During the years of the Obama presidency so far, total federal spending has been rising at the slowest pace since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president after the Korean War in the mid-1950s.
Rex Nutting of Wall Street Journal’s “Market Watch” provides the numbers to back up that statement with links so you can check them against Office of Management and Budget or Congressional Budget Office data.
Nutting doesn’t ignore that the spending numbers would have been higher if the Republican-controlled House had been willing to go along with all of Obama’s spending ideas, although if you think about it, the four Obama years include two years in which Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.
If you look at the bar chart that runs with Nutting’s piece, you’ll note that the really big increases in federal spending over recent history occurred during Ronald Reagan’s first term and George W. Bush’s two terms.
I don’t doubt that the extremely low inflation of recent years has played a role in this. But the main thing that strikes me about it is the power of partisan and stereotypical thinking.
When Mitt Romney referred to Obama’s fiscal record as a “debt and spending inferno,” it wasn’t even treated as a big whopper. Liberal Democrats are fiscally reckless. It only made sense. Just doesn’t happen to match the numbers. So do we change our stereotypes or just disregard the numbers. You tell me.