Monday, August 6, 2012

Size of US Federal Gov't Doubled
From 2000-2011 But Let's Keep
Talking About The 

Last year Sen. Tom Coburn when on a Sunday morning talk show and ended making the claim the spending was so far out of control in Washington that the size of the US federal government had actually DOUBLED in just 10 years - from 2001 to 2011.  

Intrigued by this claim, Politifact decided to investigate to see if Coburn's claim was true:

Such was the hue and cry raised by liberals after Politifact rated Coburn's claim "Mostly True" that they felt they needed to 're-examine' it and revise downward to 'Half True'. 

Adjusted for inflation, Coburn's 10 year window is missed by several months, so yes he got that wrong.  It actually took 11 years for the Federal Gov't to balloon to 2X it's former size.  
AAAHH HAH HA HA...You're WRONG, Coburn!!

Liberals everywhere rejoiced that Coburn had been proven wrong!  It took 11 years, not 10 like he said!  Uhmmmmm.........yay?

See, if Coburn is correct, and the reason we are now having $1 trillion + deficits every year is because of exploding levels of spending, this undercuts the constant Progressive argument put forth by people like Michael Moore that the real problem here is not taxing the rich enough to cover the gap.  

This would mean the real problem isn't RICH PEOPLE in the private sector who live outside of Washington.  

And that just won't do.  It cuts through and exposes all this class warfare BS we've been hearing for exactly what it is: an attempt to deflect responsibility for what politicians in Washington did by holding out private sector scapegoats.  

Most people have not taken the time to research just how the national debt exploded from the $5 trillion it was when Bush entered office, into the staggering $15 trillion + it is today. 

Well I'm not most people.  Here's the research:


2012 United States federal budget - $3.7 trillion (submitted 2011 by President Obama)
2011 United States federal budget - $3.8 trillion (submitted 2010 by President Obama)
2010 United States federal budget - $3.6 trillion (submitted 2009 by President Obama)
2009 United States federal budget - $3.1 trillion (submitted 2008 by President Bush)
2008 United States federal budget - $2.9 trillion (submitted 2007 by President Bush)
2007 United States federal budget - $2.8 trillion (submitted 2006 by President Bush)
2006 United States federal budget - $2.7 trillion (submitted 2005 by President Bush)
2005 United States federal budget - $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)
2004 United States federal budget - $2.3 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)
2003 United States federal budget - $2.2 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)
2002 United States federal budget - $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)

2001 United States federal budget - $1.9 trillion (submitted 2000 by President Clinton)
2000 United States federal budget - $1.8 trillion (submitted 1999 by President Clinton)
1999 United States federal budget - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1998 by President Clinton)
1998 United States federal budget - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1997 by President Clinton)
1997 United States federal budget - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1996 by President Clinton)
1996 United States federal budget - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1995 by President Clinton)

I've bolded the section where Bush had a Republican controlled Congress to work with. Note also the Wikipedia entry on the final 2 years of Bush's term are simply wrong: his final 2 budgets submitted to the Democratic controlled Congress were not passed. Instead Congress under Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid used Continuing Resolutions to fund the government.  This way, they did not have to lay out a budget in which they had to show the public all the spending increases they were doing.  Bush would lay out his budget with it's spending increases made plain, but the Democrats found a better solution to make all the spending increases they wanted without having to take any political heat for it.  Simply don't do a budget - problem solved! 

In fact, they like this trick so much they've done it for over 3 years now, circumventing the law by not passing a budget for well over 1,000 days.

In Bush's first year total federal spending topped out at $1.9 trillion. In the last year he had a say on how much got spent, it was $2.8 trillion. So from the 2002 fiscal year to the 2007 fiscal year, Bush and the Republicans added $900 billion to the federal budget.

Note from 2007-2011, a 5 year period, the Democrats managed to grow the federal budget from $2.8 trillion to $3.8 trillion.  So people unhappy about the growth of the federal budget under Bush have even MORE reason to be upset with it under the Democrats since those 2006 mid-terms.  From going up $900 billion in 6 years to going up $1 trillion in 5 is not exactly 'progress'.  

You can thank the results of another midterm election - 2010 - for the fact the federal budget was actually forced to DROP IN SIZE for once, from $3.8 trillion in 2011 to $3.7 trillion in 2012. 


