Obama: A Little League Socialist

Here was the headline on HuffPo on Wednesday afternoon:

Jay Carney: Don’t ‘Buy Into The B.S.’ From GOP About Obama’s Spending Record

That story began:

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had some advice for reporters on Wednesday when it comes to covering President Barack Obama’s record on spending: “Don’t buy into the B.S.” 

And then there was this headline from ABC News on Wednesday evening:

President Obama Denounces Republican ‘Wild Debts’: I’m Not an Over-Spender

Obama was quoted in the story:

I’m running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible. After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law. My opponent won’t admit it, but it’s starting to appear in places, like real liberal outlets, like the Wall Street Journal: Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace  in nearly 60 years. Think about that.

What was all the fuss about? What was Obama referencing? It was the following, from The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch early Wednesday morning:

Obama spending binge never happened

Commentary: Government outlays rising at slowest pace since 1950s

Here’s how the story began:

As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”

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.

Now, we have discussed all this several times, but here is yet another graph from the WSJ piece to refresh your memory:

As you can plainly see, Obama is in the Little League of federal spending growth (and, by the way, so was Bill Clinton; the Big Leaguers, Reagan and both Bushes should all be in the spending Hall of Fame).

Let’s face it, being a Little League spender ain’t good for a President who is night and day labeled by right-wingers as at least a socialist, if not a secret Communist who will, if given a second term, unleash his diabolical European fury on the country.

Joe Scarborough blathered on this morning about how “government keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger” and referenced “the explosive size of government.”

Well, if that is true—and don’t forget that federal revenues as a percentage of our GDP in the Obama years is lower than any time since 1950 and state and local revenues have been fairly consistent since 1990—it is not Barack Obama who has made it so.

He is simply the dubious beneficiary of policies the basis of which relied on voodoo economics: cut taxes and, voilà, the economy and government revenues will grow, grow, grow enough to pay for two protracted wars, a brand new—ever growing—Homeland Security bureaucracy, a new prescription drug entitlement program, as well as the rest of what government does.

Let’s quickly look at federal spending since 2002, also from the WSJ article:

Clearly those blue lines were dictated by the red lines that came before and not some devilish creation of that wicked, big-spending socialist in the White’s House.

So, as Jay Carney said, don’t “buy into the B.S.” because, as the President said himself:



  1. This is surprising information because I thought the stimulus spending would have shown up larger. Obama has been walking a fiscal tightrope since he started, torn between trying to jump-start the economy while winding-down 2 wars, and control a massive bureaucracy.

    What is also surprising, even for this cynic, is how the GOP can effectively complain about Obama’s overspending without being specific about what spending Romney would cut. Pretty much B.S., like Duane said. Romney’s message is powered by confirmation bias. The real question then is, how many independents out here still have open minds?


    • The stimulus was sort of one-and-done, not a continuing drag on the budget, but much credit is due to Obama for trying to be “balanced and responsible” in dealing with the debt. Hmm. That used to be a conservative strength, remember?

      In any case, naturally both sides want as much ambiguity in their positions as possible, but Romney wants Americans to completely trust him about what he will cut and what he won’t–and for good reason: if the undecided among the 99% of Americans figure out that his embrace of the Ryan budget plan will mean great sacrifices for them and none for the 1%, he is finished.

      Independents, many of whom are not yet paying attention to the election skirmishes, are, of course, the “deciders” in our elections these days, and I’m guessing they are as split as the rest of the country.



  2. ansonburlingame

     /  May 25, 2012

    The devil is in the details and the numbers shown on the spending bar chart above “look” wrong to me. Where are the 2009 numbers that include:
    $825 billion stimulus signed by Obama
    $410 Omnibus Spending bill containing 8,570 earmarks – Bush refused to sign
    $40 billion expansion of S-CHIP
    $210 billion in unneeded TARP bailout
    That is about $1Trillion in 09 that should be blue numbers, not red ones. As well the total spending 2010-12 seems low to me. In 2012 for example I recall a spending level of about $3.8 trillon.

    But so what becomes the question in terms of total spending. The real issue is DEFICIT spending and the increasee in national debt. No way you can spin or graph your way around those horrendous numbers.

    Nope the only thing you can do is argue that deficit and debt numbers are not of any majjor concern. You have done that before and will do so again, I suspect, Just like the new French President is trying to do.



  1. Obama’s Spending–Debunking the ‘Binge’ Argument – NYTimes.com « Ye Olde Soapbox
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