WaPo: Three Pinocchios to WH over their defense of Obama spending

posted at 4:41 pm on May 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The obvious question that arises from Glenn Kessler’s fact check of the White House defense of spending under Barack Obama is … only three?  Political Math posted a delicious takedown of the claim that Obama has had the lowest rate of increase in spending since World War II that rated at least four Pinocchios for the Obama administration.  We can quibble on the extent of the lie, but Kessler provides a telling rebuke to the Obama spin:

Under these figures, and using this calculator, with 2008 as the base year and ending with 2012, the compound annual growth rate for Obama’s spending starting in 2009 is 5.2 percent.  Starting in 2010 — Nutting’s first year — and ending with 2013, the annual growth rate is 3.3 percent. (Nutting had calculated the result as 1.4 percent.)

Of course, it takes two to tangle — a president and a Congress. Obama’s numbers get even higher if you look at what he proposed to spend, using CBO’s estimates of his budgets:

2012: $3.71 trillion (versus $3.65 trillion enacted)

2011: $3.80 trillion (versus $3.60 trillion enacted)

2010: $3.67 trillion (versus $3.46 trillion enacted)

So in every case, the president wanted to spend more money than he ended up getting. Nutting suggests that federal spending flattened under Obama, but another way to look at it is that it flattened at a much higher, post-emergency level — thanks in part to the efforts of lawmakers, not Obama.

Furthermore, Kessler notes, the problem with comparing nominal rate increases is that it doesn’t take into account inflation and recessions.  The better way to compare spending is as a percentage of GDP.  In this case, too, the data shows that the Obama administration vastly expanded spending, starting in FY2009, the budget that Democrats kept away from George Bush and which Obama approved in March 2009.  In FY2008, federal spending equaled 20.8% of GDP.  In FY2009, it jumped to 25.4% — an increase of 22% in the rate of spending.  Where did Kessler come up with this data?  From the White House, where Jay Carney presumably has just as much access to it.

Kessler rips Carney and the White House for their spin:

In the post-war era, federal spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy has hovered around 20 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points. Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney.

No, but it’s exactly the point raised by Mitt Romney and Republicans in this election.


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Muenchhausen is indignant, from the grave.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Obama, the charlatan, is a sausage made of: Pinocchio, Machiavelli, Muenchhausen and Orwell.

Such must be punished, and it will.

He needs to be mocked and sent out of town.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

But politifact says mostly true!

taternuggets on May 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Ain’t facts a bitch?

GarandFan on May 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The LYING S.C.U.M. media will blow its wad this time protecting Oliar by manufacturing a false reality for the Idol/Kardashian voters….

Lies, lies and more lies.

No Shame…..left.

FlaMurph on May 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

If Obama did indeed not spend more than Bush, there is only one question left to ask him…
Why Mr. President, do you hate poor people?

Strike Hornet on May 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Obama should talk at his pleasure

kenny on May 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

…geesus!…when is the MSM going to finally start laughing out loud…and not make THEMSELVES the laughingstock of the country…with anyone who has more than two brain cells?

KOOLAID2 on May 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Lying liars who lie. Sick of these charlatans.

Philly on May 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Those in attendance who applauded when Obama spoke of this are the dumbest people in the world.

kakypat on May 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

when is the MSM going to finally start laughing out loud…and not make THEMSELVES the laughingstock of the country…with anyone who has more than two brain cells?

KOOLAID2 on May 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

I hope never. Those rats don’t seem to mind going down with the ship.

kakypat on May 25, 2012 at 4:52 PM

It’s getting hard to figure out who is “Radical Right” any more (and I’m still looking for a copy of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” code book).

First, we have this from the Southern Poverty Law Center, “30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right” which include known Radical Right-wingers as Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP). Didn’t Obama hang with these folks ? Perhaps Obama is part of the “Radical Right Extreme Left.”

Then, we have this from the World Socialists, “Behind the right-wing racial politics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton“, the title speaks for itself .. or does it.

Hey, it’s nice to see the Black community showing some real diversity, but is that what this really is ?

J_Crater on May 25, 2012 at 4:53 PM

But politifact says mostly true!

taternuggets

Notice how DNCfacts.com doesn’t say what numbers they are using or where exactly they’re coming from?

Zaggs on May 25, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Carney is Baghdad Bob.

nitzsche on May 25, 2012 at 4:57 PM

The butthurt in the comments section to this piece is hilarious. Many many people just regurgitating the lie that the FY 2009 budget was already in place when Obama took office.

rockmom on May 25, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Notice how DNCfacts.com doesn’t say what numbers they are using or where exactly they’re coming from?

