Wednesday Night Charts & Graphs – The Inherent Excitement to be Found in the Annualized Growth of Federal Spending

From Talking Points Memo, here’s a visualization of how government spending has grown under different presidential regimes, starting with Ronald Reagan. It can be read as a refutation of the Republican lies that President Obama is running up spending and deficits at above average rates. For me, the proper critique of Obama in these figures is that he’s actually not spending nearly enough on investment, from infrastructure to education.

P.S. Want more evidence for the idiocy of austerity?

A new government report said spending cuts scheduled to go into effect in 2013, coupled with the simultaneous expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, will shrink the U.S. economy and raise unemployment — contradicting the Republican claim that reducing the federal budget deficit will spur economic growth.

Polentical: Tuesday Night Charts & Graphs – Spending, Taxes, and the Deficit under Obama

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I care about politics, but also enjoy tabloid talk. So what’s a boy to do?

13 Responses to Wednesday Night Charts & Graphs – The Inherent Excitement to be Found in the Annualized Growth of Federal Spending

  1. Chris says:

    That is a really clear and simple chart. Bold type, bright colors. But somehow, the conservatives still will not understand it. Willful ignorance is an ugly thing.

    • Matthew says:

      It’s definitely willful, as conservatives only attack the deficit as a way of lowering non-military spending.

    • RedShirtDecoy says:

      sorry… did you not notice the astrix next to Bushs name saying that the stimulus included under his name has since been reassigned to Obama… so even the makers of this chart say its inaccurate. Plain fact is all other presidents before him spend 6.4 Trillion COMBINED… and he spend 6.5 Trillion in 3 years? COME ON PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES.

      • Matthew says:

        RedShirtDecoy, I think you’re reading the chart wrong. The asterix notes that this particular chart has taken the stimulus funds passed by George W. Bush and assigned them to Barack Obama because that is when they were spent, even if they weren’t Obama’s decisions. (Similarly, the major decisions which took us from the surplus years of Bill Clinton to the deficit years we currently have were the decisions made by George W. Bush — multiple wars, and tax cuts for the rich.) If they had not re-assigned those numbers, the growth rate under Obama would be even lower. Take a look at this article by MarketWatch. Without including the Bush stimulus spending, Obama’s budgets increased federal spending by 0.4%. As MarketWatch wrote…

        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%

        Also, spending before Obama was more than $6.4 trillion. Bush spent $3.52 trillion in his last year alone, which was a rise of 17.9%. The figures are in that same MarketWatch article. Looking quickly at the Wikipedia article on the U.S. federal budget, I see that the budgets submitted by George W. Bush add up to $18.2 trillion.

        Perhaps you are confusing the budget with the deficit? It would help if you cite where you are getting your figures.

  2. DailyDisgust says:

    Reblogged this on DailyDisgust and commented:
    Amen. Agreed. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: The Truth about the President and the Deficit.

  4. And that’s just federal spending. Let’s not forget the reductions in state and local spending. Basically, Republicans should be doing happy backflips over this recovery. Private sector gains drove the GDP growth, but the growth rate was depressed because of decreases in government spending at every level. As Paul Krugman recently said, “Obama, far from presiding over a huge expansion of government the way the right claims, has in fact presided over unprecedented austerity.”

    • Matthew says:

      You’re totally right. It’s that drop in local government spending that’s really hurting unemployment. As Atrios has been saying for years, you’d think they’d actually want to do something about that. But no…

  5. ed says:

    That is so not true…. Clinton budget created a surplus of cash his second term he cut spending and had our national debt rolling backwards. Geez democrats if your going to lie at least tell the truth about one of your own ex presidents. Now for Obama the 1 trillion for Obamacare is not factored in the graph that one bill cost more then Clinton spent in his two terms.

    • Matthew says:

      Ed, I think you’re confusing deficits with spending. Plus, your facts are wrong. The last budget submitted by Bill Clinton, in 2000 for the year 2001, was more ($1.9 trillion) than Obamacare is projected to cost over ten years. And the non-partisan CBO projections for Obamacare are that it will bring down the deficit. Remember, it includes new revenue along with new expenditure, as Jonathan Cohn notes in this article.

      I’m happy to have this discussion, but it’d help to be clear when you’re talking about budget costs and when you’re talking about deficits, and also to cite where you get your information.

      Finally, I like to keep the comments sections polite, so please keep that in mind as well.

  6. Shane says:

    These graphs are incredibly misleading as there was a huge increase in spending in 2009 due to the Tarp and Stimulous bills. Obama has rightly increased spending at a 1.4% growth rate above the more than 600 billion increase in the 2009 budget. The economy was destroyed by Bush economics and the Federal government has been doing various forms of stimulus ever since. Why the Obama administration and Democrats want to argue the bogus Republican argument that austerity is good and Obama has been practicing It is beyond me. They should be saying spending increased massively in 2009 to save the economy from depression and we have kept it up since because that is the only responsible thing to do.

    • Matthew says:

      Shane, I thought that this is dealt with in the chart, as noted by that “Stimulus Included Re-assigned to Obama.” Regardless, I very much agree that the stimulus staved off worse disaster but a more significant stimulus would have been, well, more significant. One of the biggest errors of Obama’s tenure has been his acceptance of the Tea Party fixation on lower deficits and lower spending, particular as the conservatives only care about that when it comes to items that aren’t tax cuts for the rich or shoveling money to military contractors.

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