Liberal Lies - Bush Was A Big Spender. TRUTH - He was average.
Liberals love to push out the Big Lie that President Bush was a runaway Big Spender. The Truth - He was not. Liberals never account for inflation, a growing GDP, or a growing population.
The American Thinker dispels the Liberal Lie that President Bush was a big spender. (1) (2)Myth. Our national debt doubled in the last eight years.
Fact. Nope, no matter how you measure it. In fact, if adjusted for inflation, real economic growth and population growth, it didn't budge at all. The most meaningful number, which is the amount of government debt held by the public (you, me and China) as a fraction of GDP, went up by only 8%. If you also take population growth into account, the amount of debt per capita remained virtually flat the last eight years. Myth. President Bush increased spending dramatically. Specifically, he spent more than President Clinton did, dramatically increasing our national debt.
Fact. Only if measured in nominal dollars. But by that measure, or even in inflation-adjusted dollars, Clinton spent more than Bush 41, who spent more than Reagan, who spent more than Carter, on down the line. Measured in a meaningful way, namely as a fraction of GDP, Bush spent less than the pre-Bush average, including that of President Clinton. Similarly, he kept national debt below the pre-Bush average. Spending Debt
Pre-Bush average (1960-2000) 20.4% 36.2%
Clinton average (1993-2000) 19.9% 45.1%
Bush average (2001-2007) 19.8% 36.0%
Last year available (2007) 20.0% 36.8% Myth. Bush spent irresponsibly huge amounts of money on his unnecessary war in Iraq and defense generally, crowding out non-defense spending.
Fact. No he didn't. What he spent was nowhere near unprecedented, as a fraction of GDP. And he spent more on non-defense than Clinton did, even measured as a fraction of GDP. ___________ federal spending in 2007, as a percent of GDP, in which total outlays were exactly 20% of GDP . The net debt "held by the public" was 36.8% of GDP. That number, for my money, is the one that matters. Since World War II, income has been around 18% of GDP. For the last 25 years in particular (1983-2007), it averaged 18.3%. So 2007's 18.8% was in fact a bit above average. (Note to liberals: tax rate cuts were not the problem.) ****note - income is of the federal government - jwf On the spending side, we have averaged almost 20% of GDP since World War II. For the last 25 years it averaged 20.8%. So 2007 was about average, and in fact on the low side compared to the previous 25 years. (Note to conservatives: spending has not really been that bad. Note to liberals: our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did not break us. Spending over all of President George W. Bush's years almost exactly matched the post-WWII average.) The deficit averaged 1.6% of GDP since World War II, and 2.5% over the last 25 years. So again, 2007, at just 1.2%, looked pretty good. Over all the Bush years, it averaged 1.9%, also not that shabby.
The debt held by the public has averaged 36.2% of GDP since 1960, and was even higher before that. In the last 25 years it averaged 40.5% of GDP. So again, 2007's 36.8% was near average and actually on the low side of the last 25 years. You would have to say, at the end of 2007, that the federal budget looked pretty good. Income, outgo, deficit and debt were all near post-war averages or even on the good side of average. And 2007 was not an oddball year. The entire Bush years, 2001 through 2007, were close to average in these respects