When Bush entered office in 2000, the federal debt was just over $5 trillion. When Democrats got control of the country's purse strings in 2006, it was $8 trillion. And a lot of people didn't like what Bush was doing with the debt from 2000-2006. Plenty of conservatives complained about what the Republicans were doing; their staying home in disapproval in 2006 had a lot to do with the Democrats winning control.

But this turned out to be counter-productive; if you didn't like a Republican controlled Congress adding an additional $3 trillion to the public debt in 6 years, stand back. The Democrats were about to show you how to REALLY GO ABOUT IT.

At the end of the 2006 fiscal year the debt was $8.4 trillion. In 2012, it's presently over $15 trillion. Politicians in Washington added over $7 trillion in just 6 years, a clip of over a trillion a year in new debt with no end in sight.

The $248 billion deficit in 2006 was Bush's largest; the following year in 2007 it had shrunk to $161 billion. With the economy rebounding from the tax cuts it likely would have continued shrinking had not the 2007 housing bubble bursting threatened the entire American financial system. 

Now remember: the DEFICIT is the gap between what the Federal Gov't collects in revenues and what it plans to spend that year.  Let's look at the deficits from 2006 to 2012 and see how they grew: 

Revenue: $2.42 trillion
Spending: $2.66 trillion
Deficit of: $248 billion

Revenue: $2.57 trillion
Spending:  $2.73 trillion
Deficit of:  $161 billion

Revenue: $2.7 trillion
Spending: $2.9 trillion
Deficit of: $454 billion

Note something interesting: the leap of almost $300 billion in the deficit is NOT due to the 2007 recession yet.  Note that revenue actually CLIMBED from 2007-2008. So the recession can't be blamed for this single year $293 billion jump in the gap. 

Revenue: $2.105 trillion  
Spending: $3.518 trillion
Deficit of: $1.413 trillion

Two things happened this year: The financial drop in revenues collected finally hit, with revenues plunging from $2.7 trillion down to $2.1, a drop of over $600 billion.  But at the same time, Obama & the Democrats in Congress ramped up the spending with the stimulus bill, adding over $800 billion in new spending due to their confidence in Keynesian economics.  

So revenues dip by $600 billion + at the same time Washington increased spending. This is how you go from a deficit of $161 billion from just 2 years before to almost $1.5 trillion.  

Revenue: $2.165 trillion
Spending: $3.721 trillion
Deficit of: $1.267 trillion

Note an interesting thing here: Democrats sold the $800 billion + stimulus bill as a one-time thing that would help jump start the economy.  That's why Americans were asked to swallow an unprecedented trillion dollar deficit that year.  Well, it's next year.  What happened?  There WAS no second $800 billion in new stimulus, yet note the spending level went up anyway, from $3.518 trillion in 2009 to $3.721 trillion in 2010.  

Revenue: $2.314 trillion
Spending: $3.630 trillion
Deficit of: $1.56 trillion 

NOW that you have a better grasp of just how we got here, we see that Sen. Tom Coburn's point was CORRECT.  The reason we are here right now facing a financial cliff is not because Washington hasn't been taking enough tax dollars from rich people in the private sector.  

It's because federal spending exploded from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to a staggering $3.8 trillion in 2011.  Even after the recession hit in 2007 and caused revenues to drop dramatically, all Washington did was floor the spending pedal anyway.

I don't know about you, but I thought the Federal Gov't was already pretty fricken' HUGE in 2001.  It now costs 2x as much to keep it afloat than just 11 years ago.  

There is NO WAY this is a revenue problem if you are growing government at this rate.  

Make no mistake, no matter what you hear from people like Michael Moore and others on the Far Left: this didn't happen because greedy rich people weren't being taxed enough from 2001-2011.  These huge deficits erupted because politicians in Washington were incredibly irresponsible.  

And now these same people are trying to deflect any accountability for what they've done for ballooning the Washington Leviathan to 2X it's former size in just over a decade by demagoguery, assuring all who will listen that the reason we face a financial crisis is because of 'inequality' and people not 'paying their fair share'.  

This class warfare stupidity must STOP. Responsibility for the mess we are in must be placed SQUARELY where it belongs: on those in power in Washington.  Every time they try to hide behind a bunch of rich Americans and deflect attention from what they've done, we need to put the accountability right back on them.  

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