This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Federal Spending Balloons During Obama's Presidency: Opinion

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are some claims that are so outrageous that they go beyond the pale. Recently there have been various statements that federal spending during the Obama presidency has either been cut or has risen very little.

One recent example was a graphic that went viral. The graphic summarized a MarketWatch column. rated the claim in that graphic "mostly true."

But such claims about the budget couldn't be further from the truth.

The numbers are publicly available to prove it. All you have to do is apply some second-grade math.

The following Web page from The American Presidency Project provides numbers on U.S. federal spending:

The relevant data are near the bottom of the table, just above the reference footnotes.

Let's begin by determining the average spending per fiscal year during the 2002 through 2009 fiscal years. These outlays cover the administration of President George W. Bush.

(Note that each fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 of the previous year. So the 2002 fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2001. Presidents typically submit budgets for the coming fiscal year on the first Monday in February.)

Outlays (the third column) go from $2.01 trillion in 2002 to $3.52 trillion in 2009. Add them all up and divide by eight, and you get an annual average of $2.60 trillion.

Then let's add up spending for the four years for which President Obama has submitted budgets. (Note: the fiscal 2013 budget has yet to be agreed upon by the White House and Congress, and numbers for fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013 are estimates.)

For the first four Obama years, outlays average $3.66 trillion. That's a 41% increase over the average spending during the Bush years.

There are no two ways around this, folks. This is hard, cold math.

There is only one objection that can be made to these calculations. We are comparing an average of eight years (2002-2009 fiscal years) with an average of four years (2010-2013 fiscal years).

That's not fair, you say. You're darn right it's not fair! But for whom? The answer is that it depends on what federal government spending will be the next four years, so we can measure eight years over the previous eight years.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $130.28 0.00%
FB $81.53 0.00%
GOOG $565.06 0.00%
TSLA $218.42 0.00%
YHOO $44.52 0.00%


DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs