Under Obama, growth in federal spending slowest in 60 years

Don’t tell your Republican friends about THIS. It will only confuse them:

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.

Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has.


After adjusting for inflation, spending under Obama is falling at a 1.4% annual pace — the first decline in real spending since the early 1970s, when Richard Nixon was retreating from the quagmire in Vietnam.

In per capita terms, real spending will drop by nearly 5% from $11,450 per person in 2009 to $10,900 in 2013 (measured in 2009 dollars).

UPDATE: A crackpot named James Pethokoukis takes issue with the figures in the piece to which I linked above. And for his bother, Pethokoukis gets raked over the coals, as we see HERE.



  1. expdoc

    Good news!

    The only bad news is that I think we actually need spending cuts. Not decreases in the rate of spending, but actual decreases in absolute spending in order to avoid a deficit/debt crisis.

    Either that or we need explosive economic growth so that more money will be added to the federal coffers.

  2. This right up there with the could have been worse mentality. I’m still having difficulty wrapping my mind around a 5 Trillion dollar debt increase being positive.

  3. expdoc: You’re missing the point, as per usual. The point here is that Republicans are lying when they suggest that there’s been runaway federal spending under Obama. The demagogues refer to explosive spending by Obama, and the dimwits believe it. But then, a goodly portion of these same people are skeptical about evolution and global warming. They’re never going to let the facts get in the way of what they believe.

  4. wilson

    So we should be happy that those darn Republicans are a do nothing congress and prevent Obama’s budget from getting passed?
    If only a few Republicans had voted with the Democrats we would have a budget!
    Those darn mean Republicans!

  5. I agree with the figures, Bush II ran spending up for the war effort, right or wrong. I see the war as needed expenditures, possibly we should have paid for them then putting them on the credit card.

    But now the war effort is ending. So instead of not spending, and having spending actually decrease, that money we are re-directing it to other things. Money we are still borrowing on the credit card. I do not agree that all of those expenditures are that critical that we need to go into debt for them.

    I justify this as in personal expenses. If my car dies and I need a new one, I need to got into debt to get a new one, I can’t wait to save or not purchase the car as I still need to get to work. Once the car is paid off do I go into debt for a vacation I may need as well? No I would rather pay my own way on that one.

  6. Obviously too many facts and figures for Mittwit to grasp. He needs to go back to Rev Wright, Bill Ayers and Danno’s birth certificate.

  7. wilson

    “Debunked: Three New Democrat Lies”

    I guess anything with numbers can be manipulated on either side.

  8. Seems that the facts of a turtles-paced “recovery”, billions wasted by Government green investments and failed “shovel ready” stimulus expenditures are facts that are better left unsaid. The war(s), right or wrong eliminated a current day dictator and brought terror masterminds to their demise. It can, and will most likely be, argued that we missed the opportunities to bring both Hussein and Bin Laden to justice because of political correctness and it’s unfortunate that America had to lose three thousand of it’s civilian population to get it done. But I digress, Obama has run up this debt on his own, he and his Dem libs. He owns it, he owns his spending bill. He and his liberal Dem Senate that to this very day has still not passed a budget. Expdoc has it right and has nailed it on the head. It’s about cutting spending, not slowing it. Any “dimwit” can understand that right Pat?

  9. expdoc


    As usual you missed the point. I could give a rip about any politician as long as they don’t run the country into the ground. You need to move on from the gotcha politics. You may not be around to see the ultimate fiscal collapse of this country but your children will and so will I and my children.

    A heroin addict that is shooting the least amount of heroin he has ever used is still a heroin addict and he needs to wise up and get straight or before long he is going to be dead.

  10. doc: Even when the point is explained to you, you still miss it.

    The point is that your ill-informed wingnut brethren have falsely claimed that Obama has been spending like a drunken sailor. And when the truth of the matter is pointed out, you call that “gotcha politics.”

    Gotcha politics? The truth is gotcha politics?

    Truly pathetic.

  11. expdoc

    How can it be pathetic when you don’t get my point? I try not to pick on old people, but seriously, give it up.

    Where is the Democrat proposal to cut spending and reform entitlements? Nay, where is the last Democrat budget? When you are a spineless “heroin” addict it is really hard to see a solution when all you can think about is your next hit.

  12. wilson

    wilson says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    “Debunked: Three New Democrat Lies”

  13. Luke Fredrickson

    Facts to face: Since Eisenhower’s administration, the five most profligate deficit spenders (or heroin addicts as per ex-doc) are Republicans and the three most fiscally responsible leaders of our great nation are Democrats.

    Why are conservatives so hell-bent on spending more and more money we don’t have? Do they care about our children? Do they want America permanently indebted to the Chinese? Will they ever learn from their disastrous mistakes?

    Empirically speaking, it is clear that America must turn to a true Socialist if we ever want to provide a debt-free future (as of course God intends) for our beloved grandchildren.

  14. doc: Mitt Romney has said this:

    “Since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history.”

    Is that true or not? A simple yes or no will suffice. No need for you to regale us with any of your wingnut rhetoric. Just answer the question: Was Romney lying or not?

  15. expdoc

    It’s not totally true. Accelerated is a bad choice of words.

    If you are going 90 miles an hour and you accelerate, or increase your speed, 10% you will be going 99 miles an hour. If you next accelerate 1%, you didn’t accelerate as much as before, but you are still going faster, in fact, too damn fast.

    Who is going to have the guts to slow the car down so it doesn’t crash?

  16. Luke Fredrickson

    Pat, it appears my recent comment from 10:43 is awaiting moderation. Was I too immoderate?

