Strange Bedfellows: Cato Puts Obama’s Spending In Perspective

From my libertarian friends over at Cato:

I’m a big fan of criticizing Obama’s profligacy, but it is inaccurate and/or dishonest to blame him for Bush’s mistakes. At the risk of repeating my earlier post, the 2009 fiscal year began on October 1, 2008, and the vast majority of the spending for that year was the result of Bush Administration policies. Yes, Obama did add to the waste with the so-called stimulus, the omnibus appropriation, the CHIP bill, and the cash-for-clunkers nonsense, but as the chart illustrates, these boondoggles only amounted to just a tiny percentage of the FY2009 total — about $140 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget.


Let’s use an analogy. Obama’s FY2009 performance is like a relief pitcher who enters a game in the fourth inning trailing 19-0 and allows another run to score. The extra run is nothing to cheer about, of course, but fans should be far more angry with the starting pitcher.

[Emphasis mine]

Now, I certainly don’t agree with the criticism of the economic stimulus package (which worked), CHIP, the omnibus spending bill or the cash for clunkers program.

But it’s important to put our debt into perspective. I know conservatives want us to forget that the Bush administration ever happened, but the economic collapse started at the tail end of Bush’s presidency; many of the spending bills passed to resolve that crisis bore his signature.

And that’s all in addition to Bush’s freewheeling spending before the crisis.

So, if you want to assign blame for our debts, don’t look toward our current President; look toward the man who occupied the White House for most of the past 8 years and who got us into this economic mess to begin with.