Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

Political issues and parties in the USA and Canada.

Moderator: PoFo North America Mods

Forum rules: No one line posts please.
#13967835
An Obama Spending Spree? Hardly


Sahil Kapur-May 23, 2012, 6:03

A dominant theme of the national political discourse has been the crushing spending spree the U.S. has ostensibly embarked on during the Obama presidency. That argument, ignited by Republicans and picked up by many elite opinion makers, has infused the national dialogue and shaped the public debate in nearly every major budget battle of the last thee years.

But the numbers tell a different story.

The fact that the national debt has risen from $10.6 trillion to $15.6 trillion under Obama’s watch makes for easy partisan attacks. But the vast bulk of the increase was caused by a combination of revenue losses due to the 2008-09 economic downturn as well as Bush-era tax cuts and automatic increases in safety-net spending that were already written into law.

Obama’s policies, including the much-criticized stimulus package, have caused the slowest increase in federal spending of any president in almost 60 nears, according to data compiled by the financial news service MarketWatch.

Image

The chart shows that Presidents Reagan, both Bushes, and to a lesser extent Clinton, grew federal spending at a far quicker pace than Obama. Part of the reason for the slow growth is that Obama — unlike his Republican and Democratic predecessors — signed a law in February 2010 necessitating that new spending laws are paid for. In addition, Obama last year signed into law over $2 trillion in debt-reduction over the next decade.

Republicans argue that safety-net spending has crossed a critical threshold in recent years and Obama has been unwilling to address it. The two sides have jousted over who is to blame but the President has put hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid on the table in deals that have been derailed, thanks in no small part to the GOP’s resistance to raising new tax revenues to help bridge the budget shortfall.

Last week, Obama’s likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney accused Obama of lighting a “prairie fire” of spending and said he “added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.”

Chart by TPM’s Clayton Ashley

Link


As the chart shows, not only does govt spending grow less under Democratic presidents, but Republicans MASSIVELY increase govt spending...Republicans always talk about the deficit but they only want to shut down the govt in protest of these deficits when a Democrat is in office...when a Republican is in office they spend like drunken sailors while continuing to rant about deficits...

But we're supposed to believe that this time it's going to be different? We're supposed to belive that this time Romney will do what neither Reagan nor Bush did?

Bush was not an anamoly, was not a RinO who massively increased the deficit and betrayed Repulican values...Bush was a typical Republican president and his massive increase in federal spending was typical of Republican presidents...
#13967907
What amazes me until this day is that right wingers celebrate Reagan as their fiscal adherent, when he was, for much of his career, a tax and spend liberal. As Governor of California, he sought and authorized one of the biggest tax increases in the history of the state. His biographer wrote that if you didn't know it was Reagan, you'd think his fiscal plans came from a new deal Democrat.

As President, he hiked taxes a few times. As a share of GDP, his 1982 tax hike was substantially bigger than that of President Clinton.

Not to mention that he ballooned the debt. Almost 200% increase in 8 years, which is what forced President Bush to hike taxes, which cost him a 2nd term.

And government GREW during Reagan's 8 years, from 33.5% of GDP to 34.7%.

Obama has also seen a spiking of debt in his 1st term, but did not raise taxes, and he's a socialist.
#13968018
This graph is highly misleading for several reasons:

1. The Legislature, not the President, has the power to set the budget. The Democrats controlled the House during all 12 years of Reagan/Bush I's presidencies, and from 2006 to 2010. They controlled the Senate from 1986 to 1994, from 2001 to 2002, and again from 2006 to 2010. As such, the increase in federal spending under Reagan and Bush I, as well as the increase in spending between 2006 and 2010 is at least in part attributable to the Democrats. The growth in spending under Bush II between 2002 and 2005 can partly be explained by the Iraq War. Federal spending has grown slowest when there has been a Democratic President and a Republican (or partly Republican) legislature.

2. For some reason, they included 2009 as part of the Bush II presidency. The article was not forthcoming as to why.

This article smacks of little more than badly written propaganda.
#13968034
J Oswald wrote:Federal spending has grown slowest when there has been a Democratic President and a Republican (or partly Republican) legislature.


