The Real Presidential Spending Story
I thought this Wall Street Journal piece did a good job of cutting through all the partisan rhetoric about presidents and their spending records.
According to the writers, Bill Clinton was the lowest spender, at least in modern times: 'President Clinton, in conjunction with a solid Republican Congress, cut government spending by more than any other president in modern times, and oversaw one of the greatest periods of economic growth and prosperity in U.S. history.'
The biggest surge in spending goes to George Bush during his last two years, 2007-2008: "...government spending skyrocketed to 27.3% of GDP from 21.4%. It was the largest peacetime expansion of government spending in U.S. history".
Spending supposedly fell under President Obama, but they credit that with repayment of TARP loans: " While spending did come down in 2010, it wasn't the result of spending cuts but rather because TARP loans began to be repaid, and that cash was counted against spending.".
They give the newer Republican congress credit for not approving around $150 billion Obama had wanted to spend.
That should put an end to all the partisan finger pointing over federal spending, shouldn't it?