Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 31, 2015

Chart of the Day

Jared Bernstein provides the following chart from Congressional Budget Office data showing that between 2009 and 2013 federal government spending actually shrunk as a percentage of GDP (in red) and has only increased 0.6% in dollars (in blue).

“I think those two lines partially explain why this recovery has been such a slog: we hit back hard against the recession in 2009 and GDP started growing in real terms shortly thereafter.  But we stopped too soon, certainly before the recovery reached most households.”

  • Chredon

    Just like FDR in 1936, we make reducing the deficit more important than stimulating the economy, and as a result, the economy faltered.

    Just listen to the current debates going on in Washington. It’s not about jobs or stimulus or getting people off unemployment. It’s all about reigning in the deficit. Again, the GOP has taken control of the narrative, and they are pushing for policies that will keep America in bad economic shape – because they think the longer the economy suffers, the more people will blame it on Obama and the Democrats.

    Since 1980, GOP policy has been to spend freely when they were in office, cutting taxes on the wealthy and ballooning the debt, while also stimulating the economy and creating jobs. Then, when the Democrats are in power, they suddenly become deficit hawks and demand spending cuts (but not tax increases) and a balanced budget, knowing that if the Democrats attempt to do it, the spendthrift growth will stop and we’ll possibly have a recession.

    The Republicans are right on one thing – we cannot continue a program of unsustainable debt growth. But their approach to solving that problem is purely political. And their claims to care about a balanced budget and deficit spending are complete and utter hogwash. If they cared about a balanced budget, they would have kept the one Bill Clinton handed them.

    • Yossi Gestetner

      Bush FY2006 through FY2009 spent $10.6T while Obama FY2010 through FY2013 is spending $12.8T all in 2005 dollars. What austerity? When Austerity? Obama math includes $400B from 2009 which he authorized.

  • Ronnie+Rush

    Yay Austerity!

    Yeah right.

    Our leaders from both parties have been screwing us for so long that it’s hard to tell who is doing the screwing, the Dems or Republicans.

    And God forbid the MEDIA actually reports the facts honestly, without any he-said-she-said dramatization.

    This country really is run by people who are either stuck on stupid or who really genuinely DO NOT CARE about the American people. Or some combination of the two.

    • Chredon

      I find your constant ‘a plague on both your houses’ commentary tiresome. Certainly, the reason this number is not being reported is not because Democrats are trying to obfuscate it.

      The reasons that Democrats don’t make a lot of headway on the economy are:

      1) They are constantly having to clean up messes left behind by GOP policy.

      2) They have to do this against GOP opposition, because the GOP wants them to fail in order to have a chance to win the next election.

      3) Every time the GOP is out of power, they shout about deficts and the looming national debt until the Democrats do something about it – which usually results in slow GDP growth or a mild recession.

      If the GOP would get out of the way and let the Democrats fix these problems, they would get fixed. Then, if the GOP would leave things alone and not screw them up when they get into power, we could stop having these problems.

      • Yossi Gestetner

        Dems need to Clean GOP messes? Like Carter inheriting from Ford an economy gaining 270,000 jobs per month or Clinton inheriting an economy from Bush gaining 225,000 jobs per month? O i know i know. You mean GOP Reagan and GOPer Bush Jr inheriting reccesionary economies from Dems Carter and Clinton

      • Clintons Record

        This Chart shows actual dollar spending by term. we have no cuts

  • Doug Ross

    Gee, why not show Debt-to-GDP ratio? Because it’s gone from 50% to well over 100% — now passing the historical Rogoff ratio that indicates the system is headed for zero growth and/or total economic collapse, depending upon which scenario you choose?

    Goddard is a propagandist, pure and simple.

    Obama is the biggest debtor in world history. He makes Bush look like Scrooge McDuck. And he keeps throwing gasoline on the fire, creating vast new entitlements (as existing ones go bankrupt) while slashing the one core responsibility of the federal government, which would be national defense for you drones preoccupied with wealth redistribution.

    The only good news out of this madness is that you drones are going to suffer along with the rest of us when the system melts down. Because, as Mark Levin astutely observes, the laws of economics will always trump the laws of politics.

    And you would never run your own lives the way that these reckless Democrat politicians are running the federal budget. Certainly if they did so in a corporation, they’d be serving time with Madoff.

  • Yossi Gestetner

    But its still higher than the pre 2008 years so no praise is due.

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