Question About Federal Spending

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by KJmoon117, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I'm kind of a newb when it comes to how the US federal budget works. So naturally I'm a little confused when people cite this chart and state that Obama is the lowest federal spender in the last 60 years.

    Wouldn't Obama be the biggest spender since the graph is the % of growth compared to previous years?

    (Not trying be a conservative troll, just confused)
     
  2. trouble747 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Government spending under Obama has increased at a much lower rate than the other administrations listed.

    Why has the deficit skyrocketed? Because revenues have fallen due to the recession and financial crisis. A detail Republicans forget to tell you.
     
  3. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    But shouldn't we be paying attention to the total spending? Spending nonetheless increased rather than decreased under the Obama Administration.

    So why does it matter that government spending increased at a much lower rate?
     
  4. trouble747 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Inflation? An ever growing population?

    Like spending on most things, government expenditures increase over time. But clearly it makes no sense to accuse Obama of being a big spender or blaming him for a spike in the deficit, when by all accounts spending has been much slower than compared to past administrations.
     
  5. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #5
    This. Exactly.

    The economy grows. The population grows.

    Yet somehow we expect government to shrink ... as if government should defy the laws that the rest of society is prey to.

    I don't understand that.
     
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #6
    Population grows typically means more revenues to the federal government, except our current federal tax system tends to pay out or be a wash to a large amount of people.
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    That doesn't mean increases in spending aren't likely to occur. Increases in revenue will effect the end balance, but not the amount needed to run government.
     
  8. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #8
    There is governmental spending growth related to debt service (interest payments) on the national debt. There is growth related to benefits paid during recession. There is growth related to the military, elderly, disabled, etc...

    There is also some growth related to new policies.

    There is almost always growth, however, since Ike, no President has kept government spending growth this low other than Obama. In other words, the charge that President Obama is spending like a drunken sailor is false.

    Cite

    [​IMG]
     
  9. classicaliberal, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #9
    Yep, and growth related to debt service is the one to watch out for. The chart you posted, with all due respect, is complete hogwash and has been proven demonstrably false and misleading several times. The author started with a goal of what he wanted to present, and manipulated the data until it looked like something positive. (three pinnochhios, AP)


    Here's the God-Honest truth if you want it...

    A) Anyone who says Barack Obama is a 'shoestring' president, or that he has increased spending less or slower than other recent presidents is ridiculously biased and not dealing in fact. They have an agenda. Barack Obama has increased federal spending at an incredible rate... and has only somewhat slowed since the 2010 elections put the opposing party in charge of the House.

    I'm sorry... but this is not an INFLATION problem.
    [​IMG]

    B) Anyone who says spending is a 'Democrat problem', and that Republicans are the party of 'fiscal responsibility' is either ridiculously biased or just plain ignorant of the truth. There are far more individuals in the Republican party who support fiscal conservatism, small government, low spending, balanced budgets, etc. than on the left... but the party as a whole has a horrible track record of spending once in power.
     
  10. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #10
    The government should grow just because the population grows? That's like saying a family should bring in a 3rd parent if they have more than x number of kids.

    The size and reach of our government is big and bloated enough already.

    ----------

    Nail, meet head.

    I do think that fiscal responsibility is a more of a conservative principle and one I am in line with, but that doesn't make it a Republican principle. I think there are a lot of people that go to Washington dead set on making a difference, but the culture of the town corrupts a large chunk of them. They go against their principles for the sake of doing business as usual.

    The bubble that exists in that town is really hard to explain unless you spend some time there. The people there really do think that the outside world cares about the day to day horse trading that goes on and that power is measured in 1.) your appearance in front of others and 2.) how adept you are at handing out political b**ch slaps. Our "leaders" spend an inordinate amount of time looking for the best way to one up each other and make doing the work of the people an after thought. Its why we hardly ever get candidates we're wowed by....the smart people know well enough to stay away from that mess. The ones that think they can make a change that aren't corrupted tend to burn out quick.

    Term limits would solve a lot of problems there, but that will happen the day we actually cut federal spending.....which is never.
     
  11. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Nail, miss head, hit thumb.

    Your analogy is false. The topic is federal spending in dollars.

    You should have said, "Its like saying a family budget should increase if they have more than x number of kids."

    Don't you agree that as a family grows, so do their expenses?

    • • •

    Let's for a moment consider the effect of inflation on federal spending. The federal budget for 2012 was 3.7 trillion dollars. The inflation rate for 2011 was 3.16%. If the budget the next year increased only to account for inflation, then the federal budget would increase ~116 billion dollars.

