Posted by: Jeff | September 29, 2010

Which of These Things Is Not Like The Others?

Kevin Drum observes that the graphs floating around that depict government spending under the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations aren’t exactly accurate, as they capture only averages.  So he has adjusted the graph to better reflect spending as it changes over time within each administration:

Of course, the story going around is the general upward trend of the line, and how that reflects that spending is at its greatest share of GDP under Obama.  But under-reported is the obvious difference between these three administrations.  Spending went down proportionally under Clinton, has stabilized in budget projections under Obama, but went steadily up under Bush.  As Drum concludes:

[T]he Republican story is that this time they really really mean it. They really will cut spending, even though they’ve never done it in the past. You can decide for yourself if you believe them this time around.

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