Obama's Mythical Austerity

You may recall the noise back in May that President Obama is America's most frugal executive since Dwight Eisenhower.  Rex Nutting of the finance website MarketWatch started the idea, accompanied by an impressive-looking chart, that under Obama, the rate of U.S. federal spending has been the smallest since the Korean War.  This dubious claim was picked up by Forbes and Jay Carney and rated "mostly true" by PolitiFact. Unfortunately, it's not true at all.  I'm a bit late to the game, but we'll surely hear this myth repeated in the coming weeks as we head into another budget season.  So it is worth explaining here that the methods Nutting used to come up with his figures are dishonest and completely meaningless. For one, they depend on CBO estimates that have since been revised upwards.  If you look at the revised figures, published in President Obama's own economic report (page 411), you'll find that spending under his administration was higher than...(Read Full Post)