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Obama spending habit is slower than thought

College Democrats

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 08:06

Here’s a big myth about Barack Obama’s presidency: Obama led our country into a massive increase in federal spending, massive enough for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to characterize it as a “spending inferno” that has “accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history.”

Well, according to MarketWatch, Obama has had the slowest increase in spending than any other president in 60 years. PolitiFact agrees, stating that Obama’s increase in spending was the “second slowest, if you adjust for inflation.”

Obama’s spending increases are slower than his Republican predecessors, including former President Ronald Reagan, whose spending “accelerated” in his two terms by 8.7 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, according to Talking Points Memo. Former President George W. Bush’s spending increased by 7.3 and 8.1 percent, in both terms respectively, according to Talking Points Memo, and 17.9 percent in the last year of his presidency, fiscal year 2009, according to MarketWatch. Major spending decisions of fiscal year 2009 were made by the Bush administration, which Obama inherited.

Therefore, Obama’s four budget years are on track to increase by only 0.4 percent, from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion. Even though MarketWatch predicts that the final budget for Obama’s first term will decrease spending by 1.3 percent, Romney constantly claims that Obama’s spending is apparently out of control, recently stating that Obama’s spending “threatens what it means to be an American.”

However, in no way does Obama’s spending record threaten what it means to be an American. In fact, it only emphasizes that powerful meaning.

Obama’s spending record doesn’t just show a minimal increase in spending; it shows a tireless effort to better our economy and put hard-working Americans back to work after an era of economic crisis. It shows how, in times of crisis, the right economic policies can stop a plummeting economy in its tracks, and guide the economy through a rebuild that will last for decades.

Before Obama was inaugurated, our country was in the middle of an economic recession that left many Americans struggling to pay their bills and their mortgages. On top of that, unemployment was an unbearable burden for almost 100,000 Americans. Irresponsible policies had driven us into an economic ditch, and there was only one thing that everyone agreed on — we needed to get out.

As soon as Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he started working to reverse that economic downturn, exemplifying extraordinary leadership in our nation’s time of need. By signing legislation such as the Recovery Act, he provided middle-class families and small businesses with the tax cuts they needed in order to prosper and grow. When many said that giving federal assistance to General Motors and Chrysler was a waste, Obama did so anyways and hauled the American auto industry out of the grave, saving countless jobs. These actions, as well as many others, have created 4.2 million jobs and have provided our job market with a steady 26 months of growth.

When we talk about spending, these are the economic accomplishments that we need to be talking about. Obama’s decisions on spending were investments in the American people, giving us an economy built to last — not a quick fix that embodies impatience and irresponsibility.

This November, voters will have to make a choice: They can either choose to stay on the successful path of economic progress or they can choose the same policies that drove us into this economic recession in the first place. I sincerely hope that voters take a look at the facts regarding Obama’s spending record and ignore the disillusioning rhetoric stated by his opposition.

Anyone interested in writing a column for the Opinions section at the Central Florida Future can contact the Opinions Editor, Kaley LaQuea, at

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