Spending: Obama vs Bush


I think that I am consistent with the Republican party’s claim that one Mr. Barack Obama spends too much.  Further, I think that I am consistent with the same Republican party in their view that it’s spending, not revenue that’s the problem.  After all, I’ve demonstrated that receipts increase year over year at a 7.2%.  And by simply slowing the growth of government, we can balance the budget in as little as 19 years.   God forbid what happens if we actually REDUCE the year over year of the government spend.

To that end, there has been much talk in the nation about that government spending.  Where it came from and who is actually spending it.

Remember, the subject is spending.  And that Barack is doing more of it than anyone else.

The context is “who is contributing to the massive increase in government spending we are seeing?”

And the answer to that question is being answered by this graph:

It’s found in the New York Times titled “How the Deficit Got This Big”:

Despite what antigovernment conservatives say, non-defense discretionary spending on areas like foreign aid, education and food safety was not a driving factor in creating the deficits. In fact, such spending, accounting for only 15 percent of the budget, has been basically flat as a share of the economy for decades. Cutting it simply will not fill the deficit hole.

Umm, Miss Teresa, I don’t think I know of one anti-government conservative who says that the trouble were in is due to “non-defense discretionary spending on areas like foreign aid, education and food safety”.  We ALL think it’s spending in ALL areas of government, most especially in the entitlements.  But anyway, continue:

In 2001, President George W. Bush inherited a surplus, with projections by the Congressional Budget Office for ever-increasing surpluses, assuming continuation of the good economy and President Bill Clinton’s policies. But every year starting in 2002, the budget fell into deficit. In January 2009, just before President Obama took office, the budget office projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 and deficits in subsequent years, based on continuing Mr. Bush’s policies and the effects of recession. Mr. Obama’s policies in 2009 and 2010, including the stimulus package, added to the deficits in those years but are largely temporary.

First, to be fair, those weren’t Clinton’s policies.  He shut down the federal government when he vetoed the first bill sent to him.  Only after he reached a deal with the House Republicans did he sign that deal.  It was the Republican policies….  But Miss Teresa is correct when she says that Dubya spent like a Democrat during his time on office.  Deficits DID amass and we did over spend.  In fact, spending seemed to be the answer to every crisis we faced.  But for her to conclude that Obama’s spending is temporary is grossly inaccurate.

…under Mr. Bush, tax cuts and war spending were the biggest policy drivers of the swing from projected surpluses to deficits from 2002 to 2009. Budget estimates that didn’t foresee the recessions in 2001 and in 2008 and 2009 also contributed to deficits. Mr. Obama’s policies, taken out to 2017, add to deficits, but not by nearly as much.

Here is where Teresa shifts the debate from spending to deficit.  Yes, spending on the wars contribute to the deficit through spending.  But she creates an equivalence between spending on the war and reducing receipts based on tax cuts.  Further, she is assuming that the tax cuts and not the recession contributed to the lower receipts.  But I digress.  Over time, from tax rates at their very highest to their very lowest, the economy delivers a very reliable 7.2% increase year over year in revenue.  This suggests that tax rates alone are not an indicator, but rather how those rates might expand or contract an economy or even what the size of the base of those taxes might be.

Anyway, here is the graph:

Cool graph.

Here are my issues:

  1. We are focusing on spending.  And tax cuts are not counted as spending.  No matter what Obama says, by closing loopholes you are not cutting spending.
  2. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are being allocated to Bush in their entirety.  This hides the facts that Iraq spending is down considerably, well over  half from it’s peak, and that Obama actually INCREASED the spending in the Afghan conflict.
  3. The chart is failing to show that TARP was changed dramatically after Obama took office and those changes should be allocated to him
  4. The 2008 stimulus was much much smaller than $773 billion.
  5. The changes to spending that Obama has been responsible for have come in many areas, not just in new policy and are in now way considered to be temporary.  For example, in 2010, outlays did diminish by 2%, but that is a far cry from the dramatic run up we saw in 2009 and 2010.  And while future projections show only modest growth, it is not true that we are making any effort to move back to pre-exposive growth policies.

