Happened - Page 18 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums

  9. Pingback: Obama Tries To Silence Conservative Voices | cosmoscon

  10. Pingback: OK Conservatives, Now What? | cosmoscon

  11. Pingback: Obama Is A Big Spender – Part 3 | cosmoscon

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  14. Pingback: GDP Growth Under Big Government – The New Normal | cosmoscon

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