You may have heard talk recently about how Obama really isn’t the big spender the Right has made him out to be. This notion stems from a recently published article by Rex Nutting on the Market Watch website entitled “Obama spending binge never happened.”
The idea that I had it all wrong caused me a lot of concern. Nutting’s article was very convincing. Take the following chart for instance. You’ll see that Obama clearly has not increased spending at the Rate other Presidents have.
How could this be? Had I been duped by those who had painted Obama’s first three years in office as a spending frenzy?
A follow up article published on the Cato Institutes blog entitled “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Which President Is the Biggest Spender of All?” attempted to clarify the issue but I was just as confused after I read it.
I even emailed Robert P. Murphy to see if he could help me figure out what was going on. He was kind enough to email back the same day by the way. But, alas, I didn’t quite get the clarification I hoped for. I was still uncertain about what this all meant.
Well it struck me the other day that Nutting’s argument is a total sham. While the rate of spending increase may have flattened out the real amount of money spent under Obama’s watch is still far greater than any president before him. I felt stupid that hadn’t realized it earlier. The second graph on his article totally disproves his own premise.
Yes the rate of increase in spending was greater under Bush from 2007 – 2008 or 2008 – 2009 when compared to Obama from 2010 – 2011 or 2011 – 2012, but that doesn’t change the fact that Obama is the biggest spending president ever.
Just because Obama has not increased spending at the rate that Bush did, his annual spending consistently tops even Bush’s highest spending year. All Nutting is really saying is that Obama has consistently spent the same HUGE amount each year. Well who the heck cares about that?
So now I can sleep at night knowing that I wasn’t wrong. Obama really is a big spender. The BIGGEST ever in fact. So Nutting was just playing with the numbers to make them say what he wanted them to. He nearly got me too. How many didn’t catch this? How many will now head out into the great wide world, honestly believing that Obama is the fiscal conservative?