Blogs » Politcs Plus » President is not the big spender as we were led to believe



After reading Rex Nutting article titled " Obama spending binge never happened" on the Market Watch website; I couldn't help saying out loud "no wonder the economy hasn't fully recovered." I strongly believe in Keynesian economic policies when interest rates are near zero, infrastructure is in a dire need of repair, and our consumers and businesses are not spending;the government has no choice but to spend. Especially after seeing how austerity policies made the European financial crisis even worse. This week’s CBO report put a damper on the Ryan budget and other Republican cutting measures by saying that those policies will lead to failure and likely into a second recession.

Mitt Romney said that Obama's spending was a "spending inferno" but nothing could be further from the truth. To be frank, I believe that because Democrats never refuted the charges but as I stated, I agree with the stimulus and other spending measures enacted by the Obama administration. I never knew that federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

And even Herbert Hoover increased spending more than Obama has, and I always thought of him as “Nero fiddling as Rome burned." Spending rose 12.3% a year in Hoover's four years. He was a Keynesian and didn't know it.

According to the office of Management and Budget in the 2009 fiscal year (Bush's budget) in the and Federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.9 trillion to $3.52 trillion. The argument that Heritage Foundation makes is that Obama did not do anything to stop the spending, but they seem to ignore that in fiscal 2010-in, Obama's first budget spending fell 1.8% to $3.58 trillion.


Instead of posting a lot of boring numbers, I'll let the chart speak for themselves but it’s important to know that the final budget of Obama's term spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. It's also important to note that we don't have a dictator, so a lot a credit has to give be given to GOP push back if you believe in "austerity only." There's always been a fundamental misunderstanding of the federal budget. The first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress. The president and his administration only begins to shape the budget in his second term but this president went into office in crisis mode. When Obama took the oath of office, the $789 billion bank bailout had already been approved. Federal spending on unemployment benefits, food stamps and Medicare was already surging to meet the massive number of people being laid off.

Obama can be blamed, along with Congress, for the $140 billion in extra spending in the 2009 fiscal year from the stimulus bill, and the expansion of the children's health care program and other appropriation bill passed in the spring of 2009.

Good news for the Conservative Republicans who are worried about their children's trust funds, in the per capita turns real spending will drop in~5% from $11,450 per person in 2009 to $10,900 in 2013(measured in 2009 dollars). I didn't adjust for inflation or put in 40 year projections (who’s going to be around to verify that projection), but I will leave a link to this interesting article.

***This article was put to the test through Politifact and their conclusion was: "Our ruling"

"The Facebook post says Mitt Romney is wrong to claim that spending under Obama has "accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history," because it's actually risen "slower than at any time in nearly 60 years." Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True.