According to your own statement, Republicans are stretching reality quite a bit by painting Obama as a tax and spend liberal, as he doesn't seem tax anyone (not yet, anyway) and spending is very slow under his reign.
#13968044
Genghis Khan wrote:
According to your own statement, Republicans are stretching reality quite a bit by painting Obama as a tax and spend liberal, as he doesn't seem tax anyone (not yet, anyway) and spending is very slow under his reign.


Whether Obama is actually a tax-and-spend liberal or not is a separate issue. Given that the graph provided by the article does not include 2009's outlay for Obama, and appears to in part be extrapolating data for 2013 (using a methodology that they don't care to provide), the numbers for Obama are meaningless.
#13968048
J Oswald wrote:
2. For some reason, they included 2009 as part of the Bush II presidency. The article was not forthcoming as to why.



Possibly because the budget was passed and signed prior to 2009. The 2011-2012 budget is based on starting in October 2011.

"The budget resolution is supposed to be passed by April 15, but it often takes longer. Occasionally, Congress does not pass a budget resolution. If that happens, the previous year's resolution, which is a multi-year plan, stays in effect."

From: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=155
#13968052
Strange Luck wrote:
Possibly because the budget was passed and signed prior to 2009. The 2011-2012 budget is based on starting in October 2011.

"The budget resolution is supposed to be passed by April 15, but it often takes longer. Occasionally, Congress does not pass a budget resolution. If that happens, the previous year's resolution, which is a multi-year plan, stays in effect."

From: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=155


Although the fiscal year 2009 budget originated as a spending request by President Bush, the actual budget was signed by President Obama on March 12, 2009.
#13968158


Although the fiscal year 2009 budget originated as a spending request by President Bush, the actual budget was signed by President Obama on March 12, 2009.


So it was, technically, a bush budget (the spending request). I am guessing that is why they gave him credit for it since it did not reflect presidential input of Obama which would have influenced it's contents.
#13968160
This graph is highly misleading for several reasons:

1. The Legislature, not the President, has the power to set the budget. The Democrats controlled the House during all 12 years of Reagan/Bush I's presidencies, and from 2006 to 2010. They controlled the Senate from 1986 to 1994, from 2001 to 2002, and again from 2006 to 2010. As such, the increase in federal spending under Reagan and Bush I, as well as the increase in spending between 2006 and 2010 is at least in part attributable to the Democrats. The growth in spending under Bush II between 2002 and 2005 can partly be explained by the Iraq War. Federal spending has grown slowest when there has been a Democratic President and a Republican (or partly Republican) legislature.

2. For some reason, they included 2009 as part of the Bush II presidency. The article was not forthcoming as to why.

This article smacks of little more than badly written propaganda.


This is the typical "blame congress", "blame the media", "deny science" response that Republicans turn to when faced with something unpleasant.

As I said, Republicans rant about the budget and shut down the govt when a Democratic president is in office but whan a Republicna is in office they spend like drunken sailors. Why can the Democratic congress (and the Republicna congress too) get away with massive spending increases only when a Republican president is in office? Because Republican strategy is to complain about deficits to gain office and then rape the officeholders when in office themselves.

And Bush's spending was due to the Iraq war? That particular failure was the fault of Iraq?...I see a pattern here of blaiming faults on someone else...The Republican congress under Bush allowed deficit spending to rise in 2002 when they let the PAYGO deficit spending bill (started in 1990 under a Democratic congress requiring that future deficit increases be paid for by offsets elsewhere in the budget) expire in 2002, prior to the Iraq war...

Bun fear not, in February 2010 Obama signed another bill passed by the Democratic congrfess necessitating that new spending laws are paid for just as they did...hpoefully another Republican congress will not again let that law expire so their Republican president can run up massive deficits as Bush's Republican congrfess did for him...
#13968295
Nattering Nabob wrote:
This is the typical "blame congress", "blame the media", "deny science" response that Republicans turn to when faced with something unpleasant.


Are you implying that the partisan composition of the houses of Congress has no effect on increases in spending outlays? You also seem to be under the impression that you know my voting habits.

As I said, Republicans rant about the budget and shut down the govt when a Democratic president is in office but whan a Republicna is in office they spend like drunken sailors.