  17. Luke: Sorry about that. I’m having a few software problems, and some comments are inadvertently — and wrongly — pegged for moderation. Your comment from 10:43 a.m. has now been published.

  18. LeadHeadache

    EXPDOC……..don’t fight this liberal anymore. He is so infactuated with Obama and will never see through the smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, there are people in the world like this and you cannot help them. Pat probably has an Obama altar at his house and prays to it every night before bedtime. I understand what you are trying to say and I get your point. Lets keep it simple. I currently have $5,000 dollars in credit card debt. If I go and buy another $5,000 dollars worth of stuff and charge it that credit card, I have just created more debt. So, my solution to get rid of the debt is to pay it off by working non stop and not buying things I do not need. I cannot get rid of my $10,000 debt by spending even more money and charging to the credit card. It is simple math, addition and subtraction. Some liberals simply do not get this and never will. Obama is their new God, Religion, Hope, Change, ETC. It is scary that such simplistic examples cannot get through the liberal fascination with Obama. What is scary even more is that these people are out there voting this clown into office. Just back off of Pat and let him live in his fantasy driven unrealistic Obama world.

  19. LeadHeadache

    Dear Luke, you actually want socialism? Socialism and communism has failed wherever it has been tried. Capitalism is what made America great. You must be getting constant government money and do not work a lick of time at all. You cannot keep spending money and make the deficit reduce. Obama made a promise back in 2008. He said that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Based on the deficit at that time, we should be at about 4-5 trillion. We are currently at over 15 trillion. It took from George Washington to Bush to create 9 trillion in deficit spending. Obama has added 5 trillion in deficit spending in just 3 years. Do the math, this is not rocket science. But, then again, liberals have a hard time facing the truth. Just keep crawfishing around the real problem like you always do.

  20. wilson

    Seems Like Nutting is the crackpot, who is Rex Nutting? No Bio, nothing in Wiki.


    James Pethokoukis CNBC Profile
    “A 1989 graduate of Northwestern University where he double majored in Soviet politics and American history and a 1991 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Pethokoukis is a 2002 Jeopardy!champion. ”

    He is a Jeopardy champ just Like Matthews!


    I remember another creative chart about employment back when people were jumping on Texas.
    After careful review it should Michigan adding more jobs than Texas..it quietly disappeared.

  21. Milton Waddams

    LeadHeadache: Obama said he’d cut the DEFICIT in half, not the national debt. He hasn’t cut the deficit in half like he said, but you’re mixing up the 2 terms.

  22. wilson

    Check it out you will roll on the floor, Pat needs a stint at Rosecrance, .he is addicted to Obama!

    “Congrats, Mr. Nutting. I don’t think you’re a huge jerk, only that you’re hilariously unqualified for your job.


    Bush requested $3.107 trillion, but the final budget of $3.52 trillion was passed by the Democratic Congress and signed by President Obama on March 12, 2009.

    For actual spending, I used the monthly Treasury Reports, which have spending and revenue for every month since 1981 in an Excel file. Easy to work with.

    For the CBO fiscal year 2009 estimates.

    The CBO baseline (which was referenced by Nutting for the $3.58 trillion number) is found here.

    President Obama’s actual 2013 budget

    And just for kicks, here is the CBO analysis of the President’s Budget which pegs Obama’s 2013 spending at $3.717 trillion.”

  23. wilson


    More proof Nutting and Cunningham are the “crackpots”
    Typical Pat.

  24. Ricky Paradox

    This is what happens when a ‘SMART’ president cuts spending in some areas so he can raise it in others and not increase ‘OVERALL’ spending by very much….Its miller time folks…tes we have a keeper.

  25. Jason Wyckoff

    I think I’ll pass on this ‘smart’ president. The one who got a Nobel Peace Prize BEFORE he earned it. The one who went to church and introduced his pastor, and then disavowed knowledge of said pastor’s rhetoric when said pastor turned out to be a foaming-at-the-mouth black racist. The one whose single term did almost as much fiscal damage as ALL of W. Bush’s two terms, and who’s pushing for Medicare expansion that will BANKRUPT AMERICA when it (conveniently) fully hits AFTER his term ends. The Republicans aren’t exactly guilt free, here, but Obama’s causing as much or more trouble, and like Bill Clinton, he’s ‘spinning’ it to take credit for the good and pass the bad onto Bush.

  26. Stephen Kallestad

    Where’s Obama 2009? Hmmm, it seem like supplemental spending to the budget in 2009 has disappeared into a black hole. There’s a footnote, “2009 stimulus spending has been re-assigned to Obama” and then it shows no spending in 2009 for him. It only shows the year that “do nothing” Congress has been unwilling to pass his spending priorities and acted as a break on the Federal budget.

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli……but then again, maybe there are four if you are to include omitting information from your graph.

  27. shawnnews

    I think there are two things that should be emphasized. 1. Nutting’s second chart (from the GAO) shows spending hasn’t increased by much under Obama — 2. but the conservatives claim that what really needs to be made are cuts. We should also note the 3rd point–
    3. This is a new position for them — the chart clearly shows accelerated spending under Bush during the war that was supposed to pay for itself. For eight years people who criticized how the war on terror was being handled were called unpatriotic by ridiculous people and immorally accused of emboldening terrorists. For conservatives now to claim spending has to stop is inconstent. The clsim ignores it was they who controlled expenses and escalated spending while making terrible accusations against people who didn’t agree with their recklessness. Conservatives do not have any consistent record on spending and certainly can’t believe in the cuts they propose since they went previously in the opposite direction.

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