MarketWatch rebuttal infographic: How to make Obama’s spending look small

posted at 5:21 pm on May 24, 2012 by Political Math

It’s been going around Facebook and the Twitters.

It’s been rated “mostly true” by Politifact.

It is the MarketWatch piece on how Obama hasn’t really increased spending all that much.

And I’m damn tired of picking it apart 140 characters at a time, so I put together this sarcastic infographic showing exactly how sloppy this piece really is.

There are two things in this infographic that should be called out more explicitly.

First, much of the debate here centers around who exactly should catch the blame for FY 2009 spending. This is actually a very tricky question and I think compelling cases can be made for both sides of this debate.

My personal position is that it’s really complicated. But one thing is for certain: in hindsight the CBO January 2009 estimate is so obviously wrong that using it should be called out and mocked.

The January 2009 CBO estimate might have been a “best estimate of what Obama inherited”, but only in January 2009 when spending data was *very* hard to predict. January 2009 marked the worst part of the recession and the uncertainty was very high. Only a few months later, Obama’s budget estimated 2009 spending would be $400 billion higher than the CBO estimate.

But now we can look at the data, not the estimates. And we should. The spending data ended up $20 billion lower than the CBO estimate… and that included the stimulus spending (which Nutting says was $140 billion, but I’m still trying to track that number down). If that is the case, the high-end estimate for Bush’s fiscal year is  $3.38 trillion. If we compare that to Obama’s 2013 budget proposal ($3.80 trillion), that’s an increase of 12.5% (3.1% annualized). Which isn’t that high, but it’s also using a baseline that is still filled with a lot of what were supposed to be 1 time expenses (TARP, Cash for Clunkers, the auto bailout, the housing credit, etc).

Second, Nutting uses the CBO baseline in place of Obama’s spending. This is easily verified and I can’t think of a serious economic pundit who would say this is OK. I can think of two reasons for doing this: Either a) Nutting is a monstrously biased ass who (rightly) figured no one in the liberal world would fact check him so he could use whatever the hell number he wanted to use or b) Nutting had no idea that the CBO baseline isn’t a budget proposal. I’m actually leaning toward the second explanation. Nutting uses so many disparate sources it seems clear he doesn’t know his way around federal finance.

Congrats, Mr. Nutting. I don’t think you’re a huge jerk, only that you’re hilariously unqualified for your job.

References:

Bush requested $3.107 trillion, but the final budget of $3.52 trillion was passed by the Democratic Congress and signed by President Obama on March 12, 2009.

For actual spending, I used the monthly Treasury Reports, which have spending and revenue for every month since 1981 in an Excel file. Easy to work with.

For the CBO fiscal year 2009 estimates.

The CBO baseline (which was referenced by Nutting for the $3.58 trillion number) is found here.

President Obama’s actual 2013 budget

And just for kicks, here is the CBO analysis of the President’s Budget which pegs Obama’s 2013 spending at $3.717 trillion.

Thanks to the Hot Air team for letting me cross post this in the Green Room!

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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B S !

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Hope & Change !

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Nope! Not even going to start!

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 5:23 PM

I see Bishop cracking a beer!

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Vicious right wing lies. Well done.

John the Libertarian on May 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Obama isn’t a big spender like Obamacare was deficit neutral.

rob verdi on May 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

…and he’s turning over the steaks!

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

You know they could have made it simpler:

Good things that have happened since January 20th, 2009: Obama success.
Bad things that have happened since January 20th, 2009: Bush’s fault.

BKennedy on May 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

By the way, I kinda like the fact that leftists and the msm are trying to underplay too much spending, it testifies to a nice shift in the national conversation.

rob verdi on May 24, 2012 at 5:26 PM

I posted this earlier on facebook and google plus.

