Sunday, May 27, 2012

Who You Gonna Believe?

The White House is aggressively pushing the idea that, contrary to widespread belief, President Barack Obama is tightfisted with taxpayer dollars. To back it up, the administration cites a media report that claims federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since the Eisenhower years.

“Federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any president in almost 60 years,” Obama said at a campaign rally Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.

The problem with that rosy claim is that the Wall Street bailout is part of the calculation. The bailout ballooned the 2009 budget just before Obama took office, making Obama’s 2010 results look smaller in comparison. And as almost $150 billion of the bailout was paid back during Obama’s watch, the analysis counted them as government spending cuts.

It also assumes Obama had less of a role setting the budget for 2009 than he really did.

Obama rests his claim on an analysis by MarketWatch, a financial information and news service owned by Dow Jones & Co. The analysis simply looks at the year-to-year topline spending number for the government but doesn’t account for distortions baked into the figures by the Wall Street bailout and government takeover of the mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The MarketWatch study finds spending growth of only 1.4 percent over 2010-2013, or annual increases averaging 0.4 percent over that period. Those are stunningly low figures considering that Obama rammed through Congress an $831 billion stimulus measure in early 2009 and presided over significant increases in annual spending by domestic agencies at the same time the cost of benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare and the Medicaid were ticking steadily higher.

Read more:


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home