Monday, June 4, 2012

A Funny Thing Continued to Happen on the Way to the Election

After my post on the pace of spending under Obama was evaluated as "Mostly True" by Politifact, not oncebut twice, and became its own campaign dust-up news cycle, I decided to (continue to) look at what Mitt Romney has to say about spending under Obama. After reading Paul Krugman's damning post that, well, republicans want low taxes and to cut spending, and that basically that's what happened under the Obama administration, I thought:  "Okay, so, if spending has leveled off and taxes as a percentage of GDP are at historically low rates, has Obama really increased the size of the federal government as they claim?" 
Romney Quote: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/tax
Krugman Quote: Krugman's NYT Blog
Here's more data from Krugman on the depressed spending rate. The data that support Romney's website claims is...I don't know where:
Gosh, I wonder why the economy is underperforming? 
Update: Actually, a bit of a longer perspective may be useful. Here’s the same number calculated directly from FRED, using rates of growth: Government current expenditures – GDP deflator (the right measure of inflation) – Growth in civilian noninstitutional population; I’ve left out the immediate post -WWII years because they would spread the scale so much that recent stuff becomes invisible:
So we haven’t seen spending cuts like this since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.



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