March 13, 2012 by David K. Sutton
TPM: Unwillingness Of Congress To Spend Slowing Economic Recovery
Talking Points Memo has a chart showing the difference between government spending during the Reagan economic recovery and the Obama economic recovery. Net change in government spending under Obama has actually decreased after going up modestly in his first two years in office. Contrast that to Reagan where net change in government spending increased year after year through his first term.
With full disclosure, note that Bush handed Obama a massive federal budget deficit ($1.4 trillion), largely due to the sharp economic downturn combined with tax cuts. There was no such explosion in the deficit in the hand-off from Carter to Reagan. But regardless of where the deficit was when Obama’s term began, TPM’s chart shows that government spending, at its peak, only increased by less than 3% during Obama’s first term. It has since begun to shrink, which is not ideal for an economy that could use an infusion of spending to get it moving at a faster pace.