PolitiFact: “Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president”

May 24, 2012
By

Since it’s impossible to have an adult conversation between the two sides of the aisle with the divisive House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan deeming Obama as a ‘failed President’ let’s look at some actual facts for a change.

After Rex Nutting’s column for the financial website MarketWatch went viral, PolitiFact scrutinized the author’s claims. The article titled, “Obama spending binge never happened” delved into data on federal spending patterns comparing them to recent Presidencies. Nutter concluded, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

PolitiFact reports:

The Facebook post said that 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.”

We found that Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and the growth on his watch 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 was that it failed to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rated the claim Mostly True.

(my bold)

Last April on Paul Ryan’s congressional website he made a striking claim that President Obama has doubled the size of government and for that, his partisan pants caught on fire. Mitt Romney’s assertions were demolished, like a train running through a cheap trailer.

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  • ex-obama supporter

    OK guys, (that cover’s males or females) where are you getting your information? Stay informed and check your facts & figures. For example, The Federal Office of Budget Management figures show that President Obama has authorized more spenting in 3 years that another other president in history, or $5 trillion dollars. So state your facts and sources, don’t get them from somebody who has been smoking dope or just trying to get Obama reelected.

    • Mronhj

      False. The CBO which actually is the main accounting source for the Federal and State budgets show a 2001 debt level of 10.6 trillion. At the end of 2008, the debt had climbed to 10.8 trillion. About 5.2 trillion.

    • Mronhj

      False. The CBO which actually is the main accounting source for the Federal and State budgets show a 2001 debt level of 10.6 trillion. At the end of 2008, the debt had climbed to 10.8 trillion. About 5.2 trillion.

  • Tie518

    “The only significant shortcoming of the graphic was that it failed to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

      Yes, but the congressional Republicans only asked for restraint in spending on social programs that would help GDP and therefore help pay for the spending. Some spending is good and some is just wasteful. I doubt congressional Republicans were very fond of cutting the bloated military budget, tax breaks to the wealthy, or subsidies to the GOP’s buddies. Both sides have their unnecessary spending, but it’s difficult to give the GOP credit when they concentrated on cuts to spending that would be beneficial to the country and caused the nations first downgrade to its credit rating.

  • Tie518

    “The only significant shortcoming of the graphic was that it failed to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

      Yes, but the congressional Republicans only asked for restraint in spending on social programs that would help GDP and therefore help pay for the spending. Some spending is good and some is just wasteful. I doubt congressional Republicans were very fond of cutting the bloated military budget, tax breaks to the wealthy, or subsidies to the GOP’s buddies. Both sides have their unnecessary spending. but it’s difficult to give the GOP credit when they concentrated on cuts to spending that would be beneficial to the country and caused the nations first downgrade to its credit rating.

      • guest

        The downgrade in the credit rating was because we are headed to a fiscal cliff. Our debt to income ratio is getting out of control. It had nothing to do with the what the GOP did. If anything they were trying to avoid it by trying to reduce spending. Read what the rating agencies are saying.

        • Guest

          The reason why our ratings went down was because our government almost shutdown (because some people in congress weren’t willing to raise the debt ceiling). And because many conservatives in office had the brilliant idea of proposing that we not pay back our loans.

          Our Debt as a % of GDP is not actually that bad. There are many countries that are worse, and we have been in worser conditions. The reason why we have a good credit rating is because we have always paid back. Now that the government doesn’t seem stable or willing to pay anymore our trust goes down.

      • PaulHavemann

        “…social programs that would help GDP…” Show, using real-world facts and figures, how social programs “help” GDP. Follow your postulate to its logical conclusion: that spending a gazillion dollars on social programs would entirely prop up GDP. Discuss.

        • Myronhj

          People of more modest means spend much higher percentages on basic items like food, shelter and clothing. A strong social program gives the GDP a needed boost as it is 70% consumer driven. Without demand, you can have hundreds of items sitting waiting to be purchased but without demand, there are no purchases and more so no need to hire. Demand creates jobs, not supply. Make sense?

          • PaulHavemann

            You’ve simply restated the postulate, and failed to complete the rest of the assignment. Is there a point at which this postulate fails? If so, at what point do you realize a negative return? (Hint: socialism works until you run out of other people’s money.)

            Question One: Why do you believe the government is better able to use my money better than I am? History shows otherwise. Question two: By what legal, moral, or ethical authority can the government take my money and throw it at other people?

  • James Nelson

    Just plain ignorant. Please do some research before parroting BS “facts”.

    First, the spending attributed to Bush includes 2009. Obama took office at the end of Jan. 2009.

    “Ah hah,” you say. “That means the 2009 budget was set by Bush.”

    Under normal conditions, your assumption would be correct, but it’s not. The Democrat controlled congress refused to put a budget for 2009 on Bush’s desk. instead they held it back until Obama took office. The 2009 budget was set by Democrats and signed into law by Obama in March of 2009.

    That budget is key because it is the one that created the trillion dollar deficits Democrats have slowly been adding to in 2010, 2011, and again in 2012.

    Slowest growth of the federal budget my arse. Try getting some facts before you run with propaganda.

    • Will

      So you didn’t read the article.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

        Nope, he just rejected reality and substituted his own.

