Monday, March 4, 2013

US Government Spending is not "out of control"

Dean Baker provided a helpful chart from CBO data this morning which shows that spending as a share of potential GDP is near a 30-year low.

Baker notes that Government spending is currently lower than at any point in the Reagan-Bush I administrations. Republicans Are Not Telling the Truth When They Say that Government Spending Is Out of Control.


  1. The gap has widened dramatically from where government continues to place uncertainties into the economy. The hindrance of government policies being added, additional taxes levied and healthcare market meddling has added to the gap. That gap comes from, inefficiencies, and government regulations, which hamper production levels.

    It seems the liberals never have enough of other people’s money to spend and if they only had a little bit more of someone else’s hard earned funds they could do so much more.

    With personal income dropping and disposable income falling and total wages below December 2007 levels in real terms – this 61 month recession is the worst since WWII. And for all the trillions Obama and Company have spent we still are debating if spending is too high?

    Seems like Liberals are trying to once again skew and spin their way out of their debacle. Just because one has tons of potential as a basketball player doesn't make him Michael Jordan or put him in the NBA. It is what you do with that potential that matters.

    1. You appear to be confusing a couple of points...

      First we've been in economic decline due to the fact the Government didn't step in to fill the hole created in demand via the crash in the housing bubble. Obama has been a major culprit of that austerity and the impacts have hurt us in our unemployment numbers and the time its taken to recover from the economic crisis.

      Also, to be clear you are not contesting the point that Government spending is falling and comparatively low... you just want to whine about "liberals" who have hijacked the democratic process (i.e. won elections)and deny you the ability to get what you desire-- which is a Government built to flourish and thrive in a pre-industrial economy of yore... not the highly industrialized global economy of today.

    2. “First we've been in economic decline due to the fact the Government didn't step in to fill the hole created in demand via the crash in the housing bubble.” You contend the government should have spent trillions more to offset the vacuum in which was created by government?

      As far as Obama being “a major culprit of that austerity” and impacting unemployment in the economic crisis I agree but not because he did not put us in four or five times more debt than he created already. Obama’s overreaching power grab and Democrat control legislative produced much uncertainty, burdening regulation and cost to the economy.

      To be clear about it, when Obama & Co. create more debt than any other country in the world in such a short period of time one cannot actually believe “government” spending is falling. As Thomas Sowell states in his article Budget Politics (

      “Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?

      The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.”

      We’ll continue to see Obama, you and those who want the government to control every aspect of our lives, from cradle to grave, push back the freedoms many have died for in this country. As long as there are people who are further to the left than Obama like yourself that empower actions which strangle this country there will be others out there who oppose you whether they win an election cycle or not.