Is President Obama’s spending an “inferno,” as Mitt Romney claims, or a binge that “never happened” as an analysis touted by the White House concluded? We judge that both of those claims are wrong on the facts.
The truth is that the nearly 18 percent spike in spending in fiscal 2009 — for which the president is sometimes blamed entirely — was mostly due to appropriations and policies that were already in place when Obama took office.
That includes spending for the bank bailout legislation approved by President Bush. Annual increases in amounts actually spent since fiscal 2009 have been relatively modest. In fact, spending for the first seven months of the current fiscal year is running slightly below the same period last year, and below projections.