Federal spending is lower now than it was when President Obama took office. I’ll pause to let you absorb the news.
In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP.
Here’s another interesting fact. Taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent.
One last nugget. The deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent.
The fact is that Obama inherited a disaster of a federal budget. Eight years prior, when President George W. Bush took the oath of office, there was a $281 billion surplus. By the time Obama was sworn in, he was facing a $1.2 trillion deficit. Inconvenient though it may be for conservatives (especially those who are running for president), the truth is that spending, taxes and the deficit are all lower today than when President Obama took office.
Michael Linden is the Director for Tax and Budget Policy at American Progress. Michael’s work focuses on the federal budget and the medium- and long-term deficits. He has co-authored numerous reports on the causes of and solutions to our fiscal challenges, including “Path to Balance,” which first proposed primary balance as an intermediate goal, and “A First Step,” which included a detailed plan for achieving that goal. Michael also coined the phrase “deficit peacock.” He is a frequent guest on CNBC, and his work has been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio, among others.
This has been reposted from Think Progress.