The only period when a Republican President overlapped with a wholly Republican Congress was between 2000 and 2001, and between 2002 and 2006. Considering that was during a war, an increase in spending was in part to be expected. You seem to be forgetting that this has held true during wartime since the Civil War, regardless of which party was in office.
Why can the Democratic congress (and the Republicna congress too) get away with massive spending increases only when a Republican president is in office?


Are you implying that it's the fault of a Republican President with a Democratic legislature if spending goes up because the Democrats pass a budget? Are you saying you'd want a Republican President to veto budget bills passed by a Democratic legislature? That would result in a government shutdown. For some reason, I get the feeling that were a Republican President to do this, you'd be frothing at the mouth screaming about the evil nature of the Republican Party.

Because Republican strategy is to complain about deficits to gain office and then rape the people when in office themselves.


Using your logic, the Democratic strategy is to complain about jobs going overseas to China and then rape the officeholders when in office themselves.



And Bush's spending was due to the Iraq war?


We would have gone to war in Afghanistan regardless of who was in office in 2001. Iraq was less clear-cut.

...I see a pattern here of blaiming faults on someone else...


I see a pattern of forum rage and poor spelling.
Last edited by J Oswald on 24 May 2012 00:45, edited 1 time in total.
#13968302
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

From reason.com article "The Obama Spending Binge":

Liberal bloggers have been passing around a piece by Rex Nutting at Market Watch arguing that although “almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending,” in fact, “it didn’t happen.”

Except, well, it did.

Nutting’s evidence consists of the a chart showing that the annualized growth of federal spending from 2010-2013 is 1.4 percent, compared with 7.3 percent from 2002-2005 during George Bush’s first term and 8.1 percent from 2006-2009 during Bush’s second term.

Nutting has a half a point: Federal spending did rise considerably during the 2009 fiscal year: Between 2001 and 2008, federal outlays (spending) rose from $1.8 trillion to $2.9 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s historical spending data. That’s a steep enough rise. But it’s nothing compared to what happened during the next year: In 2009, outlays spiked, rising from the $2.9 trillion spent in 2008 to $3.5 trillion.

But what Obama did in subsequent budgets was stick to that newly inflated level of spending. Outlays in 2010 were just a hair short of $3.5 trillion. In 2011, they rose further, approaching $3.6 trillion.

So even if you absolve Obama of responsibility for the initial growth spike, he still presided over unprecedented spending that was out of line with the existing growth trend. Obama’s average spending is far higher than under Bush or Clinton on both adjusted dollar levels and as a percentage of the economy. James Pethokoukis of The American Enterprise Institute has a handy graphic comparing annual Obama’s spending as a percentage of the economy to George W. Bush’s average spending as a percentage of GDP:

Image

Make no mistake: George W. Bush was a tremendous spender, and he deserves some of the non-credit for making Obama’s federal budget binge possible, especially during Obama’s first year. But Obama and his fellow Democrats share the responsibility for allowing a spending spike to continue on at newly high levels, for posting record outlays and running record deficits — and for taking few if any effective steps to get the nation’s economic and fiscal houses in order.


Rex Nutting's piece on MarketWatch should be titled "how to lie with statistics".
#13968303
Soixante-Retard wrote:Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

---article--- (quite a good one - I was looking for it but couldn't find it)

Rex Nutting's piece on MarketWatch should be titled "how to lie with statistics".


That's quite a good book, if you haven't read it already: http://www.amazon.com/How-Lie-Statistic ... 0393310728
#13968305
Thanks J Oswald, I've been meaning to read that book, I've heard nothing but good reviews from it - I'll get onto putting it on my "to read" list. I think another good book regarding economic statistics being used to slant political views (because the book references Huff's book) is Thomas Sowell's Economic Facts and Fallacies.

Edit: A must watch video of Thomas Sowell dissecting Paul Krugman's claim of household income stagnating. But why did Krugman use household income and not other statistics, namely, per capita income? Sowell provides us with the answer:

#13968477
Class warfare?? Nope, it can't happen here :lol:

Two gems from the republican house so far this session: Welsh on the deal they made on accross the board budget cuts by restoring pentagon $$ and slashing meals on wheels, food stamps and other programs for our less fortunate citizens.

AND (my favorite) their pretend budget that cuts the usual programs for our less fortunate citizens while(IN THE SAME DAMN DOCUMENT) still more tax cuts for the 1%ers. A clear redirecting of funds from the less wealthy to the wealthy. They don't even pretend anymore.

