Big Spender?


The Pink Flamingo went to look up some stats to make a reply to a comment.  Imagine my absolutely shock when I made the  discovery, that Obama has been one of the slowest spending presidents.

“...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.

Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has. Here are the facts, according to the official government statistics:

• In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget.

• In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.

• In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.

• In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.

• Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook.

Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%.

There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.

Why do people think Obama has spent like a drunken sailor? It’s in part because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the federal budget.

What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress. The president only begins to shape the budget in his second year. It takes time to develop a budget and steer it through Congress — especially in these days of congressional gridlock.

The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress….”

Market Watch
CNN Money

“…Under Obama’s 2013 proposal, spending as a percent of the economy would average 22.5% over the next decade, below where it’s been in the past few years but above the historical average of 20.8%, according to the CBO. Mandatory spending on entitlements would average 14.2% over the next decade, up from 13.5% today. That increase is partly due to demographics.

“You can’t blame Obama for the population aging,” said Donald Marron, a former acting director of the Congressional Budget Office. The surge of baby boomer retirements is going to increase entitlement spending regardless of who is president.

And partly it’s due to health reform — Obama’s signature piece of legislation….”

There are two versions to every story.  While the picture presented here is a bit rosy, when it comes to Obama spending, it is far less dishonest than the Heritage Foundation versions.  One must also take into account that the Heritage Foundation invented the idea of the individual mandate for heath care.  Now that Jim DeMint is taking over Heritage, just be prepared for further mendacity on that one.

Think Progress

“…Let me anticipate some of your objections before you make them. (1) Reagan was fighting a war, he jacked up defense spending instead of discretionary spending, and he inherited a recession with inflation that might, well, inflate his numbers. This is all true, but expanding defense was Reagan’s choice, and a dollar spent, on no matter what, is a dollar taxed or borrowed. (2) Bush was fighting a war and battling a recession, too. Yes, but he has neither inflation nor a Great Recession. (3) Don’t play relativity games with me, Derek, too much government spending is too much government spending, even if Obama’s predecessors were worse! There is a time for government cuts, but it’s not when you have 9 percent unemployment and your interest rates are below 2%. (4) The language of Obamacare and financial reform are better indicators of big government than federal spending. It’s fair to measure government size by its total involvement in people’s lives, but that deserves a longer post. (5) We should be more concerned about the taxes and spending to come than the spending that has past. But they haven’t happened yet, so they’re not part of the president’s record.

Maybe I missed some objections — I’m sure you’ll let me know — and I’ll answer in the comment section.

But the bottom line is that it is really, truly time for the myth about Big Spender Obama to die. If anything, it is remarkable that, after a recession and a private sector implosion, the public sector expanded less under this administration than it did under Bush or Reagan, especially when you consider the government cuts made at the state and local levels….”

The fascinating irony here is that, whenever they go back to Obama and spending, it seems like the Eisenhower model pops up more than anything else.  When one considers the fact that Eisenhower is the one who actually pulled this country out of the Great Depression by his concentration on viable infrastructure spending and the construction of the interstate highway system, that’s not a bad comparison.

What Obama does need is to be allowed to conduct major infrastructure repair.  This country is literally falling apart.  The historical accuracy of the Eisenhower model literally blows the libertarian, Randian version out of the water.

Let’s hope.

The Pink Flamingo has reached the point where I don’t care which side is right.  I care about the country.  The lessons of history speak for themselves.



4 thoughts on “Big Spender?

  1. Clinton also balanced the budget, so Eisenhower was not the only one who brought the country out of debt. The full impact of Obamacare has not hit the states yet. A few years from now, we shall see about where Obama stands as a big spender. I don’t blame Obama for the mess we are in because the democrats are not the only ones who have been big spenders. Both parties are like compulsive gamblers. They forget that what they are playing with is real money. According to what I’ve been reading more spending cuts are needed. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 Obama’s spending cuts call for 1.5 trillion dollars in cuts over 10 years which would amount to 150 billion dollars per year. If he gets his 1.6 trillion dollars in new taxes that would be 160 billion dollars a year. We have a 1.l trillion dollar deficit this year, so the balanced approach still leaves 800 billion dollars on top of a 16 trillion dollar deficit. Both parties in congress need to get to work. I am sick and tired of all the vacations they are taking at tax payers’ expense and Harry Reid needs to come up with a budget. It doesn’t matter which side is right, if they would just tell us the truth. When we lie to the government it is called a “felony”. When they lie to us they just call it “politics”. (PS – I am celebrating my 81st birthday on Thursday, the feast day of our lady of Guadalupe)

  2. That is quite a Feast Day on which to have been born!

    I don’t think any of them care, if you want my humble opinion. I’ve had this theory that you could chose fifty voters, one from each state – at random, put them in a room for 24 hours, bring in pizza and soda and they could do a far better job solving our financial problem than the “experts”.


  3. I can believe it. I have gotten so critical of both parties lately that it seems like I don’t even have a party anymore.

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