What is key here is, if liberals really believe Obama has been austere, and Republicans have not, they should be voting for REPUBLICANS. Right? They are the idiots that believe in stimulus.

neoavatara on May 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I can’t remember who said it but I read a great analogy for the MarketWatch guys logic. It’s like if your car broke down so you bought a new car. And then the next year bought a new car, and the year after that you bought a new car, and you called yourself frugal because your “rate of growth in spending” is low. Because, after all, you are spending around the same amount of money year after year.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Fezzik on May 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Here’s a simpler formula to remember: liberals always lie.

Nuff said?

squint on May 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I’ll translate the Politifact rating into English:
We really want it to be true.

zmdavid on May 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

bayam?

Del Dolemonte on May 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

so 0bama needs to increase taxes on the rich to get money for all spending he isnt doing?

chasdal on May 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Bush requested $3.107 trillion, but the final budget of $3.52 trillion was passed by the Democratic Congress and signed by President Obama on March 12, 2009.

Congress passed Bush’s 3.107, but held out the rest they wanted to add to it, that Bush wouldn’t approve, in the $400 Billion Ombibus bill that they waited for Obama to take office to sign. That’s the difference.

And don’t even mention the recession when it comes to spending. The recession affected revenues, not spending. The Demorats CHOSE to increase spending. The recession can take some blame for the deficit, as it increased the gap, but not for the spending binge this Congress and this president has been on.

PastorJon on May 24, 2012 at 5:37 PM

This rebuttal- just another vicious right wing lie!!

Scotsman on May 24, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I agree with your conclusion, Political Math. Once I saw Nutting’s name attached to the article, I didn’t bother to read it or comment on it–Waste of Time–just like the last 3 1/2 years.

But I do appreciate your tracking down the hard data to confront this liberal jerk who must represent “diversity” in the MarketWatch crowd.

Stepan on May 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

You know how small this makes him look

Conservative4ev on May 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Come on, right wing lunatics, don’t you know that Obama is a fiscal conservative?

AshleyTKing on May 24, 2012 at 5:41 PM

What is key here is, if liberals really believe Obama has been austere, and Republicans have not, they should be voting for REPUBLICANS. Right? They are the idiots that believe in stimulus.

neoavatara on May 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Here’s how it works:

Year divisible evenly by 4 (presidential election year), liberals are all about PayGo, deficit reduction, raising revenue . . .

Year not divisible evenly by 4, liberals are all about getting as many federal programs going as they possibly can and growing as many as they can and spending, taxing, and more spending.

PastorJon on May 24, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Didnt read ….lol

rickyricardo on May 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Just In

The SPLC declares that Malik Zulu Shabazz of the NBPP (New Black Panther Party) is now part of the “Radical Right.”

Hey, didn’t Barack Obama hang out with these “Right Wing” radicals ?

Hope & Change

J_Crater on May 24, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Another shiny object destined for failure…

A) Egg
B) Face
C) Some assembly required.

Seven Percent Solution on May 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Can we pass a petition for The Five or one of the other talking heads shows to hire this person??

They were just watching Bob surface and shoot a spout about this very topic on tonight’s show.

Do they hear footsteps?

BTW, Comcast through a subsidiary is in the mid stages of buying MSNBC from Microsoft. I don’t know if I was supposed to disclose that or not.

IlikedAUH2O on May 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I am working on becoming Chris Matthew’s next boss. Just kidding…

IlikedAUH2O on May 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Liars gotta lie….

dentarthurdent on May 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Well done, P.M.

rbj on May 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Gee, what? Just lying wasn’t working for them anymore?

stukinIL4now on May 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

May this be the last gasp of the corrupt hacks at Politifact.

slickwillie2001 on May 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Just another apologist for Obama. Note that they don’t PRAISE Obama, they just make excuses for him.

GarandFan on May 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Was on vacation when this hit so my blood has been boiling while I researched the buzz around this. But realistically this article will soon be exposed as a blatant overreach by the white house and it’s media lap dogs. Come on, MSNBC is the top crow of this crap, which is all you need to know. And politifaact has obviously jumped the shark.

