http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-off … ngs-co-523
The White House is now trying to delude Americans with this unfortunate lie:
"That means that the rate of spending -- federal spending increase is lower under President Obama than all of his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower, including all of his Republican predecessors. That is a fact not often noted in the press and certainly never mentioned by the Republicans. "
Referencing the Market Watch article here:
http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05 … ken-sailor
This is a sad bit of trying to pass off a half-truth in a way that very clearly is misleading to the original message. The claim is that spending under Obama has increased less than any recent administration.
Let's examine the problems with this.
1 - The first problem is that the economic stimulus spending of 2008-2009 was not a normal, every-year expense. When looking at government spending from year to year, those years should stand out as higher than normal, statistical anomalies, because they were one-time expenses.
So, what Obama's team is now doing is saying 'Hey, we are spending a lot, but not much more than last year!'
I can demonstrate how silly this is with a hypothetical story. Let's imagine a family, and imagine that in 2000 the budget for that family would be $45,000 and increase exactly 4% annually to account for inflation.
However, in 2007, the father of the family has to have a major surgery costing $100,000. Obviously, 2007 won't fit the normal trend of a responsibly-increasing budget, it should be an outlier.
So, if the family then continues to increase the budget from 2007 levels by 4%, do you see the problem? It would essentially look like this:
Yes, you could say that the budget only increased by 4%, but you can't say that it is an example of financial responsibility.
This is what Obama's team is doing. They are saying that they are barely increasing the budget, but they are increasing the budget from a level that was never meant to be the baseline.
2 - The analysis presented by Nutting is flawed, and I will explain that later.
Oh wow, I guess we should expect this from Obama. I really can't believe the amount of money he has wasted. It makes me sad for America because it will hurt it down the road.
The sad thing is, it's not just Obama.
The other sad thing is, it's more like 50% congress and 50% the president. Add on top of that the fact that normally the two don't line up, and you end up with two branches constantly competing against each other, so neither side really ever gets to fully implement their ideas. We can end up with the worst of both worlds.
Bush added ~$4.5 trillion in 8 years. Obama added ~$4.5 trillion in 3 years(if you factor in obamacare that figure is much higher).
We need to get the job situation fixed, and then learn to steadily and gradually cut back spending. There is no good reason why the US can't run a surplus, it would just require both parties working together over the next 8 years. In other words, probably not going to happen.
People don't get it. It takes money to fix the economy. Bush was handed a Cadillac in 2000 and Obama was handed a junked car in 2008. People complain that it takes a lot of money and time to restore it.
What money is going into fixing the economy though? TARP costs were a one-time cost, so to increase the budget after TARP means that you're adding more than all of TARP to other areas of the budget. Most of these increases aren't going toward fixing the economy.
Sure, we have a lot of investment in green energy, which is ridiculous to focus on during a crisis, as it is much more expensive, less proven, less reliable, less likely to succeed, and creates fewer jobs if it does succeed. Look at Solyndra, half a billion in taxpayer dollars, and we ended up with 1,100 layed off employees.
In reality, instead of automatically increasing every aspect of the budget by 4-8%, what we should do is identify as many sectors as possible, and reduce the increase in those sectors to match inflation only until the economic situation is fixed.
Besides, the single largest impact the government could have on the economy right now(should have done it in 08) would be to reduce corporate tax rates. We could cut those rates in half, be extremely competitive on the international level, and we would only have lost some $500 billion in revenues over the last 4 years(less than that actually, since we would have more corporate activity). Dollar for dollar, that would have had a much more drastic effect on fixing the economy than anything else the government has done.
Although I am an Obama supporter, you make an excellent point, and I agree that the numbers are misleading. The deficit and national debt are subjects that we must all be acutely aware of. My own personal belief is that we need to raise revenue by raising personal income taxes at least slightly on everyone. We also need to cut out corporate loopholes. Perhaps the only sector that shouldn't pay higher taxes should be small businesses.
Do you want pay more taxes while there is tons of waste in the budget? If they legitimately trimmed all the waste out of the budget, I would have no problem with them raising our taxes. Before they raise my taxes they better get rid of useless programs like studying the mating habits of bees to the tune of $15 million per year, or watching a shrimp on the treadmill to the tune of $9 million per year, Congress needs to take a pay cut and they need to go on the same insurance plan that everybody else will be stuck with if Obama care does not get struck down in the Supreme Court. Fair is fair as I say.
Yes, I agree that we need to cut waste as well as raise taxes. I strongly agree with you about Congress taking a pay cut and going on the same insurance plan as the rest of us.
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