Class warfare? Nope, it can't happen here :lol:
User avatar
By Beren
#13968553
Soixante-Retard wrote:Rex Nutting's piece on MarketWatch should be titled "how to lie with statistics".

You and your source are the masters of lying with statistics, since we should see at least the last years of the Bush II administration, instead of the average, to be able to make a wise judgement. And we also shouldn't forget that there is an economic crisis since the end of the Bush II administration, which means the government needs to spend more in order to stimulate the economy and prevent or hinder impoverishment.
#13968560
PolitiFact looked at the Obama "lie"...

Viral Facebook post says Barack Obama has lowest spending record of any recent president

On May 22, 2012, Rex Nutting, the international commentary editor for the financial website MarketWatch, published a column titled, "Obama spending binge never happened." Nutting’s column explored data on federal spending patterns during recent presidencies, concluding that -- contrary to the tax-and-spend stereotype of Democrats -- President Barack Obama has actually presided over the smallest increases in federal spending of any recent president.

The column went viral. Within hours, people who liked the column were posting a graphic on Facebook that paired a line from Nutting’s column with a quote from Mitt Romney’s campaign website.

Under the heading, "Romney’s World," the Facebook post quoted a Romney Web page saying, "Since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history." (That accurately quotes Romney.)

Immediately to the right, under the heading, "Real World," the Facebook post provided a retort using a caption from Nutting’s key chart: "Government spending under Obama, including his signature stimulus bill, is rising at a 1.4 percent annualized pace — slower than at any time in nearly 60 years." (The post cited the quotation to the Wall Street Journal; technically, Nutting writes for MarketWatch, which is an affiliate of the Wall Street Journal.)

The Facebook post appears to have originated with the liberal blog Groobiecat Call, which promises "data-driven analysis" and "lefteous indignation." Before the day was out, roughly a dozen PolitiFact readers had forwarded it to us, seeking our view of its accuracy. So we looked into it.

Nutting’s column

First, let’s recap what Nutting said in his column:

"Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an ‘inferno’ of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true. But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s."

Nutting ran the numbers for the past 60 years, adjusting for the fact that "the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress." For Obama, that means that "the 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress."

He continued, "By no means did Obama try to reverse that spending. Indeed, his budget proposals called for even more spending in subsequent years. But the Congress (mostly Republicans but many Democrats, too) stopped him. If Obama had been a king who could impose his will, perhaps what the Republicans are saying about an Obama spending binge would be accurate."

Nutting did, however, attribute a portion of fiscal 2009 spending to Obama rather than Bush. He reassigned about $140 billion, covering spending made that year through the stimulus bill, the expansion of a children’s health-care program and other appropriations bills passed in the spring of 2009.

"If we attribute that $140 billion in stimulus to Obama and not to Bush," Nutting wrote, "we find that spending under Obama grew by about $200 billion over four years, amounting to a 1.4 percent annualized increase."

Our analysis

Before presenting our own calculations, we’ll get some methodological issues out of the way.

Like Nutting, we used historical data from the Office of Management and Budget along with projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Projecting outlays into the future involves a degree of uncertainty, but CBO’s most recent projections are considered the most independent and reliable.

Because we’re checking the Facebook post rather than Nutting’s column, we examined the way the post compared the presidents. Since the Facebook post ignores differences between presidents’ first and second terms, which are noted in Nutting’s chart, we’ve combined presidents’ entire tenures into a single time span. And several presidents who served during the past 60 years didn’t have tenures that coincided precisely with fiscal years, due to assassination or resignation. So we’re using the closest fiscal years we can, and we’re skipping President Gerald Ford, whose tenure was too short to adequately measure.

Here are the average spending increases per year in raw dollars (not adjusted for inflation) in descending order by president: [See link below]

So, using inflation-adjusted dollars, Obama had the second-lowest increase -- in fact, he actually presided over a decrease once inflation is taken into account.
Bottom line: The Facebook post’s claim that government spending under Obama is "slower than at any time in nearly 60 years" is very close to accurate.

Explaining the results

So why the disconnect between Obama’s image as a big spender and the reality of how much federal spending has actually grown?