I’m as upset with both parties right now.  Both are failing to offer cuts in any meaningful or literal sense.  What they are talking about is a cut in what they had already planned to spend.  For example, if I spent $100 on baseball cards this month and budgeted a $200 spend next month and THEN told my wife I would cut my habit by half, she would expect to see $50 in baseball card expenses, not $150 in the same.  However, there is no mistaking that Obama is a massive spender and wants only to continue to do the same.

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8 comments
  1. Ultimately if Obama stops with this one time stimulus and starts cutting, as he claims he wants, he will be one of more fiscally conservative Presidents in a long time (at least since Clinton). So rather than argue about what he wants or doesn’t want, let’s watch what he does — and I believe that since our debt to GDP ratio is too high, he should work with the GOP to make real cuts. (Obama has tax cuts listed on his side too — they do increase the deficit). I like the new blog layout!

    • Book said:

      Tax cuts do NOT increase the deficit. Tax cuts have historically led to MORE revenue to the federal government. Not less. If you look at the CBOE reports that show total “receipts”…i.e., the actual amount of government revenue generated…during the 8 years Bush was in office, those amounts actually increased year over year following his big tax cuts. In fact, the government, under Bush in 2006 and 2007 had record revenues.
      The problem is they also had record spending. Revenues have since been hit hard by the recession, which was caused almost entirely by the housing market bubble, which could arguably said to be caused by the Banks and government policies that pushed lenders to make loans to less-than credit-worthy individuals so that “everyone could own a home”. Those policies were, again arguably, inposed during the Clinton Era, and never changed while Bush was in office (Bad on both parties) until it was too late.
      Revenues for 2012 are expected to again be record highs (still under very low taxes thanks to the Bush-era tax cuts). But…government spending continues to outpace this number by $800 Billion.
      Here…read the charts here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionGPO.action?collectionCode=BUDGET

      • Book said:

        Better link…
        http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/

  2. pino said:

    Ultimately if Obama stops with this one time stimulus and starts cutting, as he claims he wants, he will be one of more fiscally conservative Presidents in a long time (at least since Clinton). So rather than argue about what he wants or doesn’t want, let’s watch what he does — and I believe that since our debt to GDP ratio is too high, he should work with the GOP to make real cuts.

    I agree. If Obama agrees to this, it’ll be a remarkable statement.

  3. jim said:

    I don’t see the $700bn that was in TARP that Paulson robbed for his friends. Why doesn’t Obama get credit for spending on Iraq and Afghanistan wars since he’s doing nothing but escalating them. and What about costs for Libya?

    depending on the site you see complete polarizing figures to serve the Pepsi party or the Coke party.

    no one can admit that all these criminals are in league of each other and work for other people who don’t give a damn about the avg Loser tax payer who at the end of the year works like a slave to give 50% of the money they make back to the people that rule them

    • “avg Loser tax payer who at the end of the year works like a slave to give 50% of the money they make back to the people that rule them”
      Has anyone here read Daniel Pink’s “Free Agent Nation”?

      • pino said:

        Has anyone here read Daniel Pink’s “Free Agent Nation”?

        Nope. Good stuff?

    • pino said:

      I don’t see the $700bn that was in TARP that Paulson robbed for his friends.

      That’s the 224 million under Bush.

      Why doesn’t Obama get credit for spending on Iraq and Afghanistan wars since he’s doing nothing but escalating them.

      The Liberal author titled the chart policy changes. Therefore all spending on the two wars is Dubya’s. And yes, they simply didn’t count Libya.

      the avg Loser tax payer who at the end of the year works like a slave to give 50% of the money they make back to the people that rule them

      Technically the criminals need 50% of America to vote for them, so they don’t make their voters pay taxes. Then they soak the rest as you described.

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