I don’t think we’re supposed to notice that.

taternuggets on May 25, 2012 at 4:59 PM

You would think the MSM have heard of this Internet thingy by now…

… Lies are quickly rebuked by facts, and there are thousands of bloggers out there that are more than willing to take over what the Founding Fathers intended a “Free Press” to be.

I guess when you cannot control the message anymore…

… you start looking like that picture of Carney.

Seven Percent Solution on May 25, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Nutting probably did more damage to Obama with his ridiculous numbers crunching than if he had just let it be. He basically demonstrated that those on the left are desperate. He allowed a drop of blood to enter the water around which hungry GOP sharks are preparing to feed.

Oh, and getting Politifact to back him up was gravy. Now, anything PF says negative about Romney can be undermined, even if it’s actually true.

TheLastBrainLeft on May 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

“You Lie” was the truest thing ever told about Obama.

Look here, Michelle, er Madame de Pompadour, wants you to believe that s/he grew up in shanti-town, as opposed to Mitt.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Three Pinocchios better be the most you can get, otherwise WaPo needs to adjust it’s grading curve.

antipc on May 25, 2012 at 5:03 PM

The obvious question that arises from Glenn Kessler’s fact check of the White House defense of spending under Barack Obama is … only three?

Three. Three? It should be a bajillion, brother.

Seriously, though, if that’s not the media attempting to cover for a ridiculous hack, I don’t know what is.

Book on May 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Carney: “President Obama sent $1 million checks to every household in America and to the other 7 states. Republican postal workers blocked delivery.”

nitzsche on May 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Carney is Baghdad Bob.

nitzsche on May 25, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Why you harshing on Baghdad Bob, Nitzche?

ghostwalker1 on May 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

WH uses Choom Gang math.

BHO Jonestown on May 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

gov spending: increasing by only 1/32 since 2009

Slade73 on May 25, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Lying is easy. Math is hard.

kingsjester on May 25, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Look here, Michelle, er Madame de Pompadour, wants you to believe that s/he grew up in shanti-town, as opposed to Mitt.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Photo not taken in USA.

Number on license plate of car in photo is “KOA 103″
K = Kenya.
“KOA” on the license plate is not “Kampgrounds Of America”
;-)

albill on May 25, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Who has oversight of the legacy media..?

d1carter on May 25, 2012 at 5:23 PM

OMG, if this spending/debt weren’t so serious “these clowns” would be funny.
I think the “keystone cops” are running the govt.

mmcnamer1 on May 25, 2012 at 5:24 PM

…geesus!…when is the MSM going to finally start laughing out loud…and not make THEMSELVES the laughingstock of the country…with anyone who has more than two brain cells?

KOOLAID2 on May 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Plenty of people with only 2 brain cells regularly read the Washington Compost.

Amply evidenced by their Comments at the link to this story.

Del Dolemonte on May 25, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Obama and his Bull Shit Team are trumpeting some BS now claiming that “federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.” They wish.

They give ALL of FY2009 spending to George W. Bush.

Obama’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Stimulus Act of 2009 that Obama claims saved the country from slipping into a depression?

Obama gets the “glory.” Bush gets the $787+ billion tab.

Obama’s continuation of the bank bailouts that he claims “loosened the frozen credit markets”?

Obama gets the “glory.” Bush gets the $350 billion tab.

Obama’s continuation of the auto bailouts of GM and Chrysler before he let them go bankrupt so that he can now claim to have saved the industry?

Obama gets the “glory.” Bush gets the $50 billion tab.

Cash4Clunkers, Cash4Caulkers, UI benefit extensions to 99 weeks”

Obama gets the “glory.” Bush gets the $10s of billions put on his tab.

You get the idea, but the real lie is that GEORGE W BUSH NEVER SIGNED A FY2009 BUDGET. NEVER. EVER. EVAH. The Democratic Congress only passed THREE of FY2009′s 12 appropriations bills: Defence, Homeland Security, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. As a result of the Democrats’ failure to complete their work — primarily because they wanted to wait until Obama was in office and they could jack up spending levels, Bush signed a continuing resolution on 30 September 2008, that kept the rest of the government running through 6 March 2009. The CR kept the government funding for the remaining nine appropriations bills at FY 2008 levels through 6 March 2009, the expiration date.

The Democrat Congress passed the rest of the remaining 9 appropriations bills in 2009…..and President Obama signed them into law on 11 March 2009.

Congressional Quarterly details the history of the FY2009 final appropriations bills. From the report, it is blatantly obvious that one must attribute most of the accelerated spending in FY2009 to President Obama in a piece titled “2009 Legislative Summary: Fiscal 2009 Omnibus.”

From CQ, “the omnibus provided a total of $1.05 trillion — $410 billion of it for discretionary programs — and included many of the domestic spending increases Democrats were unable to get enacted while George W Bush was president.”

