Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spending Under President George W. Bush

The numbers are in. With the release of the first estimate of the FY 2009 budget, we can now summarize and assess President Bush's fiscal legacy.1

Section 1. Overall Federal Numbers under President Bush

During his eight years in office, President Bush oversaw a large increase in government spending, as seen in Table 1:


In fact, as seen in Table 2, President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ.


In his last term in office, President Bush increased discretionary outlays by an estimated 48.6 percent. The largest increase took place in his last year and included, among other things, the $700 billion financial industry bailout bill (TARP) and the federal takeover of Government-Sponsored Enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Figure 1 illustrates that during his eight years in office, President Bush spent almost twice as much as his predecessor, President Clinton.

Adjusted for inflation, in eight years, President Clinton increased the federal budget by 11 percent. In eight years, President Bush increased it by a whopping 104 percent. 


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