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View Full Version : The Barack Obama big spending meme



TomF
10-28-2013, 09:17 AM
Interesting op-ed piece (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-barack-obama-big-spender-myth-1.2251993)at the CBC websiteby Neil Macdonald.
... according to the Pulitzer-prize-winning fact checkers at PolitiFact (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/23/facebook-posts/viral-facebook-post-says-barack-obama-has-lowest-s/), when compared to the spending of the nine presidents who preceded him, Obama's rate of spending in his first term in office ranks at or near the bottom of the list.
Whether in raw dollars or adjusted for inflation, both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan increased spending at a much faster clip than the current president, who is so commonly described by his conservative opponents as a free-spending socialist.

....


Still, a serious spending problem remains. It's just a lot of people here don't want to talk about that aspect of it at all, let alone see it remedied.
Social Security, America's version of the Canada Pension Plan, and Medicare, under which the government pays health-care costs for Americans over the age of 65, are indeed careering out of control.
They become less sustainable every year, as the boomer generation retires and falls back on government support. Those entitlements are growing at a rate of six and seven per cent a year, well above everything else.
For obvious reasons, most Americans don't want to discuss hacking those particular programs, aging Tea Partiers included, there being no greater economic or political force than self-interest.
So, for now, Americans are taking shelter in their pet misconceptions. For example, that they are only taking out of Medicare and Social Security what they paid in over the years.
Or that sufficient savings can come from cutting "waste, fraud and abuse." Or, among conservatives, that cutting taxes will cause wild economic growth and solve everything.

Osborne Russell
10-28-2013, 09:43 AM
So, for now, Americans are taking shelter in their pet misconceptions.


Unaccountably . . .

John Smith
10-28-2013, 09:53 AM
I confess my headache prevented me from reading the whole thing, but does it ever address the fact that taxes are at historical lows and/or decent jobs are getting fewer and fewer?

I am convinced if we can find a way to create more manufacturing jobs and convince employers to pay better wages, all these other problems would take care of themselves over time. This would happen more quickly if we'd increase tax rates a bit while we're at it.

We have simply got to stop taking in less than we spend.

Keith Wilson
10-28-2013, 10:16 AM
His point about the mythological nature of "Obama the big spender" is dead on. It's a flat-out lie. I do have another fairly serious quibble, though.


Social Security, America's version of the Canada Pension Plan, and Medicare, under which the government pays health-care costs for Americans over the age of 65, are indeed careering out of control.I presume he means 'careening' - but it's still bullsh!t. Social Security is NOT 'careering out of control' . It has a modest imbalance between the money coming in and the money going out. It could easily be corrected, and made sustainable for the foreseeable future by raising the payroll tax about 2%, raising the income cap, or some combination of the two.

The problem with Medicare is medical costs in the US. They are way, way too high, as I've said at unutterably tedious length . That's the central problem with both Medicare and heath insurance. Lately there's been some modest improvement, partially attributable to changes incorporated in the ACA, but the problem is still there, the proverbial rhinoceros in the living room.

Here's that damned chart again.


http://www.medicareforall.org/images/spending_among_30_countries.jpg


We have simply got to stop taking in less than we spendNo, we don't. The government can take in a bit more than it spends indefinitely, as long as the economy is growing modestly. We can't take in too much more than we spend, however.

wardd
10-28-2013, 10:23 AM
can't be true or fox would have said so

Gerarddm
10-28-2013, 10:36 AM
A large ( too large! ) segment of voters simply are too willing to ignore fact.

When I am feeling most bitter and angry about regressives I fantasize about voter suppressing them.

Concordia 33
10-28-2013, 03:23 PM
Interesting op-ed piece (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-barack-obama-big-spender-myth-1.2251993)at the CBC websiteby Neil Macdonald.



Politifact also said this in their opinion.....


Explaining the results

So why the disconnect between Obama’s image as a big spender and the reality of how much federal spending has actually grown?

First, Obama’s record on debt is a lot less flattering than is his record on federal government spending. During the same time that spending is poised to be increasing by 1.4 percent per year under Obama, the debt will be increasing by 14.6 percent per year. The reason? Year by year, federal revenues haven’t been keeping up with spending, due to the struggling national economy (which has held back tax revenues) and a continuation of tax cuts. And each year there’s an annual deficit, the national debt grows.

Second, federal spending under Obama is higher as a share of gross domestic product than it has been in most of the previous 60 years. That, too is because of the economy, which has simultaneously slowed the growth of GDP and boosted government spending for programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

Third, the aging of the baby boomers has driven a rise in entitlement spending that is masking cuts Obama and the GOP Congress have made, and have promised to make, in discretionary spending. Using outlays as the unit of measurement, as Nutting and the Facebook post have done, means focusing on money already spent. It does not take into account future spending that’s been committed to but not yet carried out.

And finally, many Americans associate Obama with the high-profile legislative activities of his first year or two, when initiatives such as the stimulus sent spending upward the fastest. Since then, spending has slowed, thanks in part to spending cuts pushed by congressional Republicans.

Which brings us to another important issue: The president is not all-powerful, so his record on spending was accomplished in collaboration with congressional Republicans.

Our ruling

The Facebook post says Mitt Romney is wrong to claim that spending under Obama has "accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history," because it's actually risen "slower than at any time in nearly 60 years."

Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True.

S.V. Airlie
10-28-2013, 05:19 PM
I confess my headache prevented me from reading the whole thing, but does it ever address the fact that taxes are at historical lows and/or decent jobs are getting fewer and fewer?

I am convinced if we can find a way to create more manufacturing jobs and convince employers to pay better wages, all these other problems would take care of themselves over time. This would happen more quickly if we'd increase tax rates a bit while we're at it.

We have simply got to stop taking in less than we spend.

If applicants are not qualified, as not having experience or at least a basic college degree, how much would you pay them? second question; how much do you think an applicant should be paid using the same parameters?