Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree. 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. Government spending under Obama, including his signature stimulus bill, is rising at a 1.4% annualized pace — slower than at any time in nearly 60 years.
He even has a chart. Basically, his argument is that since the stimulus and omnibus bill are on the 2009 budget and the 09 budget was approved in 08, therefore, it is all Bush's spending. What this putz isn't telling you is that Congress uses baseline spending....from James Pethokoukis.:
As the chart indicates, Nutting arrives at that 1.4% number by assigning 2009—when spending surged nearly 20%—to George W. Bush: “The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress. Like a relief pitcher who comes into the game with the bases loaded, Obama came in with a budget in place that called for spending to increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in response to the worst economic and financial calamity in generations.”
Let me complete the metaphor for Nutting: “Then as those runners scored, Obama kept putting more on base.”
Obama chose not to reverse that elevated level of spending; thus he, along with congressional Democrats, are responsible for it. Only by establishing 2009 as the new baseline, something Republican budget hawks like Paul Ryan feared would happen, does Obama come off looking like a tightwad. Obama has turned a one-off surge in spending due to the Great Recession into his permanent New Normal through 2016 and beyond.
So, I would add to the argument this way: If Bush is responsible for stimulus and omnibus and as well as the GM bailout, then Barack Obama is responsible for nothing. He isn't responsible for, as he and Biden are going around the country trumpeting: 1. saving GM 2.stopping the recession in late 2009 3. saving jobs
So, therefore, if this is true, then Obama REALLY has nothing to campaign on. However, it is not true, just as the notions of 1-3 are not true either.
The stimulus, omnibus, and auto bailouts were authorized after the 2009 budget was ratified, estabilishing a new baseline, as James P. talks about above. This new baseline, every year then, is the new normal. So, spending is elevated every year as a result of this procedure. Let me share with you James P's chart that makes more sense than the ramblings of Nutting:
Basically, they are saying it is Bush's fault even though he had nothing to do with the spending, but he was either a lame duck or out of office when it was authorized. Nutting is banking on the American public being as ignorant about how Congress and the budget works as he is. He even got nailed on a radio program by a caller.
In fiscal year 2009, Barack Obama spent a total of $1.065 trillion that Nutting at MarketWatch and Pelosi produced charts saying that Bush spent. Bush didn't spend it. Bush didn't spend the stimulus bill. He didn't authorize it, ask for it. It was not even in his mind, but because it happened in 2009, it was lopped on to the 2009 budget that Bush did not sign, as it turns out. So they assign this to Bush-era spending. They're saying that Obama spending cannot be calculated until October of 2009, when the new fiscal year starts. No spending before that could possibly be Obama's, that's what they're saying, and of course they're not right about it.
Here are the totals: $825 billion on his first stimulus; $200 billion on a second round of TARP spending. More on that just a second. Forty billion spent on a new child health care bill, S-CHIP. Now, there's other incremental, incidental spending that Obama was doing left and right, throwing money all over the place. Solyndra was getting money, if you recall, all this green energy were getting so-called low-interest loans. Obama was printing money, borrowing it, throwing it around as fast as he could. But those are the big-ticket items: $825 billion for Porkulus; $200 billion additional TARP spending; $40 billion S-CHIP. Grand total, $1.065 trillion that Obama spent that these people are counting as Bush money.
Now, the really deceitful thing that Mr. Nutting and the others are doing is saying that they are counting Obama's stimulus in their tally of his spending. In the text of the story they say they're counting the stimulus. And, they are. They are counting Porkulus 2, $140 billion, which happened after October in 2009. They're not counting the $825 billion big-ticket Porkulus. So in the text of the story, they claim they're counting the stimulus, and it's really deceitful, because what they're counting is Porkulus 2, which is $140 billion. So casual readers of the Nutting story -- it's a Web story at MarketWatch -- casual readers think, "Oh, wow, even with Obama's stimulus he still spent less than Reagan and Bush?" But again, they're only counting that $140 billion second stimulus. They're not counting the first $825 billion stimulus.
Now, more on this TARP business. What actually happened there was, Obama as president-elect before the inauguration, Obama told Bush, or asked, to release the rest of the discretionary TARP money so that Obama could use it for economic recovery as soon as he took office. And Bush did. Bush expanded the discretionary amount of TARP, and that was around $200 billion or 300 billion. So you can add $200 billion to this, and you're just under $1.1 trillion of Obama spending that's not counted as Obama spending. Now, specifically that second round of TARP that Obama asked for as president-elect, not inaugurated yet, was for the auto bailout to buy General Motors and Chrysler and give them to the unions. And that was $200 billion.
So once again, they are playing fast and loose with the numbers.
I am not the only one and neither is James Pethokoukis who are showing how much Dems and the media are being dishonest by flouting this tripe.
There is a reason that the Democrats have not offered a budget in three years. And this is an excellent time, with this bogus report from Rex Nutting and the media picking this up, to point this out. The Democrats have refused to offer a new budget ever since 2009, because they want to lock all of Obama's spending into the budget and into the baseline. Continuing resolutions keep current funding levels at the same level. Thus, Obama's spending becomes the new norm, raising spending even more.
Why would the media cover this obviously bogus story? They want Obama reelected. Why do you think there hasn't been a whisper of the biggest religious lawsuit in history, where Notre Dame University and several archdioceses and other Catholic and Protestant groups have sued Obama over religious freedom?
Rex Nutting and his ilk are not just ignorant. They are biased liars. I was able to cobble this together in about 20 minutes. I was able to find plenty of refutation in about 10. They just go with what helps Obama. But, if you look at it, if this is all Bush's spending, then Obama genuinely has nothing at all to run on. Of course, we know he has nothing to run on anyway, except used unicorn farts.