Fox News Has Tricked People Into Thinking Obama Is A Big Spender


Fox News Has Tricked People Into Thinking Obama Is A Big Spender

When I recently posted an analytical news story, “The Claim that
Barack Obama Is a Big Spender Is a Big Lie,” numerous conservatives
countered by citing commentaries from conservative News sources, such
as Eric Bolling of Fox News, and an editorial in Investor’s Business

Those commentaries featured headlines designed to attract
conservatives, such as “Stop the Madness – the Truth about Obama and
Our National Debt,” and “CBO Refutes Obama’s Slippery Spending
Claims.” All of these commentaries equated deficits with spending,
implying that the two are the same.

However, deficits and spending are very different from each other, and
this will be seen with particular clarity if you will click on the
well-documented Wikipedia article “History of the United States Public
Debt,” at the end of which is an informative one-page table titled
“Federal spending, federal debt, and GDP.” This table is the clearest
summary of the U.S. fiscal situation for each year from 1977 to the
latest that I have seen anywhere.

If you will look there at the latest reported year, 2010, you will see
that the “Adjusted” “Federal Spending” declined 2.4% in that latest
year, but that the “Federal Debt” soared by 12.5% in that year, which
rise was unprecedented except for Ronald Reagan’s 15% in 1983, 12.3%
in 1985, and 13.9% in 1986. By contrast, for example, the Federal Debt
declined in Bill Clinton’s last year, 2000, when federal spending
actually went up by 2.5%. (The largest annual increase in spending,
incidentally, was Ronald Reagan’s 1985 figure, 7.4%.)


The other clearest summary statement I have seen of the situation
(besides that Wikipedia table) was given by Greg Mallison in “Greg’s
Monthly Commentary” at, in the document there “Greg
Mallison’s February 2012 Budget Commentary.” He was writing there
specifically about President Obama’s fiscal performance. Mallison said
(and he included a graph to document) that, “While the federal
government has largely held the line on spending in the last three
years (believe it or not), the recovery in revenue has been dismal.
Revenue peaked in April 2008 and then declined to 74% of that level in
February 2010. It currently stands at 84% of the 2008 high. Already
the deepest drop in federal revenues in history, in a few months it
will become the longest – surpassing the four year duration of the
previous record, the recession of 2001-03.”

Here is how Eric Bolling at Fox lied about this matter: He put up a
visual that compared all eight years of George W. Bush and the three
years thus far of Barack Obama, and he said: “Notice that the revenues
for GWB and BHO are very close. The country has annual inflows (taxes,
fees, licenses, etc.) that have remains [sic] stable between the two
presidencies. Then the spotlight goes on.. It’s the spending numbers
between the two presidents that are different.”

In other words, Bolling said that because revenues during Obama’s
three years almost equaled the revenues during Bush’s eight years, but
Obama spent far more than Bush did, “It’s the spending” that’s the
problem with Obama – not the taxes. However, Bolling blatantly lied
there by saying “The country has annual inflows (taxes, fees,
licenses, etc.) that have remains stable between the two
presidencies.” That’s not true according to any measure. Annual
revenues during Obama have actually been lower than annual revenues
under Bush, just as Mallison said. Furthermore, tax-refunds soared
under Obama, because of the Bush crash, and therefore the net revenues
to the Federal Government have been only a small fraction of the
annual net revenues during Bush’s eight years. One of the charts in
the Mallison article gives some idea of this revenue-plunge under

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