        • Guest2

          Pot, Kettle, Black.
          Do you dispute that the data placed the entire 2009 budget into the Bush column?

          • PaulHavemann

            Nope, he just rejected reality and substituted his own. The underlying fact is that by “plac[ing] the entire 2009 budget into the Bush column,” Nutting used false assumptions and, in so doing, lied with the data – a 900-pound error that neither PF nor FON corrected, because it demolishes the meme like a train through a cheap trailer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

        Nope, he just rejected reality and substituted his own.

        • Guest2

          Pot, Kettle, Black.
          Do you dispute that the data placed the entire 2009 budget into the Bush column?

    • Myrnhj

      James GWB Jr. signed both TARP and the bailouts for Chrysler and GM in October and November of 2008 respectively. Did you factor those numbers in before stuttering about facts?

  • That guy

    I’ve seen conservative apologists responding to this by claiming that Romney was correct, the pace of spending growth is unprecendented because “it’s never been this slow.” He claims that Romney’s implication was NOT that it is rising faster, it was merely a factoid.

  • http://twitter.com/Stonehawk Stone Taggart

    The image is too small. God, why would you even include it if it’s illegible! Replace that!

  • iksnyrk

    Since the first time since WWII, we are spending more than we make. These last two presidents have been equally as bad. Blaming one or the other for this mess is exactly what the people responsible want you to do. The first was an oil hungry republican and the current one is a wall-street puppet. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, you interests are not being listened to.

    • mark lim

      We’ve been spending more than we make since the time of Andrew Jackson.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

      The only president to not spend more than we make since WWII was Bill Clinton. Every other president has continued to have a deficit, but since Reagan it has been unmanageable. Go to google and look up national debt as a percentage of GDP. It will surprise you.

  • David Oster

    so: Romney’s claim that Obama “accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history,” is strictly true, but only because it is the smallest acceleration, not the largest.

    • Dfkljsfj

      “We found that Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and the growth on his watch was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention.”

      WTF are you reading?

      • Guest

        He’s saying it’s without precedent because it is the slowest…what are you reading?

        • That guy

          Right, Romney *meant* to say something good about Obama. He wasn’t trying to paint a negative picture at all.

          • readingcomprehension

            It’s a joke.

            • That other guy

              Stop trying to make jokes. You fail at it.

              • John Post

                Wow you people are stupid.

            • That other guy

              Stop trying to make jokes. You fail at it.

      • Picard47

        Maybe you should re-read what David Oster posted. “…accelerated at a pace without precedent in history” is some-what correct, since it is one of the *slowest* we’ve seen.

      • Jordan

        He means the “pace without precedence in recent history” is a small one, rather than the implied large one.

        • That guy

          I’ve seen conservative apologists responding to this by claiming that Romney was correct, the pace of spending growth is unprecendented because “it’s never been this slow.” He claims that Romney’s implication was NOT that it is rising faster, it was merely a factoid.

    • Dfkljsfj

      “We found that Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and the growth on his watch was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention.”

      WTF are you reading?

      • Guest

        He’s saying it’s without precedent because it is the slowest…what are you reading?

      • Jordan

        He means the “pace without precedence in recent history” is a small one, rather than the implied large one.

    • Talbec

      No, that unfortunately is not correct. Obama accelerated at a rate of 1.4% from 2010-13 where as every president back to Reagan was significantly higher. for example his predecessor Bush jr from 2006-09 was at a rate of about 8.1% respectively. But good job trying to just ignore the facts.

      Original article here: http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2012/05/gop-claim-that-president-obama-has.html

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4T32URESA4LUVN6LQ4DEYJFY3A Michael

        Since it “accelerates” with every president, then CLEARLY he has spent more per year than any other president, even if only by 1%

    • Guest

      He has spent more per year in office than any other president

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

        As has every other president because each has been left with a higher budget by their predecessor. With continued growth it isn’t an issue, but if you cut taxes and spend like a madmen you have Ronald Reagan and Bush 43 who did most of the damage to the national debt.

        • guest

          It’s called more people and inflation. Of course he spent more because over time money rises in nominal value. Taxes revenue go up as well for the same reasons, but the tax rate has lowered so people actually spend a smaller percentage of their pay check. It’s like being angry over paying 5x more in taxes when you make 10 times more. In nominal value. People are like children…

        • guest

          Bush 43 put us 3 trillion in debt over an 8 year period. Obama has added 5 trillion in just over three.

          • Guest936

            incorrect. Bush nearly doubled the debt when he was in office, having it increase by 84% which equates to about 5 trillion added; President Obama has only had an increase of about 40% which also equates to 5 trillion added.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690327496 Bill Preston

        As has every other president because each has been left with a higher budget by their predecessor. With continued growth it isn’t an issue, but if you cut taxes and spend like a madmen you have Ronald Reagan and Bush 43 who did most of the damage to the national debt.

        • guest

          It’s called more people and inflation. Of course he spent more because over time money rises in nominal value. Taxes revenue go up as well for the same reasons, but the tax rate has lowered so people actually spend a smaller percentage of their pay check. It’s like being angry over paying 5x more in taxes when you make 10 times more. In nominal value. People are like children…

  • Canard651

    Thank you for this post.

  • http://twitter.com/aggsveprogressv AgressiveProgressive

    Well thank you Politifact? Wow. Once you got something right.

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