As I was reading yesterday a print-out of Daniel Henninger’s Wall Street Journal piece, I recalled (yet again) how then-candidate Barack Obama responded to a question about the deficit reaching an “astounding record high of $455 billion dollars“:
There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments. Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.
And yet, once in office, Mr. Henninger noted, Mr. Obama has presided over a severe spending spree.
When the financial crisis piled in atop a recession, the Democrats’ academic/pundit economists blandly convinced the party to wave a $787 billion stimulus at the problem in early 2009. Then, on April 30, the Democrats passed an FY 2010 budget of $3.5 trillion. This year the FY 2011 budget hit $3.8 trillion, reaching a post-World War II high of 25% of GDP. In March, they passed the trillion-dollar health-care bill. Total headline spending commitments in one year: about $9 trillion. That’s a lot of “trust” to ask for during a recession with 9% unemployment. And now a sense is building of some broad middle-class tax grab. After soaking the rich, comes the deluge.
Interesting when I went to check these numbers, I couldn’t find them in my initial searches of the various White House web pages. They buried them underneath a lot of verbiage about a new era of fiscal responsibility, you know, in contrast to that “inherited” legacy of misplaced priorities.
So, via Wikipedia where I turned (so as to get my posts done in time to get back to my dissertation), I found the FY 2010 Budget was 3.552 trillion and that for the upcoming Fiscal Year 3.83 trillion. After plugging a few numbers into my trusty, dusty calculator, I come up with a spending increase of 7.8% from President Obama’s first budget to his second. And this at a time of an inflation rate just over 2% (well, that’s for the last four months; overall for 2009 it was -0.4%).
Net spending cut, that ain’t. No wonder trust in the government has reached a new low.