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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:53 PM

Obama's spending is the problem?



FB comments:

"what a shift in perspectives. You obviously have a scewed
28 minutes ago"

"skewed list of spending... who put this out. Let me guess, more liberals.. its okay, America has spoken this election and obviously you agree with the majority. I fault you not nor the rest of the liberals who have limited investment in the future of our country.. How are you Norma.. let me know when you want to debate sometime.. I'll enjoy it. Have a good / grand day, your conservative classmate from the past.
25 minutes ago"

"Misguided conservatives who do not want to face the facts that they are high spenders and major contributors to the deficit who never want to pay for anything; like two wars that were conveniently left out of budgets during the Bush II white house occupation that still have to be paid for.
5 minutes ago"

4 replies, 1078 views

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Reply Obama's spending is the problem? (Original post)
and-justice-for-all Jan 2013 OP
Wounded Bear Jan 2013 #1
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #2
Third Doctor Jan 2013 #3
Igel Jan 2013 #4

Response to and-justice-for-all (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:01 PM

1. The problem with that chart.....

is that the title can be easily misinterpreted by those who wish to do so.

The title asks about spending, and states it in simple terms. The chart, though, actually displays growth in spending. Unfortunately, it is a harder thing to get across than just raw numbers. It is a more nuanced number, that most people, sadly, won't take the time to digest intellectually. It is much easier to look at the chart, which is probably accurate-I won't test the numbers myself-and declare it a bald faced lie, in favor of what they want to believe and have been preached to by the RW echo chamber.

The problem we often have is that the numbers, which invariably indict the Repubs, are often portrayed like this, in a way that can be misinterpreted by the misinformed. The misinformers of the world have it easy when we publish charts like this. They don't even have to try.

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Response to and-justice-for-all (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:18 PM

2. Uh, remember Afghanistan?

 

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Response to and-justice-for-all (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:24 PM

3. I amazes me that the RW deficit hawks

are so concerned about goverment spending now when from 2001 to 2009 they did not give a damn. It all started when a certain person came into office...

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Response to and-justice-for-all (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:18 PM

4. Don't understand the chart.

Revenue is about where it was in 2007.

Deficit is 3-4x larger than it was in 2007.

At 1.8% average for the four years past--which includes the fiscal year 2013 apparently just past--we get an increase of around 8%. But with a deficit increase of about $900 billion, you have to wonder how that works. Is $900 billion really 8% of the budget?

So:
1. F/y 2013 isn't over. They're using the projected budget amounts for 2013. For 2012 as well, for all I know. That number's already been blown out of the water.

2. They're almost certainly ignoring non-discretionary spending. Yet most of the spending is non-discretionary. That makes the title of the chart disingenuous. It should say "annualized growth of federal discretionary spending."

3. I can't rule out that they've included the stimulus as "baseline" for Obama's first year somehow and only measured the increase of the discretionary spending from the first term to the last term. If this is the case, then a big jump at the start of a term--say, of $800 billion--just happens and a large increase in spending gets assigned nobody. If they didn't include the stimulus as baseline, good. But then I have no idea what it means for the purpose of this chart to explicitly assign the 2009 stimulus to Obama but 2009 to Bush, and then run Obama's numbers only from the start of 2010 to presumably the end of 2013. (Note that 8% increase on top of Bush II's budget + Stimulus II comes close to the deficit. I suspect this is a coincidence, though.)

4. I don't know how they included TARP repayments. It's a budget item and the money was repaid and credited in the year it was repaid. It's all discretionary. (When I did bookkeeping I tried to back out those kinds of repayments because otherwise it skewed the books.)

5. There's no "peace dividend" for Iraq. In 2008 we knew the war would be ending, unless Obama couldn't continue it. He couldn't.

6. The last point is petty. A bunch of the baseline budget increase for f/y 2009, assigned to *, was never approved by *. A large spending bill that he refused to sign languished until the next president, who said he'd sign it and quickly did.

I keep telling my kids in high school that if you have numbers and formulas and have no idea what assumptions went into them you have no idea what good they are and how to use them. I explain the assumptions and they ignore me. I then give them problems to do and they screw them up because they ignored me. "But I used the formula!" Eh.

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