I say let them run with the long leash and brag about small spending. It’s gonna break their necks.

Bensonofben on May 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

So let me get this straight. We are spending less so the national debt has been reduced from 8 trillion to 17 trillion.

rjoco1 on May 24, 2012 at 6:26 PM

The rules don’t apply to this precedent setting POTUS…

d1carter on May 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

spending data ended up $20 billion lower than the CBO estimate… and that included the stimulus spending (which Nutting says was $140 billion, but I’m still trying to track that number down).

I believe that 140 billion of the Stimulus was credited to Obama’s spending since it happened after FY 2009. But the rest of the stimulus that was spent in 2009 is hung on Bush’s neck, even though he wasn’t President when it was proposed, passed, or signed.

Additionally, TARP passed while Bush was in office. Bush only spent half and wasn’t planning on spending the other half. Half of TARP spending should be on Obama and not Bush.

Obama got into office and congress passed additional spending measures to stimulate the economy starting almost immediately, how is it fair to blame Bush for spending that was proposed and passed while he was sitting comfortably at his ranch? Oh that’s right, it isn’t about “fairness” it is about the narrative.

weaselyone on May 24, 2012 at 6:55 PM

man is msdnc and cnn preaching this crapola as gospel…

take the kool-aid away from your lips there people…

cmsinaz on May 24, 2012 at 7:07 PM

2009 was an abortion. It was high because of bailouts and stimulus. Thus any fair analysis would just ignore that year. Thus 2008 should be compared with 2010 and on.

But we will never see fairness even here. Why?

Mitt Romney has no intention of returning to 2008 spending levels. He is a big spender and would increase spending in all social areas or most all.

Steveangell on May 24, 2012 at 7:49 PM

what is really amazing is the facile ability for leftists and their PR machine in the ‘press corpse’ to lie thru their teeth to protect their socialist dreams

i don’t have time to look the numbers up, but i read somewhere the Average spending under barry has exceeded the max spending in any one year (as percent of gdp)

robert borosage at campaign for america’s future (left) who was an early supporter of barry (but, admittedly after DSA) wrote in huffpo that depressions were not that bad because you could get things done that you couldn’t otherwise.

and, barry, being one slick guy did exactly that…turbo charged spending, to collapse the R party (at minimum) and force massive tax increases. that is still his plan…and the media loves their dream boat…they think they’ve seen the future and in works

r keller on May 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

PLEASE never use smirking Hussein ever again.

The whole TEA party movement and 2010 congressional TSUNAMI was caused by the fact that the populace is ticked off about SPENDING.

No one is going to buy this lie. NO ONE. Seriously, if the LSM wants to push this they will only FURTHER diminish their own power.

wildcat72 on May 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM

r keller on May 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z2.xls

Years where spending (Total Outlays) exceeded 24%..

1942 Total Outlays 24.3% of GDP
1943 Total Outlays 43.6% of GDP
1944 Total Outlays 43.6% of GDP
1945 Total Outlays 41.9% of GDP
1946 Total Outlays 24.8% of GDP
2009 Total Outlays 25.2% of GDP
2010 Total Outlays 24.1% of GDP
2011 Total Outlays 24.1% of GDP
2012 estimate Total Outlays 24.3% of GDP

The current Democrat-majority spending is only outdone by the World War II timeframe of 1942-1946.

ITguy on May 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Steveangell on May 24, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Oh look! A moby showed up.

Gunlock Bill on May 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Rex Nutting said:

Here are the facts, according to the official government statistics:

• In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

There are many links at that page, but the first is:
Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2017
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls

All budget/spending bills must be passed by the House and Senate, and be signed by the President (unless a veto is overridden), so let’s agree that it is fair to give “credit”/”blame” to the party which controlled a majority (2+ out of 3) of those three…

Bush and the Republicans held control of all three for FY 2002 – 2007.
Democrats have held the majority for FY 2008 – present.
Let’s compare the Outlays and Deficits…

Using the same source data that Rex Nutting is using, namely:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls

For FY 2002 – 2007, while Republicans held majority control, the average Total Receipts were $2.11 Trillion per year, the average Total Outlays were $2.39 Trillion per year, and the average Total Deficit was $0.28 Trillion per year.

