Obama Is Shrinking Government
Spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, has risen at a slow rate under President Obama. But that increase has been more than offset by a fall in spending by state and local governments, which have been squeezed by weak tax receipts.In the first quarter of this year, the real gross domestic product for the government — including state and local governments as well as federal — was 2 percent lower than it was three years earlier, when Barack Obama took office in early 2009.The last time the government actually got smaller over the first three years of a presidential term was when Richard M. Nixon was president. That decrease was largely because of declining spending on the Vietnam War.The accompanying charts show the gains in real G.D.P. for the first three years of each presidential administration since 1989. They also show how different parts of government have grown.
Many things other than presidential policies contribute to economic growth, of course, including whether a president has the good or bad fortune to enter office when the economy is already moving in a certain direction.
Federal Spending as a Percentage of GDP