“My View” from the May 29, 2012 edition of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer.”
Let’s debunk one of the central myths about President Obama being spread by Mitt Romney.
The myth is that this president has boosted spending at a voracious rate and led a renaissance of big government. It’s a claim that Mitt Romney is trumpeting on his campaign website and talks about all the time. Except it’s false — and incontrovertible numbers back us up.
Obama has had the smallest budget increase in nearly 60 years. The budget for his first year, of course, was set by the previous president and Congress. But the year after that, spending fell 1.8 percent. The next year, spending rose by 4.3 percent, and the year after that, it crept up by a microscopic .07 percent. If his budget for 2013 passes, spending since 2009 will have risen only 1.4 percent a year. A tiny amount — less than Herbert Hoover increased spending.
Compare that to the last year of President Bush’s tenure — spending jumped 17.9 percent.
These are jaw dropping numbers.
Now, we know there’s a problem, because the deficit is so big, it’s gargantuan. But Republicans want us to think spending is the problem. That way, they cover up the real cause of the deficits — enormous tax cuts that we could never afford, a recession caused by Wall Street’s loss of reason, judgment and morals and two wars that we had no plan to pay for.
By masking the real reason for the deficits, Republicans want to hide some real solutions. If we think we’re spending more, then spending is what we’ll try to fix. But if we focus on the true source of these huge deficits, we might decide to do the rational thing — recalibrate our tax policies and cut some of the money for wars that should have ended long ago.
That’s “My View.”