For FY 2008 – 2012, while Democrats held majority control, the average Total Receipts were $2.31 Trillion per year, the average Total Outlays were $3.47 Trillion per year, and the average Total Deficit was $1.16 Trillion per year.

Under the Democrat majority FY 2008-2012:
Average Revenues are up 10% from $2.11 Trillion to $2.31 Trillion per year,
Average Outlays are up 45% from $2.39 Trillion to $3.47 Trillion per year, and
Average Deficits are up 315% from $0.28 Trillion to $1.16 Trillion per year.

Using the same numbers Nutting is using, deficits have more than quadrupled under Democratic majorities as compared to Republican majorities, from $0.28T to $1.16T.

Yet Nutting claims, “Obama spending binge never happened”.

ITguy on May 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Political Math, I tried to link to your graphic on Facebook, but if someone had clicked the link the graphic would have too small. I don’t trust my friends to magnify the graphic, so I deleted the post. Please store your graphic in a more friendly way!

(My friends are almost all leftist, so it’s not like this is big chance to introduce potential readers to Hotair.)

thuja on May 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Obama: Don’t believe what you hear about me being a big spender

Obama himself is spouting the lie that he is not responsible for the debt he has helped accumulate from he came to Washington, D.C. in January 2005 to September 2009. Everything before October 2009 is supposed to be blindly accepted as “Bush’s Baseline” and Obama did not raise it much from there…

ITguy on May 24, 2012 at 11:11 PM

You know, if we assume for a minute that Obama is right, then the stimulus is Bush’s and Obama hasn’t done anything except play golf for the the last 3 1/2 years.

J_Crater on May 24, 2012 at 11:16 PM

I can’t remember, was it Stalin or Goebbles who said when you lie tell a BIG lie.

It wasn’t Bush’s Stimulous and across the board 20% increase in federal spending that brought the Teaparty out. It wasn’t Bush who took over GM and bailed out the union. It wasn’t Bush who passed the granddaddy of all spending bills, Obamacare.

When I first heard this, I honestly thought it was a laugh line.

Portia46 on May 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM

One source cited by Nutting was the OMB, part of the Executive branch, run by you know who. Great source.

arand on May 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Beautiful picture!

Beyond the numbers it is important to note that Congress is responsible for passing the spending bills. These huge increases were all passed by DEMOCRAT majority Congresses. Period. Full Stop.

The President PROPOSES a budget. As you noted, Mr Obama proposed larger increases each year. He doubled-down on Bush in 2009. His budgets still have not passed Congress- almost unanimously. Most people don’t understand by NOT passing a budget (and having a divided government) the Democrats get to keep rolling the last budget passed, plus.

Marcus Traianus on May 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Comcast already owns MSNBC. They are the 51% owners of NBC/Universal, GE is just under that a few points. Microsoft is looking to get out of their deal with MSNBC. Something tells me that MS is hurting their bottom line. Just my guess.

Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO, is a huge Obamabot so don’t expect any changes at Comcast. However, I bet if Comcast Cable Subscribers ,which amounts to many in the red states, knew Comcast owned MSNBC, ATT U-Verse or the Dish guys could get some more customers. Folks let Comcast know how you feel about their biased reporting and their constant drone of Sharpton’s and the NBP, we must riot and kill whitey! If it effected their bottom line they would do something. Comcast is by far the biggest media player now. They are headquartered in Philly. Probably the last corporation headquartered there, right?

Atlanta Media Guy on May 25, 2012 at 10:32 AM

>My friends are almost all leftist,

thuja on May 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Birds of a feather

CW on May 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM