Monday, March 19, 2012

Republican Presidents Spend More than Democrats, Including Obama

That's the lesson from this handy-dandy chart below, created by Mark Thoma at The Economist's View (here), detailing per capita spending increases under various  presidents.

I have mixed feelings about what this chart shows: On the one hand, it appears to belie claims that President Obama is a big-spending "socialist." On the other hand, there's no question that Obama would have spent more but for Republican control of the House since 2010. On the third hand, I wish Obama had been able to spend more to simulate the economy in the face of continuing sluggish aggregate demand. In any case, the comparisons with Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II are instructive.

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