First, Obama’s record on debt is a lot less flattering than is his record on federal government spending. During the same time that spending is poised to be increasing by 1.4 percent per year under Obama, the debt will be increasing by 14.6 percent per year. The reason? Year by year, federal revenues haven’t been keeping up with spending, due to the struggling national economy (which has held back tax revenues) and a continuation of tax cuts. And each year there’s an annual deficit, the national debt grows.

Second, federal spending under Obama is higher as a share of gross domestic product than it has been in most of the previous 60 years. That, too is because of the economy, which has simultaneously slowed the growth of GDP and boosted government spending for programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

Third, the aging of the baby boomers has driven a rise in entitlement spending that is masking cuts Obama and the GOP Congress have made, and have promised to make, in discretionary spending. Using outlays as the unit of measurement, as Nutting and the Facebook post have done, means focusing on money already spent. It does not take into account future spending that’s been committed to but not yet carried out.

And finally, many Americans associate Obama with the high-profile legislative activities of his first year or two, when initiatives such as the stimulus sent spending upward the fastest. Since then, spending has slowed, thanks in part to spending cuts pushed by congressional Republicans.

Which brings us to another important issue: The president is not all-powerful, so his record on spending was accomplished in collaboration with congressional Republicans.

Our ruling

The Facebook post says Mitt Romney is wrong to claim that spending under Obama has "accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history," because it's actually risen "slower than at any time in nearly 60 years."

Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation.
The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True.

Link


Lolocaust...
Last edited by Nattering Nabob on 24 May 2012 11:36, edited 1 time in total.
#13968564
So Nabob, a liberal, posts a graph from TPM, a liberal publication, about how Obama isn't spending that much.

Then Soixante-Retard, a libertarian with Hayek in his profile photo, provides counter evidence from a libertarian publication.

That's why I don't ever provide "proof" of anything from publications I already agree with. Politifact took a look at the claim in question, and found that it was largely true:

Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True.


http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter ... -lowest-s/
#13968669
Genghis Khan wrote:So Nabob, a liberal, posts a graph from TPM, a liberal publication, about how Obama isn't spending that much.

Then Soixante-Retard, a libertarian with Hayek in his profile photo, provides counter evidence from a libertarian publication.

That's why I don't ever provide "proof" of anything from publications I already agree with. Politifact took a look at the claim in question, and found that it was largely true:
There are two totally different but also totally true facts at play here.
First, under the Obama administration the US has spent more money and raised the debt by the largest amount in history ... in terms of actually dollar amounts.
Second, under the Obama administration increases in government spending and the national debt are below that of each Republican administration of the past 35 years ... in terms of percentage of growth.

I fully believe that the reason the Obama administration has had a very low percentage of growth is because of Republicans putting pressure to cut spending, but that also the high amount of debt is coming mainly from the wars and crashed economy already in place when Obama took office. I don't think Obama deserves any credit or blame in the whole spending/debt argument.
#13968672
baltwade wrote:I fully believe that the reason the Obama administration has had a very low percentage of growth is because of Republicans putting pressure to cut spending,


I recall a study that showed that spending rose most drastically when one party controlled the Executive and the Congress, no matter which party it was. Spending only slowed when one party held the Executive and the other held Congress. So I believe your analysis is correct.

That's why so-called gridlock is a good thing. ;)

...but that also the high amount of debt is coming mainly from the wars and crashed economy already in place when Obama took office.


True, but Obama's spending has made it worse.
#13968745
Republicans:
-more military spending
-cut education funding
-tax the poor more, tax the rich less

Democrats:
-tax cuts for the middle class
-less military spending
-more education spending


So I mean, if you'd rather give your tax dollars to JPMorgan and the Pentagon...be my guest. I'd rather get grandma the best medicine and give little consuela a good education in math. But then again I give a shit about other people and the world around me so...I guess I'm a liberal who dreams that one day we'll get the govt down to 18% of GNP with a much more robust private market for healtcare and education. But hey...I understand: the people who need the investment don't have teh money. and the people with the money don't need more school, they want more bombs and toys. I get it...no seriously, it's cool. Nobody is saying you're evil, or short sided, or stupid, even. I'm certainly not saying that. I'm thinking it pretty strongly...

It is a cost versus benefits issue..... Not even […]

Good for them.

One should never trust businessmen or economists […]

Well, that was a highly successful three-month ca[…]