Why? Because he had threatened to veto any such appropriation bills submitted by the Democrats that dramatically increased spending over FY2008 levels.

President Bush’s proposed FY2009 budget called for spending of only $3.11 trillion, which was just a 3% increase. President Obama and his Democrat Congress ended up spending $3.52 trillion in 2009, which represented a 17.9% increase in spending — the highest single-year percentage spending increase since the Korean War.

By January 2010, spending as a percentage of GDP was 25.2% — the highest it has been in the United States since World War II.

Yes, Obama’s spending as a percentage of GDP has gone down, but only ever so slightly. During George W Bush’s 8 years as president, spending averaged 19.6% of GDP. Under President Clinton, spending as a percentage of GDP was 19.8%. In the decades following World War II, the average has been 19.7%. The average for Obama’s first term is projected to be 24.3%.

Obama is such a “budget hawk” that his OWN party has defeated his last two budgets….unanimously. Obama’s own ‘A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise’ budget would have ‘only’ jacked up Federal spending by a stunning 18% — a rate of increase ‘nearly 3 times the average growth rate of Federal outlays over the previous 10 years,’ according to the CBO, but it is totally responsible. Don’t believe me? Ask him and all of the Obama Firsters. He is positively a piker.

Resist We Much on May 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Can’t wait for the debates, if they’ll be any of course. And if they do happen I’ll bet the DNC will move mountains to NOT allow the Economy as a topic. Of course, the MSN (Manipulated Stories Machine) will continue to carry his water and hide King Putt’s significant and endless deficiencies.
I wonder at what point the LSM will start asking for a side-by-side comparison of their college transcripts? I’ll bet serious money on: NEVER.

Missilengr on May 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

As Senor Rushbo said yesterday, “If you want to blame Stimu-less on the GOP, then all the “proclaimed” jobs created/saved must be credited to them–you can’t have it both ways”…but as the TFGP, he probably enjoys it both ways…

hillsoftx on May 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, we go along with Nutter moving all that spending back into the Bush column. That is, INFLATE the last Bush year with TARP, mortgage co bailouts, etc. Put it ALL on Bush.

But, then…it’s supposed to go away the next year, right? These were one-time expenses. Why didn’t Obama spend LESS than Bush? Why does spending keep going UP every year??!!

It’s as if I bought a car this year and now claim that amount needs to be added to my budget every year from here on out. But I don’t need a new car every year!!! Don’t you media people understand this??!!!

jeanneb on May 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

If Obama did indeed not spend more than Bush, there is only one question left to ask him…
Why Mr. President, do you hate poor people?

Strike Hornet on May 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

..nicely done! Who needs a broadaxe when a scalpel will do just as nicely?

The War Planner on May 25, 2012 at 7:49 PM

…but as the TFGP, he probably enjoys it both ways…

hillsoftx on May 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

..and I see what you did there!

The War Planner on May 25, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Even more appalling than the fact that the WH circulated this talking point is that they turned to some blogger no one had ever heard of (OK, *I’d* never heard of) as their validating source.

Seriously, can you imagine any previous White House trying this? “Hey, forget what CBO says, but Rex Nutting says we’re not increasing spending. . . ”

Talk about jumping the shark.

Chuckles3 on May 25, 2012 at 7:51 PM

When you do the math on the difference between the CBO estimates of what Osquanderer wanted to spend and what he actually got then Congress saved the American Taxpayers $470,000,000,000 (for the zero-challenged that’s $470 billion) and that ain’t chump change, except maybe to the Chumpster-in-Chief.

stukinIL4now on May 25, 2012 at 7:55 PM

…but as the TFGP, he probably enjoys it both ways…

hillsoftx on May 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

But, if he enjoys it both ways, wouldn’t this make him TFBP?

TXUS on May 25, 2012 at 8:12 PM

In the future, people will post all kinds of stats about how the economy improved under Obama, never mentioning that it didn’t happen until a conservative House stopped rubber-stamping all his spending requests.

How do I know? Because the same thing happened to Bill Clinton, and he got credit for an economy that improved after Republicans took over the House.

tom on May 25, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I know the discussion on this thread has pretty much ended, but I still wanted to come back and document this…

I just found this comment by Rex Nutting in reply to someone’s comment on his post…

rnutting 6 days ago
@louman

The 2011 Budget Control Act set the budget for both 2012 and 2013.
Congress passed that law, and Obama signed it.
I’m not sure why you think we don’t have a budget…. maybe because you’ve been listening to too much propaganda.

What do you think of Rex’s claim?

For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_Control_Act_of_2011

ITguy on May 29, 2012 at 8:04 AM