Saturday, October 9


I've been too busy and frustrated after losing (courtesy of Blogger) a long post that took me at least 45 minutes to complete (a comprehensive list of Sinclair Broadcast Group TV stations and affiliations via their SEC 10-K filing) to address another one of the debate moments that shocked me: W claimed discretionary non-homeland-security-and-defense spending had only increased what? did he say something like 1%? under his administration. Thank goodness Kevin Drum has the fact check:

THE BIG LIE....I know that budget numbers are b-o-o-o-o-ring, but did anyone notice Bush repeating one of his great whoppers of all time last night?

"Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control."

The folks at Cato probably burst a collective vein last night when they heard this. (You can see what they think of Bush's spending record here.)

Here's the truth about non-defense discretionary spending over the past six administrations:

Nixon/Ford: 6.8% per year
Carter: 2.0% per year
Reagan: -1.3% per year
Bush 1: 4.0% per year
Clinton: 2.5% per year
Bush Jr: 8.2% per year

All percentages are adjusted for inflation. The chart on the right shows raw figures for the past three administrations (from the Congressional Budget Office).

Outside of the personal fantasyland Bush seems to inhabit, the truth is simple: spending of all kinds has skyrocketed under his administration and the Republican Congress. They've increased spending twice as fast as Clinton, three times as fast as Bush 1, and four times as fast as Carter. And remember: this doesn't include defense spending, entitlement spending, or homeland security. 9/11 and Medicare have nothing to do with it.

It's laughable for Bush to pretend to be a frugal spender, working his tail off to bring an out-of-control Clinton budget down to earth. He's spending our children's money as fast as he can print it, and debate fact checkers shouldn't let him get away with pretending otherwise.


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