    That's the problem with big numbers. Even small percentages of them are still big numbers.
     
  12. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #12
    I do, but only because the family has to feed itself and buy clothes for itself. The problem with your analogy is that the growing family can't print more money when those new expenses come up. When a family grows and they have to start spending more money on things like food and clothes they have to cut back elsewhere. Our government doesn't do that. Anytime the word budget cuts are mentioned both sides start sabre rattling and neither ever actually cut anything.
     
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Do you think there are more government workers today than before?
     
  14. trouble747 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    That chart shows "Obama" as starting in 2008. Obama didn't take office until 2009, and even then the budget was from the previous administration...?
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #15
    Wrong! Talk about working the data to get the rusults you want. Not only that, but the things they do to get the results are just silly. Try politifact if you want to know more. My guess is you don't.

    I agree, because spending is a Republican problem, Democrats have been the party of fiscal responsibility. Fiscal conservatism requires a balance between revenue and spending to avoid operating in deficits. Reagan, Bush and Bush and their minions dug the hole so deep, we have no choice but to make difficult decisions; yet, guess who refuses to do so. A hint... Grover Norquist.

    Only when they are running for office, but every single time they get elected, they cut revenue, cut stimulative spending, and increase spending on non-stimulative programs. You just can't ignore history.

    If you can look at this and still say Republicans are fiscally responsible, I don't know what to say other than, I'm sorry.
     
  16. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    #16
    Dave Ramsey says that in order for debt to be payed down you have to make more money AND cut spending. Seems that the same would hold true for increases in family size. As a nation we seem to dislike the make more money piece.
     
  17. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #17
    Relative to when? Obviously there are fewer than there were back in the hey day (60s and 70s), but the number has been fairly steady in the last 15 years or so I believe.

    ----------

    Not sure I follow you. Not sure I know anyone that dislikes making more money.

    Now people disliking earning more money....that's another story.
     
  18. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Yes. Exactly.

    The numbers of federal workers has declined steadily since the 1960's and 70's, with the biggest drop occurring during the Clinton Administration. Yet despite that drop, people hold onto the image of the federal government as this ever-growing, out-of-control monster.

    I wonder why that is.
     
  19. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    #19
    I am commenting on how folks want the government to be ran like a household/corporation. Dave Ramsey is a conservative financial adviser whom will tell you that debt is bad, screw credit. If you aren't making enough money to pay off your debts after cutting your spending then get a second job at McDonalds. The problem is that our government "only" takes in money from taxes, so in order to get more they need to tax more. Americans don't like more taxes.
     
  20. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #20
    When I talk about the size of the federal government I don't mean the number of employees on the payroll (although I do think some trimming could be done there too). I mean the reach of influence it has. The wide net it casts as being a part of our live. I'll never understand why we need some of the things we have, such as a federal Department of Education. I personally feel education would be better served at the state and local level and not through some bloated federal entity and overreaching legislation such as the boondoggle that was No Child Left Behind.

    ----------

    I'm aware of Dave Ramsey and think that a lot of his financial principles are great. People should rely more on their income than they do and push away the constant barrage of credit cards that we are met with every day.

    As far as the tax revenue goes, I feel like we pay enough already. If the federal government wants more from me they need to 1.) become better managers of what they are already collect and 2.) make a much more compelling argument as to why they need to take more of the money you and I earn each day. So far....I'm unconvinced.
     
  21. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I guess we just differ on that. I spend very little time thinking about the federal government and how I am caught in its wide net.

    Perhaps I'm overlooking the obvious.

    What signs should a normal citizen like me look for as an indication that I'm trapped by the federal government?


    As far as I know, education is primarily under state or local control.

    What does the Department of Education do?

    Let's ask them ...

     
  22. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #22
    They hold the carrot and the stick. They can wield an enormous amount of power by withholding money if guidelines and programs they deem necessary aren't met.
     
  23. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Wouldn't the total receipts have decreased because of the bad economy and thus the reduction in revenue?

    And I still don't understand why Obama is spending more than Bush. Couldn't he have cut some of the programs that Bush had enacted?

    Please excuse my sophomoric questions, just trying to figure something out here.
     
  24. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    #24
    I thought receipts went down due to tax cuts?
     
  25. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #25
    That too, but not only that. The tax cuts which weren't paid for resulted in lower receipts, which drove the push for less spending. The lower spending, coupled with terrible oversight, and bad policies, led to the great recession and even lower receipts. A good chunk of the blame also goes to failure to collect royalties for oil production during the Bush administration. Another chunk is the policies that rewarded corporations that acted as vulture capitalists and offshored US business in the name of profit.
     

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