The Obama Administration is piggybacking on claims made by MarketWatch’s Rex Nutting that Obama has not gone on the spending spree everyone thinks he has since taking office. As White House press secretary Jay Carney puts it, President Obama has exercised “significant fiscal restraint” and “acted with great fiscal responsibility.”
Nutting writes: “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.” So Nutting gives Obama a free pass for his gargantuan stimulus spending package and then marvels at Obama’s restraint in the following years as if it somehow excuses the excesses and utter failure of the stimulus.
Let’s remember that the stimulus drove spending to a record 25.2 percent of the economy in 2009 and deficits topped $1 trillion for the first time in the nation’s history. This is “great fiscal responsibility”?
Nutting continues, saying spending during Obama’s four budget years has grown at an annualized rate of only 0.4 percent. Yet this statement does not exactly scrub the President’s spending record of its many blemishes.
Nutting, and the Administration, simply ignore the fact that spending reached these record heights following the 2009 stimulus bill. Obama has not rectified this gross overspending habit in the slightest. Remember, the stimulus spending was temporary, yet under Nutting’s own analysis, spending has grown.
Take Obama’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget. Mirroring his past budgets, this one would not bring spending below 22 percent of GDP, 10 percent above the post–World War II average of 20.2 percent of GDP. Obama instead proposes to spend even more, especially on transportation, infrastructure, education, and research. These initiatives are sold to taxpayers as “investments,” which everyone knows is just a fancy word for “spending” in Washington. There is one area that Obama singles out the budgetary cutting floor: cuts to defense, which would gut our military readiness.