In the May 22 online edition of the Wall Street Journal, in their MarketWatch feature, was a post by Rex Nutting entitled, “Obama Spending Binge Never Happened.”
Nutting says, “Of all the falsehoods told about President Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.” (He quotes Mitt Romney’s claim, “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”) Nutting says that almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive spending increase. Even Democrats seem to believe it’s true.
But it didn’t happen. Although there was a stimulus bill, federal spending under Obama is rising at a lower rate than any time since the early 1950s, when Eisenhower shut down the Korean War. Using government statistics, Nutting shows that even Herbert Hoover increased spending more than Obama. Federal deficits have been larger than were originally projected, but this was only due to falling revenues brought about by the market crash and the depression which followed.
Nutting provides a chart showing the amount that federal spending has increased under each president since Reagan. The annualized percentage increase is as follows:
Bush I, 90-93…5.4%
Bush II, 02-05…7.3%
Bush II, 06-09…8.1%
Note: These figures give Obama and not Bush credit for the stimulus bill, because Obama signed it. But most of the terms of this deal had already been cut before Obama took office.
Also, note that these figures show the spending increase in raw dollars. If the rate of inflation is considered, then spending in real dollars has actually decreased under Obama. There are some things you can blame Obama for, but a reckless spending spree is certainly not one of them.