President Barack Obama’s claim to fiscal responsibility is nothing short of ludicrous, although he makes the claim in seriousness. Based on a report by MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting, which is based on seriously flawed data, Mr. Obama claims to have presided over a period in which “federal spending, since I took office, has risen at the slowest pace of any president in sixty years.” In fact, the Obama Administration has increased spending at a robust pace, and by the greatest amount ever by far (video here).
According to Brian Darling at Heritage Foundation, while Politifact rated Nutting’s article as “mostly true,”
What Politifact must have missed is a very important data point: President Obama signed most of the spending attributed to President George W. Bush’s last year in office, which was assigned wrongly to Bush in Nutting’s piece. (Heritage’s Emily Goff and Alison Fraser set the record straight on The Foundry.)Nutting argues that President G.W. Bush’s second term spending bills from Fiscal Year 2006-2009 averaged 8.1% and President Obama’s annualized growth averaged 1.4%. The reason why Nutting included FY 2009 is because it was “the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion.” This assumption is incorrect and dishonest. This flaw in Nutting’s analysis is the reason why the Obama numbers are wrong and Nutting’s whole piece is based on flawed data.
Further, according to the article (citing Congressional Quarterly), Congress delayed the Fiscal 2009 Omnibus, hoping for a Democratic Congress, to avoid George W. Bush’s threatened vetoes, and to gain an opportunity for further bloated spending. So this spending is attributable to Obama’s watch, not Bush’s.
Also, the Nutting article mishandles the fact that TARP spending was under Bush and some TARP recovery happened under Obama.
A Wall Street Journal article dated October 13, 2010 includes a table that indicates that federal spending rose 21.4% from 2008 to 2010, with domestic items leading the way. Unemployment benefits rose 240.4%. Defense spending rose 12.1%.
The outrageous spending increases were a major factor in the GOP Congressional victories in 2010. But with Obama in office and Democrats controlling the Senate, not much has changed, and we are in line for trillion-dollar annual deficits for several years to come unless more serious changes are made. The current situation cannot continue without bringing on another recession at the least, and financial collapse likely later.
The Mitt Romney campaign is correct in saying
The Sun-Times quotes President Barack Obama in the same article as follows:“For the last three-and-a-half years, President Obama's liberal policies of wasteful spending and skyrocketing debt haven't lived up to his own promises to control our nation's mounting deficits. As president, Mitt Romney will finally change Washington and stop passing our financial burdens on to the next generation.” -Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson (Quoted in Chicago Sun-Times)
President Obama, In 2009: “Today I'm Pledging To Cut The Deficit We Inherited In Half By The End Of My First Term In Office.” OBAMA: “[T]oday I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we've long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay - and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 2/23/09)
But that pledge apparently has expired.
Later, the White House came up with the pathetic excuse that they didn’t realize how bad the situation was when the president took office. I say they needed, and still do need, some competent economists.
What’s needed is not “slower growth” in spending, but rapid and serious cuts. Four more years of Obama in the White House will bring us four more years of out-of-control government in the Executive Branch. It is well established by now that liberals will never cut spending and will always want higher taxes. That’s just the way they are. This cannot be changed.
Recent polls show that voters are increasingly skeptical of Obama’s ability to improve the economic situation, and are more trusting of Mitt Romney. Examples:
Rasmussen, 05/15/12: 58% of likely voters trust Romney more on economy, 39% trust Obama more.
USA Today/Gallup poll 05/15/12:
In the poll, 55% say the economy would get better over the next four years if Romney was elected, compared with 46% who say it would improve if Obama were re-elected. Twenty-seven percent say the economy would get worse in a Romney first term, compared with 37% who say that of an Obama second term.
Mitt Romney definitely has the better economic plan, and now appears to have an advantage on economic issues with Americans.